Published by Ecco
Editor's Note: The next time you want to impress the guests at your dinner parties, bring out this Italian Trifle. Layer upon layer of ladyfingers and cream are combined and result in this show-stopper of a dessert that everyone will love. As a trifle is meant to be displayed — after all, you do want to show off all of your hard work — consider assembling this dessert in a trifle bowl or other clear container. When it comes to Italian trifle recipes, you'll love including this recipe in your repertoire for desserts to make when company is coming. This chilled dessert recipe is perfect to serve year-round, but is especially appropriate for a hot summer's night.
This is my take on the Italian take on English trifle, which I have pared down by removing the day-glo colored liqueurs and odd schlumpy custards that have made this nearly inedible in many lesser trattorie all over Italy.
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party
Taste and TextureChocolatey, Creamy, Sweet, Winey
Type of DishDessert
- 3¼ cups whole milk
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 7 large egg yolks
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1¾ ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 24 small savoiardi (italian ladyfingers)
- ¼ cup limoncello or other sweet citrus liqueur
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the milk and lemon zest. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, and add the seeds and bean to the pan. Bring a very brisk simmer over medium-high heat; do not allow to boil.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, flour, and sugar and whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and forms a ribbon when the whisk is lifted from the bowl. Gradually pour half of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture back to the saucepan along with the remaining milk and cook over high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the pastry cream coats the back of the spoon. Remove the vanilla bean. Pour half the cream into a stainless steel bowl and set in an ice bath to cool. Stir the cocoa and chocolate into the remaining pastry cream, making sure that the chocolate is completely melted. Then pour the chocolate cream into another bowl and set over an ice bath to cool. Whisk the creams occasionally as they cool.
Split each ladyfinger in half. Sprinkle the cut sides with the liqueur. Place a layer of the soaked ladyfingers in a large glass serving bowl. Top with a layer of the vanilla pastry cream, another layer of ladyfingers, and a layer of the chocolate cream; repeat the layering until all ingredients are used.
Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
2005 Mario Batali