Last year, I donated some pastries to an auction for a school in Renton for children with learning disabilities. This experience was so amazing that I decided to do it again this year.
Through this event, I met some of the most wonderful people with incredible, generous hearts. They give countless hours and resources to raise money for kids who have a different way of learning and processing information. It was such an honor to participate again this year.
Instead of making the types of pastries I am used to making, my dear friend Tami who is in charge of the auction asked if I would make a trifle. I think she fell in love with the picture on the box the dish came in of a beautiful trifle, and asked me to replicate it. I was a bit reluctant on the inside, because I had never made one before, however Tami is the kind of person that I can never say no to, so, of course I said yes!
I began to research recipes. It was difficult to find any one recipe that resonated with me on it’s own, whether it was the way it looked, or perhaps the ingredients just didn’t seem like they would produce the desired taste, so after combining three recipes, and finding something close to the look I wanted to replicate, it came together in about three days. Yes, I like to take my time when I bake.
Due to the way it is made, I couldn’t just stick a spoon down into it and sample it, so I had to taste each component, and imagine how everything would taste when it came together. Without going into too much boring detail, I will tell you some things I did to make this trifle special.
First of all, I made a “pan di spagna” for the cake instead of using a store bought cake. It’s not completely necessary, but more fun for me. This type of cake is thought to have originated in Spain, and typically uses beaten eggs to make it rise. It is a simple cake made with flour, sugar, butter and eggs. It is a sponge cake that originated during the Renaissance.
I made two round cakes, and cut them through the center to make four. I then cut them to fit the dish, keeping the round shape.
Secondly, I made homemade “sauce” by bringing fresh strawberries and sugar to a boil, and cooking it for about ten minutes. Many recipes called for jelly, and I just couldn’t imagine plopping Smuckers jam into a dessert with fresh fruit, cream, and homemade cake! It just seemed wrong to me.
The last thing that I believe made this trifle nice was making homemade lemon curd, and adding it into the whipped cream, so there was a delicious lemony taste that was unexpected.
I look forward to making this one again. If you are interested, let me know, and I will whip one up for you. Just give me a few days notice!