Limoncello Mascarpone Trifle
This recipe is for a trifle (using cake rather than lady fingers) For Tiramisu, substitute 3 packages Italian lady fingers for the cake, and lay them into a 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
For the Cake
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and coat the inside of a 1/2sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray, or with a silicone baking liner.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and soda.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until creamy, add the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla; the mixture will look curdled.
4. With the machine on low speed, add the flour mixture a bit at a time, until the mixture begins to come together. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until the batter is smooth.
5. Pour the batter into the sheet pan, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
6. OR: One Sara Lee pound cake, cut into 1/2-inch slices
For the Lemon Curd
1 cup sugar
6 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Limoncello
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1. In a saucier, over medium heat, whisk together the sugar, eggs, and lemon juice, and cook, whisking constantly until the lemon curd comes to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat, stir in the Limoncello, and whisk in the butter a bit at a time. Push the lemon curd through a sieve into a clean bowl, and press plastic wrap into the lemon curd. Allow to cool completely.
3. The lemon curd will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
4. If you prefer to buy lemon curd, I recommend the Stonewall Kitchens brand—you will need at least 3 cups.
For the Mascarpone crème
3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a whisk, beat together the heavy cream and sugar, until stiff peaks form.
2. Add the mascarpone, and beat together until blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Limoncello Brushing Liquid
3/4 cup Limoncello
1/4 cup water
Blend together the Limoncello and water, and set aside.
Limoncello brushing liquid
1. Choose an 8 to 10 cup glass bowl, and cut the cake into pieces that will fit into the bottom of the bowl. Brush with some of the Limoncello mixture.
2. Spread a 1/2-inch layer of lemon curd over the cake, and top the lemon curd with 1/2-inch of the mascarpone crème.
3. Continue layering cake, brush with Limoncello, layer curd, and mascarpone crème, ending with mascarpone crème. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours, and serve cold.
4. Variation: The trifle can be served in individual parfait glasses, if desired.
5. Another Variation: After spreading the lemon curd, sprinkle the curd with your choice of berries: sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries.