I found this lovely bowl at TJ Maxx for under $10. The label said it was handmade in Poland. I'm pretty sure nothing made of hand-shaped hot molten glass should cost under $10. I hope that doesn't mean underpaid, underage workers are being chained to high-temperature glass-blowing equipment so that I can enjoy my precious trifle. I was conflicted about buying it at such a great price until another woman made a move toward the footed bowl, and suddenly my inner conflict was resolved. 'Cause, you know, it was already made. I wouldn't want all that work to go unappreciated.
This recipe is not a trifle exactly. A trifle is made with layers of boozy cake, custard, and fruit. This dessert is made with chocolate cookies, no booze (shame on me!), and coffee-flavored whipped cream, making it "technically" another version of icebox cake. But I put it in a trifle dish, so I'm calling it a trifle. It's a breeze to make and puts those amazing fresh summer berries on the pedestal they deserve. When assembling the dessert, try not to squash all the layers to the very edge of the bowl if you can. Better to leave a little space along the sides so you can see all the layers intact. That's why the top half of my trifle up there looks so much better than the bottom half. I wised up eventually.
Don't have a pretty trifle dish? Use an 8x8-inch casserole dish instead, or try individual mason jars.
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp. espresso powder (or instant coffee granules ground with a mortar and pestle)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
9-oz. box chocolate wafers (Nabisco brand is okay)
1 pint raspberries, blackberries, or both
In a large bowl, whip the cream with the confectioner's sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla starting on low and gradually increasing to medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes until the cream thickens and forms soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. You don't want the cream over-whipped to the consistency of spray confetti. The cream mixture should still be smooth, but mound easily and hold its shape when you spread it.
Add a very thin layer of the whipped espresso cream to the bottom of your serving vessel of choice. Add a single layer of chocolate wafers. On top of that, add a layer of cream. Scatter some berries on top of the cream. Repeat the order (cookies, cream, berries) for as many layers as you can fit in your trifle dish until you run out of ingredients or space, ending with the berries. (For an 8x8-inch casserole dish, you can fit 2 or 3 layers.)
Refrigerate the trifle covered for at least 4 hours or overnight. Be forewarned that it is virtually impossible to serve this dessert in a neat and tidy way. Just accept it and move on. Showtime was back when everything was on display in the trifle bowl and now showtime is over. It still tastes great.
Raspberries: My backyard!
Cream: High Lawn Farm, Lee, MA