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what's your favorite trifle recipe?

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Every summer I make my favorite trifle- made with fresh strawberries, and often requested at gatherings. I was thinking I should try some new ones...any simple great tasting ones that are favorites? Oh, and I'll admit, I usually go for cheating (buying or mix) on the cake part since it's usually drenched in other stuff, a time saver.

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  1. I don't make trifles often and usually don't use a recipe, other than for the cake, but I have made this one and really liked it. It has strawberries and caramel coated bananas. It is more time consuming than other trifles.


    1. Giada DeL has a raspberry tiramisu that has become a fav at family gatherings for us lately.

      Raspberry Tiramisu ala Food Network

      1 cup seedless raspberry jam
      6 tablespoons orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier) or orange juice
      1 pound mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
      1 cup whipping cream
      1/4 cup sugar
      1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
      28 soft ladyfingers or 2 (12-ounce) pound cakes, cut into 3 by 1 by 1 1/2-inch pieces
      3 (1/2 dry pint) baskets fresh raspberries (about 3 3/4 cups total)
      ½ cup slivered almonds

      Stir the jam and 4 tablespoons of the orange liqueur in a small bowl to blend. Combine the mascarpone and remaining 2 tablespoons of orange liqueur in a large bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla in another large bowl until soft peaks form. Using a large rubber spatula, stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture to lighten. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.

      Line the bottom of a13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish or other decorative serving dish with half of the ladyfingers. Spread half of the jam mixture over the ladyfingers. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the jam mixture, then cover with half of the fresh raspberries. Repeat layering with the remaining ladyfingers, jam mixture, mascarpone mixture and raspberries. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Sprinkle almonds right before serving.

      1. I've made a "Black Forest" trifle. Chocolate cake, sprinkled with kirsh (instead of sherry), layered with dark, sweet cherries (I used canned, but this would be a great time to use fresh) and lightly sweetened whipped cream. Chocolate shavings on top center, surrounded by swirls of the whipped cream, each topped with a cherry.

        1. I'm embarassed to say that my kids love the trifle that I make (its not exactly "homemade")

          I use a chocolate cake mix - bake it and crumble it. Layer it with chocolate pudding (also from a box, and usually the "instant" variety), whipped cream (yes, I do make that part), chopped up heath bars. Guests seem to like it too. Even better if you sprinkle the cake layers with kahlua, or godiva chocolate liqueor.

          1. I make a trifle with homemade chocolate chip pound cake, chocolate mousse, fresh strawberries and fresh whipped cream. Truly decadent!

            I think next time I need to make a dessert, I'll do individual parfaits instead of making one large trifle.

            2 Replies
            1. re: rednails

              Sounds yummy. Could you give specifics, esp. for the individual parfaits?

              1. re: EllenMM

                I haven't done the parfaits yet, it's for next time (whenever that is). I can post the recipes (for the cake and mousse) either late tonight or tomorrow, if you want.

            2. I like my mom's although it's not nearly as fancy as the ones above (and they do sound gooood). Its pound cake (bought) with rum, Bird's custard, raspberries (frozen are ok) and whipped cream (real). She's pretty generous with the rum.
              Guests always ask for more.

              2 Replies
                1. re: pamd

                  I think its English. It essentially a powder you cook with milk to make custard. It tastes better than vanilla pudding mix (not as artificially vanilla tasting) but not better than a homemade egg yolk custard.

              1. Recipe, what recipe? I buy either a pound cake (smaller than larger) or an angel food cake, whatever fresh fruit looks best, whipping cream and open the liquor cabinet. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Cube the cake, arrange a layer in the bowl you're using, and sprinkle with the liquor of your choice, for me, it depends on the fruit I'm using. Peaches, use brandy, cherries, kirshwasser, strawberries, Grand Marnier, etc. Swirl the whipped cream on top of the fruit and repeat, until the bowl is full or you've run out of ingredients.

                1. In my family it was always done as a Christmas/New Years dessert. My Dad's recipe varied but he would use good quality lady fingers, smeared w/ jam of some sort, then covered w/ booze, which also varied from year to year. He did a "rich custard" (probably from Joy of Cooking) folded with whipped cream. Usually served w/ toasted sweetened almonds, but sometimes those little Amoretto cookies crushed up.

                  I've never been able to duplicate it successfully, so my take on the old tradition is more of a hybrid w/ bread pudding. I like to combine pound cake and challah, use dried cranberries, and rum + vanilla w/ the custard.

                  At any rate, my school of thought is: take the time for the custard, but use store bought cake or bread....

                  Mmm, trifle.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: ErasmusBDragon

                    This recipe is very semi-ho - it's chocolate cake from a box and cut up into chunks/squares, layer with chocolate pudding, layered with cool whip, layered with skor candy and repeat... it's awesome!

                    1. re: coffee_addict

                      That was our semi-homemade recipe as well. Except that we soaked the cake with kahlua before assembling.

                  2. Ahem. We make a trifle when the pan won't release the cake until it is torn apart. Then we scamble for whatever berries, pudding, chocolate, whipped cream, etc. we have on hand to turn that lemon into beautiful delicious lemonade in a pretty crystal trifle bowl.

                    1. It's assembly "cooking", but it is always a crowd pleaser :) I use a round cake pan almost the diameter of my trifle bowl for easy and clean line layering.
                      -Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix
                      -Jell-O Cook & Serve Pudding & Pie Filling Chocolate Fudge
                      -Whatever berries are on sale (strawberries, blueberries, etc.) or cherry pie filling
                      -Whip your own whip cream
                      Cook according to boxes, layer, and serve.

                      1. I like this one. It is a little decadent though.

                        1 family size box Ghiradeli brownie mix (or two regular size boxes)
                        2 packages instant fudge chocolate pudding mix
                        1/2 c. kahlua
                        2 (12 ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed
                        8 heath bars, crushed

                        In a 9x13 in pan, bake brownies according to package directions. Cool brownies, cover with kahlua, and break into chunks. Make mousse by adding dry pudding to 1 container of cool whip. In a large trifle or other glass serving bowl, place half of the crumbled brownies. Spread half of the mousse over that. Top with half of the whipped topping, sprinkled with half the crumbled candy bars. Repeat layers in the same order. Refrigerate until serving.

                        1. mmm trifle. The last trifle I made was for a tailgate and since time was limited, I used a box yellow cake mix baked with some marsala wine (replacing some of the water). After the cake was done, I spiked it with more marsala. For the different layers, I used the cake, birds custard, defrosted raspberries and strawberries, and cool whip. It was a big hit.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: kcchan

                            Ok. I ran out of tiramisu filling, so I used ladyfingers soaked in Galliano liquer, lemon curd, lemon pudding, fresh whipped cream, macerated strawberries and topped with crunched up Amaretti di Saronno. I had many request the recipe, but no one believed I really didn't have one.
                            That is why I ADORE cooking - I don't have to measure, and am not good at baking - don't have the patience to measure.

                            As an aside, several years ago a coworker brought in a chocolate charlotte to die for. She refuses to share her recipes and now I am wondering what is the difference between a charlotte and a trifle and anyone have any good recipes for charlottes too?

                            1. re: itryalot

                              A charlotte is a molded dessert, with sponge cake or lady fingers lining the mold. The classical filling is bavarian cream, but can be any custard, cream, mousse or fruit. For Apple Charlotte, the mold is usually buttered bread and the filling is simply apples. So the primary difference is that a trifle is layered and classicly has liquor of some sort.