By Jessica – June 18th, 2010
This lemony hybrid of an English trifle and an Italian tiramisu came about when I found myself with a glut of leftover sponge cake and lemon curd last year (I know, everyone should have these problems).
I wound up in this predicament after making a batch of Bon Appetit’s raspberry-lemon heart cakes. It’s a really good recipe, but it leaves you with a bowlful of cake scraps which Bon Appetit suggests you use to make mini-trifles with lemon curd and whipped cream.
This got me thinking: What’s better than whipped cream? Well, obviously, whipped cream and mascarpone, that unctuous staple of classic tiramisu. I figured that by combining this with lemon curd, some fresh berries and a good splash of dessert wine, at best I’d have a sprightly summer dessert, and at worst I’d have a messy bowl of boozy cake, cream and fruit—which, let’s face it, isn’t such a terrible fate.
I’m pleased to say that I ended up with the sprightly dessert, and it was remarkably yummy. If you don’t have homemade cake sitting around, you can use purchased sponge or pound cake to make this (I recently used two loaves of McVitie’s lemon cake, which worked fine). Also, either fresh or thawed frozen berries are okay; frozen ones will make everything a bit juicier, but that’s no bad thing. And don’t get hung up on the measurements; you can make the dessert based on your taste and what you have on hand.
Incidentally, I’ve used American cup measurements for the cream, cake and berries—just fill a measuring cup to about the 240ml line to approximate an American cup.
To make a giant bowl of triflemisu which will feed about 10 people (or, you know, 2 over the course of several days), you’ll need:
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 8 tablespoons sugar syrup (equal parts water and sugar)
- 1 tub (250g/9oz) mascarpone
- 2 tablespoons lemon curd
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup (240ml) whipping cream
- 6 cups cubed lemon or vanilla sponge cake
- 3 or 4 cups mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
- a few spoonfuls of sweet wine (Muscat, Sauternes - optional)
Mix together the lemon juice and sugar syrup and set aside.
Beat the mascarpone, lemon curd and lemon zest in a bowl until smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream to soft peaks, then fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture.
You can assemble the triflemisu in one or several layers. For a single layer, line a wide bowl with the cubed sponge cake, pressing the cake slightly into the bottom and sides of the bowl. Drizzle the cake with the lemon juice and sugar syrup mixture. The cake should be moist but not sopping wet, so you may need more or less liquid depending on the dryness of your cake. Scatter the berries evenly over the cake. If you’re using a dessert wine, sprinkle a few spoonfuls of it over the berries and cake, then spread the mascarpone and whipped cream mixture over the top. To make a multi-layered triflemisu, just repeat these steps using only some of your cake/berries/cream for each layer.
Cover the triflemisu and let it chill in the fridge for a few hours. For extra attractiveness, you can scatter more berries and/or lemon zest over the top of the dessert or drizzle on some more lemon curd before serving.