Tommy C. Simmons, An enthusiastic cook
Photograph Tommy C. Simmons
Trifle desserts virtually shout, “Try me, I’m scrumptious.” Plus, trifles don’t have to be as complicated to make as expected. If your kitchen prep minutes are at a premium, borrow an idea from a friend in Louisiana, Susan Munson, who is an imaginative cook/hostess. She creates wonderful desserts based on easy-to-use, store-bought angel food cakes. Munson’s desserts never fail to impress even though they are simple and inexpensive to make. I decided to follow her advice and substituted an angel food cake for the sponge cake called for in a traditional trifle recipe.
The convenient angel food cake as a trifle base worked splendidly. I freshened the cake with sliced fresh strawberries (though you can use frozen, if necessary.)
The streamlined trifle was gorgeous. I’ve served it a couple of times since and adjusted the amount of amaretto used to suit taste preferences. It’s lighter and sweeter with less amaretto. If you don’t have a trifle bowl, a punch bowl or glass salad bowl works fine. This is a showy dessert and you can put it together the night before your occasion.
Home kitchen-tested recipe TUSCAN AMARETTO TRIFLE
Original recipe is from “Warm Welcomes: River Road Recipes IV” published by the Junior League of Baton Rouge
Adapted by Tommy C. Simmons
1 qt. fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced
2 cups amaretto, divided (can use less if preferred)
3 tbls. sugar
8 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted and divided
2 tsps. vanilla extract, divided
16 ozs. whipping cream
½ cup sliced almonds
1 tbl. butter
1 (12-oz.) round angel food cake
Garnish with mint leaf or fresh strawberries, if desired
Combine strawberries, 1 cup amaretto, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a bowl. Mix gently. Cover and refrigerate.
Beat softened cream cheese with ½ cup sifted confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Add remaining cup of amaretto and 1 teaspoon vanilla and continue beating until well combined.
In separate bowl, beat whipping cream with remaining ½ cup sifted confectioners’ sugar and remaining vanilla until cream is thickened and fluffy.
Add whipping cream mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth.
Toast almonds in 1 tablespoon butter and set aside to cool.
Slice angel food cake horizontally into three equal layers.
Arrange one layer of the cake in the bottom of a trifle dish. Spoon 1/3 of strawberry mixture over the cake, allowing juice to soak into cake. Spread 1/3 of cream cheese mixture over strawberries. Layer remaining cake, strawberries, and cream cheese.
Top final cream cheese layer with toasted almonds. Chill covered until serving time. Garnish and serve.
Posted June 14, 2013
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