Taking advantage of the abundant supply of berries in our supermarket, I decided to make a mixed berry version of Rose Levy Beranbaum's Chocolate Raspberry Trifle for a get together I had with my family last Sunday. The recipe is from her book Rose's Heavenly Cakes and this one is really perfect for all those who love chocolate and fruit dessert combos which everyone in my family apparently does. I used a combination of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries totaling the same amount of raspberries required in her recipe (sans the topping) which is about 6 1/2 cups. Everything about this trifle is truly exceptional--the Chambord syrup-soaked chocolate genoise (which I've made before for Rose's Chocolate Raspberry Genoise), the super-rich creme anglaise, the raspberry-flavored whipped cream and even the way the layers are beautifully exposed in the trifle bowl, showing all of these delicious components stacked together into one very irresistible cake.
The trifle reaches its optimum flavor the next day it's made which is perfect if you're making other dishes and desserts as well. I made the chocolate genoise on Friday then made the creme anglaise, Chambord simple syrup, and raspberry preserve mixture on Saturday. I also macerated the berries and composed the cake that day so it could develop its flavors more during its overnight stay in the fridge. Come Sunday, I whipped up the raspberry cream and decorated the cake. As you can see I kinda went wild with the fruit decor as I used up all of the berries that were left in their containers....No use leaving a few berries out at this point! :-P
I was aiming for my layers to look a lot like the picture of Rose's trifle shown in the book so I used the lesser amount of cornstarch stated for in the recipe which is about 8 grams. But getting those results proved to be a lot harder to achieve than I thought. For one, I think I used a different-sized pan from Rose's. Mine was smaller and narrower resulting in thicker layers of creme anglaise which covered most of the fruit that were placed on top of it.
|The nicest slice out of all the slices I made LOL|
Am I the only one who finds slices of trifles of this height so hard to scoop out? It was so difficult to get decent-looking slices while I was serving this and most of them ended up looking like pudding instead of a cake. Should it be sliced like a cake or scooped out like ice cream? It may be pretty to look at prior to slicing but during the process it became almost unrecognizable LOL. I think next time I make a trifle I'll make it a lot shorter like my French Strawberry Trifle even if it means sacrificing a beautiful presentation. Or I could even turn this into individual trifles by assembling them in small straight-sided glasses.
Overall, this was an amazing dessert that was the perfect ending to our chili con carne meal. It definitely showcased the deliciousness of all the fruits that was used and I can see this going really well with other kinds of fruits as well even tropical ones. I also loved the strong raspberry flavor and visible red flecks of the whipped cream and I plan to use it for other cakes as well. The egginess of the creme anglaise was very subtle and cuts the tartness of the berries, providing the right balance of flavors to the cake. By the way, this cake is really huge and I recommend scaling down the recipe if only a few people are eating it.