It’s only taken two weeks, but here is the recipe for the absolutely divine trifle I made for Christmas Eve dinner.  Not only was it a wonderful end to the holiday feast, it was just as wonderful the next day.  And the next and the next (this is no trifling dessert).

Ingredients

For the cake:
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 eggs (free range organic), room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup Ghirardelli cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger (powdered)
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk

For the trifle:
2 bags of frozen organic strawberries (regular size, not family)
1 bag of frozen organic raspberries (regular size, not family)
1 bag of frozen organic blueberries (regular size, not family)
1 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
2 pints heavy cream
1 16 oz container of vanilla greek yogurt
1/4 cup reserved cranberry syrup from Saucy Cranberries (if you have it)
1 bar of really good dark chocolate

How I made it:

The Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray one 9×13 or two 9×9 square baking pans with Baker’s Secret (or a similar baking spray). 

In a bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients except the sugar (flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ginger). In a separate bowl (or stand mixer), beat the butter at medium-high speed for about 30 seconds.  Add sugar a quarter of a cup at a time.  Scrape sides as needed to ensure that everything is beaten together, for about 5-6 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, making sure they are well combined.  Add vanilla. 

Add the flour mixture in small batches, mixing at low speed.  After everything is well combined, beat on medium for 30 seconds more.  Spread cake batter in the baking pan(s).

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool completely.  For best results, bake the day before you assemble the trifle.

The Trifle

Thaw the strawberries and raspberries in a small colander or sieve over a glass bowl.  Thaw the blueberries separately (don’t worry about keeping the juice).  Let the cranberry syrup (if you have it, it’s probably at the back of your fridge) come to room temperature.

Cut the cake into 1 inch x 2 inch rectangles.  (You’ll have more cake than you need, unless your trifle dish is truly gigantic.)  Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the strawberry and raspberry juice with 2/3 cup of the confectioners sugar and cornstarch.  Bring to a boil, whisking continuously until thickened (2 minutes or so).  Remove from heat, add the cranberry syrup and whisk gently.  Pour into a glass bowl and put in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. 

Whip the heavy cream (yes, all of it) until it forms stiff peaks.  While that’s going, mix the remaining confectioners sugar with the yogurt.  Fold it into the whipped cream (when I did this, it didn’t really blend, so I whipped it some more with the mixer and it worked okay).

Line the bottom of the trifle dish with cake rectangles.  Drizzle with 2 tbs of the thickened fruit juices.  Add a generous layer of whipped cream, then gently layer the strawberries and raspberries. Then sprinkle blueberries on top.  Add another layer of cake rectangles, pressing down gently.  Drizzle, then add layers of whipped cream and berries.  Continue to do this until you reach the top of the trifle dish, be sure to end up with a layer of whipped cream. 

Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Before your bring it to the table, decorate the top with chocolate shavings (a zester works just fine as long as the bar is cold).  For even fancier presentation, drizzle the plates with a swirl of the thickened fruit juices before plating.

The result:

FABULOUS!  One of the top ten desserts I’ve ever made.  Even better, it holds up well in the fridge for several days after the party.  Best breakfasts ever!

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