Pink “Champagne” Trifles
Enjoyed by the English for centuries, trifles are layered with color, texture and flavor. For best results, prepare the Pastry Cream* at least 6 hours in advance. Makes four individual trifles.
1 pkg (approx. 16 oz) white cake mix and the ingredients outlined on box
2 c whole milk
4 lg egg yolks
6 T sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 t vanilla
1/2 c heavy cream
1 c good-quality white chocolate chips
Prepare and bake cake in a 9×13” pan, according to instructions.
Warm milk in a saucepan over low heat; do not boil. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy, dissolving all sugar. Whisk in cornstarch and 2/3 c warm milk in a steady stream. Stir mixture into remaining milk in saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thick and bubbles appear; continue cooking 1 more min and remove from heat. Immediately transfer to a container and cover with plastic wrap, so the wrap touches the surface of the cream and prevents skin from forming. Chill in the fridge for 6 hrs and up to 3 days.
Place cream and chocolate chips in a microwaveable, glass measuring cup. Microwave on high for 30 sec. Stir well and repeat twice, until chocolate is completely melted and ganache is smooth. Set aside to cool.
Finishing Touches & Assembly ½ c (approx.) sparkling sweet red wine, such as Brachetto or a Brachetto/Muscato blend (available in your Market Wine Department)
pink or red decorator’s sugar
raspberries or strawberries, optional
Cut away cake’s crusts, sides, top and bottom. Brush generously, but do not soak cake with wine and cut into ½”cubes. For a more elegant dessert, cut cake in half horizontally, then cut out rounds to fit inside a cup. Place a layer of cubed cake, or a cake round, into the bottom of each trifle. Sprinkle with colored sugar and top with a thin layer of pastry cream. Repeat with cake, sugar and cream, so the cup is almost full. With a small spatula, smooth out the top. Pour some ganache to cover the cream layer, then garnish with more decorator’s sugar or fruit, such as raspberries or strawberries.
* Instant vanilla pudding can be used in place of of homemade pastry cream.