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Jul 3, 2012 11:53 AM

A trifling matter

I'm making a July 4 trifle and don't have time to do much more than assemble. I have a pound cake in the freezer, cherries and blueberries in the fridge (I know they aren't necessarily the best pair), and will buy some instant pudding mix.

Normally I'd use marsala to moisten the cake, but I can't use alcohol for this group. Any suggestions for another way to add some moistness? I thought about jam but it seems too solid.....

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  1. Hmm. I wonder if fruit juice would do it without being overwhelming? It seems like it would work--some orange or tangerine juice, maybe? Ooh, or lemonade! Blueberries and lemon are lovely together...

    1. I've never made trifle without booze but wonder whether grape juice might work. As you suggest, you need some liquid to wet the cake.

      1. Your basic simple syrup is what is typically used. You can flavor it with citrus zest. Just boil some citrus zest (no white pith), a cup of sugar, and a cup of water until clear. Remove from heat, let cool, and strain out the zest. Just dab it on the cake with a pastry brush. Use the rest of the syrup to sweeten lemonade.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sandylc

          This is what I was going to suggest. I also made a soaking syrup of equal parts lemon juice and sugar for Ina Garten's lemon cake last night - it would do the trick as well.

            1. re: wyogal

              This was all helpful. I had simple syrup in the fridge and mixed it with lemon juice. As per Sandy's suggestion, I made pudding in the microwave, with a little lemon extract. I ditched the cherries for raspberries when they were $1.99 at Safeway. I'm not generally a fan of citrus desserts, but I think this will turn out great. It's settling now. Thanks, all!

          1. Oh, and you can make your own pudding from scratch in the microwave very easily - and it tastes so much better!

            1. fruit juice or even pineapple flavored soda.