About a year ago I bought the book "The Perfect Finish" from Bill Yosses. When I was looking through it I saw a picture of an Asian Trifle which ended up being the reason I bought the book. I made many great recipes out of this book last year, but I never got the chance to make the trifle. This past week we hosted a holiday party at my home and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to finally make the trifle. It takes some time to prepare this dessert but I think it is definitely worth it and makes a beautiful Holiday desert. Exotic glazed fruits are layered with soft sponge cake and lime flavored cream and beautiful fruit shimmers through the bowl. It can sit in the fridge for a couple of days so you can make it well in advance.
1. The recipe calls for 2x 1 1/2 cups fruit to glaze - next time I would double the amount of fruit. I added some pieces of orange to the compote when I layered the trifle in order to get more fruit in the middle of the cake.
2. I wasn't able to get 4 layers in my bowl- so I didn't need all the sponge cake (my bowl measures 5" high x 7.5" in diameter)
3. I used 1/2 Pineapple, 1 Mango, 1 small yellow Papaya, for the compote and 2 Oranges for decoration along the glass bowl and on top.
Asian Trifle with Lime Yogurt Cream
TOTAL TIME 2 hours 30 minutes (plus 3 hours' chilling)
(from Bill Yosses "The Perfect Finish")
FOR THE FRUIT COMPOTE:
1 1/2 cups sugar (10 oz, 300 g)
Grated zest of 1 lime
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 pineapple or 2 large Asian pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups, 1/2 pound, 8 oz, 225 g)
1 red papaya, 2 yellow papayas or 2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups, 1/2 pound, 8 oz, 225 g)
FOR THE LIME YOGURT CREAM:
1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin
4 large egg yolks at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar (3.5 oz, 99 g)
Grated zest and strained juice of 2 limes
1 cup heavy cream (8.12 oz, 232 grams)
1 cup plain yogurt, whole milk (8 oz, 227 grams)
1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream (8.5 oz, 242 grams)
FOR THE SPONGECAKE:
2 8- or 9-inch spongecake layers, homemade or storebought
1 package Savoirardi (ladyfinger) biscuits ( I used only 6 of those)
Fruit for garnish (I used oranges and blackberries )
1. To a medium saucepan over medium heat, add 3/4 cup of the sugar, half of the lime zest, half of the vanilla bean seeds with half of the pod or 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla, and 1/2 cup water. heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then extract simmer for 5 - 7 minutes until very syrupy, about 254 F on a candy thermometer (like maple syrup)
2. Add 1 1/2 cups of the pineapple or mango to the syrup, reserving the rest for garnish. Adjust the heat as needed to simmer gently until the fruit is glazed and softened but holds its shape, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod, if using. Transfer the fruit to a bowl and let cool.
3. In a saucepan, combine the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, the remaining lime zest, and the remaining vanilla extract with 1/2 up water. Heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, then simmer for 5 - 7 minutes until thick and syrupy, like maple syrup, reserving the rest for garnish. Add 1 1/2 cups of the mango, papaya, or other fruit to the syrup, reserving the rest for garnish. Cook gently until the fruit is glazed and softened, but holds its shape, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod. Transfer the fruit to a bowl.
4. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of a double boiler and bring an inch of water to a simmer in the boottom of the pan. In a small bowl combine gelatin with 2 teaspoons cold water and set aside. Place egg yolks, sugar, lime zest and juice in top of double boiler. Whisking constantly, heat yolks over simmering water until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes, the mixture should reach 170 to 180 F. Take egg mixture off heat and whisk in gelatin until it dissolves, about 20 seconds.
5. With electric mixer, whip cream until thickened and soft peaks just begin to form. Whisk yogurt and crème fraîche into yolk mixture, then whisk in whipped cream.
6. Slice layers of cake in half horizontally and trim so they fit into a large glass bowl. Place one layer in bowl. Starting at edge of bowl so that fruit shows through glass, place pineapple in one layer on cake. Spread a quarter of yogurt cream over the cake, then stand the ladyfingers upright on end against the glass and top with a second cake layer. Using a slotted spoon, spread a layer of mango on the cake, pressing the fruits against the sides of the bowl so they show through the glass. Spread another layer of the yogurt cream on the fruit and place orange slices standing up against the glass, then top with a third layer of cake. Top all with the pineapple or other fruit, extending the fruit over the entire cake layer (always making sure the fruit touches the glass). Spread another quarter of the yogurt cream on the fruit and top with the final cake layer. Spread the remaining yogurt cream on top. Before serving, press pieces of reserved fruit on top. Garnish with matchstick slivers of lime zest.
YIELD 12 to 15 servings