Sweet Summer Sensation: strawberries, pinch cake and lemonade mousse

My neighbourhood has recently added a Thursday evening market, the 124 Street Grand Market to be exact, to its’ list of wonderful qualities. It’s an eclectic little thing with flowers arranged in bottles labelled “everyday bouquets”, vintage trinkets redesigned as pretty jewellery, vegan donuts labelled ‘cabana boys’ and strawberries in those sweet little turquoise green cartons. I managed to keep my purchases to a minimum and indulged only in two boxes of the berries. It was a worthy indulgence; they were delightful on their own.

And they were delightful in a trifle. Trifle is such a wonderful summer dessert. It basically comes down to stuffing fruit, some sort of sauce and a bit of cake into a glass and calling it a sweet summer sensation. Trifle can be anything from left over poppy-seed cake bits layered with a bit of sweetened greek yogurt and a little fruit in a beer mug, to a towering parfait-esque masterpiece of cake, cream and berry. I drove straight down the middle of the road. It was no tower, but I did bake a cake for those berries to sit on and surround them with a mousse reminiscent of lemonade and stick it all in a pretty little (borrowed) bowl.

Trifle: Pinch Cake, Lemonade Mousse & Strawberries

Cake
Adapted from Tartelette
1 cup almond flour
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
6  eggs
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons white rice flour
Preheat the oven to 325F/160C. Line a quarter sheet pan with a sheet of parchment paper and slightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
Combine the almond flour with 2 Tbsp sugar, use a whisk to great up any lumps. Place the eggs into a measure with a spout and whisk them just to break them up. In a stand mixer fitter with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium low-speed until foamy. Increase the speed and whisk until soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining cup of sugar. Continue beating until the meringue is thick and glossy. With the beater off, stir in the almond mixture until evenly incorporated.
Reattach the whisk and with the mixer on medium speed, add the beaten eggs to the meringue, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating for 2 minutes after each addition. It should take a total of 20-25 minutes but be sure to beat for a minimum of 20 minutes. Add the lemon zest. Sprinkle the flour over the batter and fold until completely incorporated. Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon Curd
from (this is the best recipe: no straining and the water bath makes it easy to get it to the proper consistency without lumps)  The Pastry Studio
4 egg yolks
2 eggs
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C fresh lemon juice
In a heatproof bowl whisk together 4 egg yolks and 2 eggs with sugar. Whisk in lemon juice. Place over a double boiler or water bath of simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Cook until the curd thickens, stirring constantly.
Pour the curd into a clean bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface. Cool to room temperature.

Lemonade Mousse
1 1/2 cup lemon curd
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
Whip the cream to stiff peaks. Fold lemon curd in two additions. (You will have left over lemon curd, which you could layer into the trifle for extra zing or save it for other worthy indulgences…)

a pile of sliced strawberries, or blueberries or raspberries….

To Assemble:
I like to put a trifle together in a transparent vessel, that way everyone can see the layers before diving in with a spoon and destroying them. Cut the cake into 1 ” squares. At the bottom of each of 8 glasses, bowls, mugs, etc place one layer of cake. Top with the sliced berries. Top this with a large spoonful of the lemonade mousse. Use the spoon to spread the mousse to the edges of your glass. Repeat: cake, berries, mousse. If you are using a larger glass, two layer is probably enough, if your trifle-container is tiny, you may want to go for a third. Just make sure to end with the mousse.

Enjoy xo

PS. If you live in Edmonton, be sure to check out the 124 St Grand Market on Thursday from 5-9, it is just darling.

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2 Responses to Sweet Summer Sensation: strawberries, pinch cake and lemonade mousse

  1. This looks incredible!

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