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The Trifle

a.k.a. Punchbowl Cakes or Tipsy Cakes


Basic Trifle Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com

Basic Trifle

Basic Trifle Photo by Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com
Traditionally, a trifle is a dessert that is layered in a glass bowl, as to display each layer. The glass bowl is called a trifle bowl. Punch bowls are also used, which is why trifles are also known as Punch Bowl Cakes. The layers consist of a cake, such as sponge cake or ladyfingers. The cake may have jam spread on each piece. Sherry is then sprinkled on, and allowed to soak in. (The use of liquor is sometimes why these desserts are Tipsy Cakes.) A fruit, like strawberries, would be the next layer. Next, there's a creamy layer; like a custard. Whipped cream is spread on top. Lastly there are garnishes of fruit, chocolate and/or nuts. The dessert is finished in the refrigerator.

Today, a trifle can consist of just about any item you choose. The cake layer may be pound cake, angel food cake or even brownies. The sherry may be skipped entirely or a wonderfully flavored liqueur, like Kahlua, may be used. Instant pudding, in various flavors, can be a substitute for the homemade custard. Layers can also consist of fresh fruit, crumbled cookies, crushed candies and nuts. All trifles seem to have whipped cream, but the cream may be of the artificial topping variety.

Trifles are a favorite of mine. Anyone can make one. Even if you don't have a trifle or punch bowl, they can be purchased for less than $10.00 USD. You can spend as much time or as little time as you wish on making one. The layers alone make it a naturally pretty dessert. Trifles allow for creativity from the ingredients used to the mixture of textures. The sky or the bowl is your only limit.

You can try on of these
Basic Trifle Recipe
Monster Mash
Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle
Raspberry Chocolate Trifle
New England Trifle

Or Create Your Own Trifle with these choices:

Cake layer:

Ladyfingers, sponge cake, angel food cake, pound cake, brownies, blondies, waffles, cake mix cakes, sweet muffins, your favorite unfrosted cake recipe, etc.

Liquors/Liqueurs layer:

Amaretto, Sambucca, Kahlua, Brandy and so on.

Creamy layer:

Everything from a homemade custard or pudding to the multiple flavors found in boxes in the grocery store. Flavored and stabilized whipped creams will also work.

Optional Ingredients and Garnishes:

Almost any fruits, fruit jams and jellies, candies, chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, coconut, crushed cookies, coconut, toasted nuts.

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Recipes -
White Cake
Italian Cream Cake
Basic Yellow Cake
Pig Pickin' Cake
German Chocolate Cake
Poke Cake
Chocolate Fudge Cake
Sweet and Salty Fudge
Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Fudge
Russian Fudge
Crunchy Fudge
Walnut Fudge
Marshmallow Creme Fudge
Raspberry Cream Pie
Kumquat Cream Pie
Peach Cream Pie
Chocolate Cream Pie
Key Lime Pie
Praline Cheesecake
Chocolate-Chocolate Mint Cheesecake
Fresh Blueberry Cheesecake
New York Cheesecake
White Chocolate Cheesecake
Lemon Swirl Cheesecake
Fruit Surprise Cheesecake
Creme Brulee Cheesecake
More Cheesecake Recipes

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