Trifles aren’t normally my go-to dessert to make, but this one looked delicious so I added it to my baking list. This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen and if you’ve never used one of their recipes before it’s really great because they do all of the testing for a recipe for you. By the time you use the recipe in their cookbooks you can bet it’s been tried a ton of times and the end result is the best option.
With that in mind I started the first part of this recipe: making the pastry cream. I made pastry cream for the first time a few weeks ago when I made the Berry Cream Tart and it’s not that difficult and tastes delicious! With the pastry cream cooling in the fridge I moved on to the next phase of this dessert: the cake.
I was a little apprehensive making the cake because only once out of multiple times have I managed to end up with a decent cake. Most of the time it ends up fairly flat so apparently I’m mixing too hard and deflating the egg whites. Maybe it’s just me, but I find this particular process frustrating since I haven’t quite figured out how to do this correctly. The end result was better than the worst few times but not as good as when my husband helped for the last time I had to make a cake using whipped egg whites.
With the cake cooling, it’s time to move on to the last baking step: the berries. This step is super easy, but make sure to let it cool a little before assembling. I cooked the pastry cream and make the cake the night before; then, I made the berries mixture and assembled the next day.
The assembling probably shouldn’t have been difficult, but I realized that the multi-purpose cake platter that doubles as a trifle dish was a lot larger than an actual trifle dish. I ended up having to improvise a little since the instructions on how many pieces of cake squares to use wouldn’t work for me. Beyond that issue, the actual layering wasn’t too difficult. Unfortunately, I did misread the instructions and used too much pastry cream for the first actual layer.
As you can see from the photo this doesn’t look nearly as pretty as the America’s Test Kitchen version. Despite my small error with the pastry cream, I think the main reason for this was because the dish was too big so keep that in mind if you attempt this recipe. This is a very time intensive recipe so make sure to allot enough time since this won’t be a dessert you can just whip up 30 minutes to an hour before you want to eat it. Taste-wise, this was good and had a really good berry flavor that was perfect for summer. Honestly, I’ve had other desserts I like better but I think it’s just because I’m not a huge trifle fan however, I am glad I tried this and it was a hit with our taste-testing friends.
Recipe Used: The Perfect Cake p. 160