So, I've had my fair share of cooking "fails". Sauces that separate, ice creams that won't freeze, and curds that won't, well, curd. My most recent fail was a blessing in disguise; I just didn't see it at the time, because I was too busy cursing at my oven!
I was baking what I hoped would become an awesome "strawberry shortcake" layer cake for my sons' birthday party. A standard flour, sugar, eggs, and butter combo. Nothing crazy. But..... it didn't work. Although tender and tasty on the inside, the outside of the cake was tough, crusty, and not at all pretty. It didn't make my standards at all. Don't get me wrong, it was good recipe, just poor execution on my part! So, after trying to figure out how to save it (and failing), I wrapped the layers in plastic wrap and popped it in the freezer for a later day.
Fast forward to today, and it hit me! Mother's Day! Dessert! Trifle! Luscious layers of fruit, cake, and whipped cream! I had gorgeous strawberries in the fridge, and plenty of cream from my original plan... hmmmm... my mistake became a delicious Mother's Day Strawberry & Vanilla Chambord Cream Trifle!
I learned a lesson, never judge a cake by it's crust!
P.S. I made four small trifles in this case, but to make a family-sized trifle, double or triple the recipe depending on the vessel you are using.
Strawberry & Chambord Whipped Cream Trifle with Cake
makes four 8 ounce individual servings
2 cups sliced strawberries
3 cups cubed dense cake, such as pound cake or buttermilk cake
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Chambord (optional, you can substitute your favorite liquor)
Prepare your mixer bowl and whisk attachment by placing them in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill (this makes whipping the cream much easier!).
Wash and dry the strawberries. Thinly slice, top to bottom. Place in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon sugar and mix. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature if using immediately, or in the fridge, to macerate for at least 30 minutes.
Cube your cake into 1 inch or so pieces for a smaller portion, larger pieces if using a traditional trifle bowl. Reserve.
Take your whipping cream & Chambord and add to your chilled standing mixer bowl with the whisk attachment. Beat until soft peaks form (about 3 minutes). Stop the mixer and sprinkle in the remaining two tablespoons of sugar. Set the speed to medium high, and continue to beat until soft peaks form again. Do not over beat!
1) Take your desired vessels (four 8 ounce assorted cocktail glasses for me) and place a cake layer as a foundation.
2) Add a layer of strawberries + strawberry juice (if you want to be really snazzy, carefully place the strawberries so they are pressed against the glass. Very pretty!).
3) Top with a layer of Chambord whipped cream. Continue to repeat the layers until the glass is full and end with the whipped cream on top. Garnish with a few of the strawberries.