I made a trifle! Otherwise known as a big bucket o' fun!
Okay, no one calls them that except me. But they should! Look at this thing! Bright, fluffy, moist layers of cake, custardy cream, splushy berries, crunchy toasted almonds, and to top it all off, a smattering of sprinklessss!
Joyce served individual versions of this trifle after a delicious lunch of Cream of Mushroom Soup a couple of weeks ago, and as soon as I took a bite, I felt a little more jolly. I found myself craving the trifle's cool, creamy brightness in the days following, and finally whipped one up for myself.
One of the things I loved most about Joyce's trifle is that she used a Funfetti Cake. Do you remember Funfetti Cake? The boxed cake mix so many of us loved as a kid? My favorite was always the Funfetti Frosting, with inexplicably colorful beads of goodness mixed throughout. What were those things? Do I even want to know?!
Whatever they were, I loved them. And Food Blogger Confession #84: I kind of want to go to the store in my PJs right this minute, buy a tub of that frosting, and eat the entire thing with a spoon. In one sitting. While watching Supernanny.
But I digress -- it's easy to get distracted by trashy midnight snack fantasies. Can I dip Twinkies into my tub o' Funfetti Frosting? Okay, I'll stop. Ahem.
The story behind Joyce's cake choice actually involves her son. When he was growing up, she'd always made him a homemade cake from scratch. One day, however, he visited a friend of hers and came home raving about an amazing cake he'd eaten. She decided to make it for his birthday that year and called up her friend to ask about it -- only to find out it was a regular ol' Funfetti Cake from a box! Since then, needless to say, she hasn't bothered with a homemade cake when his birthday rolls around!
It just so happened my lunch date with Joyce was the day before her son's birthday this year. She'd already been doing birthday baking, so she had Funfetti cake leftover to use in the trifle. If you have a favorite homemade cake you love, you can use it (a clementine cake, coconut cake, or lemon cake would be so good!), but I loved the blast from the past so much that I used a Funfetti cake in my trifle as well. Every polka dot of color made me happy.
Regardless of your cake choice, a trifle is a simple way to inject some fun into dessert. If you're looking for something both casual and indulgent to welcome the coming spring, grab a cake and your favorite berries and start layering.
What food item is a "blast from the past" for you?
Bright, Fun Blackberry Trifle
Recipe by: Adapted from Phyllis Hoffman's Celebrate Magazine
Yields: 8 servings
4 cups berries of your choice (Joyce and I used blackberries)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 layers of Funfetti or other cake, prepared and cooled
1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds
1 teaspoon lime zest (optional)
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Whipped Cream Ingredients:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3-4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar (to taste)
Combine washed berries, sugar, orange juice, and lime zest. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix ricotta cheese, yogurt, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until well combined. In a trifle dish, layer torn pieces of cake, cheese mixture, and berries. Repeat layers. Cover and chill overnight.
When ready to serve, whip cream and confectioners' sugar together until you have soft peaks. Pile whipped cream on top of trifle and top with almonds. Serve with leftover whipped cream for topping individual portions.