Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Raspberry Cheesecake Trifle

A while back I was reading an article in a goofy women’s magazine entitled “How to Maintain Your Weight During the Holidays” or something to that effect. What was unusual about it, however, is that I still remember the author’s clever intro to the article. Of course I can’t quote it directly, but she said something like “I always hear people saying to eat before you go to a party, but then I think ‘what’s the point of going if you don’t eat?’ Oh, people. Right.”

I love to socialize as much as the next person, but I’d have to say that I’m with the aforementioned author when it comes to my party priorities. Case in point: I threw a bridal shower for my best friend last month. The shower involved no cutesy decorations or elaborate games. It consisted only of friends gathering in my living room to chat and munch on Mediterranean pasta, green salad, pita triangles and hummus, cantaloupe with fresh mint, a platter of chocolate chip cookies, and raspberry cheesecake trifle.

When it comes to desserts, trifle is a definite showstopper. True, it starts looking downright sad and messy once people dig in, but before that first spoon is sunk into the trifle those pristine layers of custard and fruit are definitely worth all the oohs and aahs that escape people’s mouths when they see them shining through a glass bowl. This trifle in particular is quite the beauty— juicy red raspberries juxtaposed with pale layers of creamy, cake-y goodness. And its pretty appearance is matched only by this trifle’s delicious flavor. Plus it is a cinch to make and is assembled in advance, which makes it perfect for entertaining. So next time you find yourself hosting a gathering, don’t stress over decorations or party favors. Make this trifle instead.

Sylvia’s Raspberry Cheesecake Trifle

This recipe was given to me by a friend of the family, who made this trifle for my sister’s bridal shower. It easily feeds up to twelve people, and is perfect for those springtime occasions when you want a fruity dessert but nothing is really in season yet. My family has kind of made it our traditional Easter dessert. In fact, I think the photos below were randomly taken while transporting the trifle from my house to my parents.’ Classy. But at least you get an idea of what it’s supposed to look like, right?

2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened*
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. almond extract
1 cup sour cream
1 cup whipping cream (measure one cup liquid cream- then whip it)
2 bags frozen raspberries
1 prepared angel food cake

1) Combine first six ingredients (I use the whisk attachment on my KitchenAid to get rip of any lumps)
2) Cut angel food cake into bite-size cubes and fold into cream cheese mixture
3) Layer cake mixture and raspberries in a large bowl, beginning with the cake and ending with the raspberries.
4) Cover and refrigerate overnight, or until raspberries are thoroughly thawed.
*I have messed this recipe up by not letting the cream cheese thoroughly soften. I ended up with little lumps of cream cheese in the cake mixture and it was not a pretty sight. So make sure your cream cheese is soft and smooth- I find Philadelphia brand works best.

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