Strawberry Trifle with Mascarpone Whipped Cream
In our summery spin on the traditional English dessert known as a trifle, we layer squares of angel food cake with minted strawberries and whipped cream, which is enriched with mascarpone cheese. Though fairly simple to make, it makes an impressive ending to a summer dinner party.
For the cake:
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups (12 oz./375 g) sugar
- 12 egg whites
- 1 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the strawberries:
- 1 lb. (500 g) strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sugar
- 1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
For the mascarpone whipped cream:
- 2/3 cup (5 1/2 oz./170 g) mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) sugar
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
To make the cake, preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C).
In a bowl, sift together the flour and 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) of the sugar. Sift the mixture together again into a second bowl. Repeat the sifting twice more, transferring the flour and sugar mixture from bowl to bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low speed until they start to foam, about 2 minutes. Add the cream of tartar, salt and vanilla, increase the speed to medium and beat until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly add the remaining 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg white mixture. Gently fold in with a rubber spatula, taking care not to overmix.
Spoon the batter into an angel food cake pan. Gently tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air pockets. Bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back lightly when touched, 35 to 45 minutes.
Invert the pan onto a wire rack and let cool, upside down, for about 30 minutes. Run a paring knife around the edges of the pan to release the cake. Let cool on the rack for about 10 minutes more. Cut the cake into 2-inch (5-cm) cubes.
Meanwhile, make the minted strawberries: In a large bowl, stir together the strawberries, sugar and mint. Let stand at room temperature until the juices have released, about 15 minutes.
To make the mascarpone whipped cream, in the clean bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment, beat together the mascarpone and sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Add the cream and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. You may need to beat again just before serving.
To assemble the trifle, arrange a single layer of the cake cubes in the bottom of a footed glass trifle bowl or a large flat-bottomed glass bowl. Spoon one-third of the macerated strawberries over the cake and then spread a third of the whipped cream over the berries. Repeat the layers twice, finishing with a layer of the whipped cream. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving. Serves 8 to 10.
Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen