Raspberry and White Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake Trifle

raspberry trifles

Raspberries and I go way back. As far as I can remember we've always had raspberry bushes in the backyard of my childhood home in Connecticut. And even then we made it a yearly summer activity to visit a pick-your-own raspberry farm in Easton where I loaded up on raspberries, both in my tummy, and in my basket. Lots of time has passed since then. I no longer live in the States, and the farm has since closed. But now that I'm in Budapest, Hungary, I always make sure to load up on fresh fruit and berries at the markets in the height of summer. But now that it's turned into September, I know that raspberries won't be with us for too long. So to celebrate my favorite berry I want to share with you my favorite dessert that features them.

The classic raspberry trifle is a really easy dessert, because it can be made easily with store-bought ingredients. It's one of the reasons why I love it so much. Anytime you have a craving for a nicely chilled no-bake, dessert you can whip it together. I first experienced this sensational dessert while studying abroad one summer in London. And ever since I've been making different variations of trifle. This one includes Italian shortbread cookies, mascarpone cheese, and white chocolate. There's really no baking or cooking involved, except for melting the white chocolate. And, if you're so inclined, cooking the homemade raspberry jam, for which I'm including a recipe below. But you can easily use your favorite store-bought jam with no issues.

While dreaming up this variation of a trifle, I wanted to capture the flavors of those no-bake boxed cheesecakes from my childhood, the ones that had the cookie-crumb crust and the cream cheese filling. The only difference is I add some white chocolate, which is my favorite pairing with raspberries besides dark chocolate. For the cookie-crumb layer I use store-bought Italian butter cookies, but feel free to use your favorite cookies like vanilla wafers or butter cookies. Once you've assembled the individual trifles, be sure to chill them to achieve that thick cheesecake-like texture. This is the perfect dessert for wishing summer a proper farewell!

Raspberry and White Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake Trifle

3.5 ounces white chocolate, plus more for topping
8 ounces (250 grams) mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
6 ounces cookies, crumbled
1 jar raspberry jam, recipe follows
12 ounces raspberries
whipped cream, for topping

Bring a small saucepan of water, fitted with a heatproof bowl, to a boil. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the surface of the boiling water--there should be about an inch of space. Break the bar of white chocolate into chunks and add it to the bowl. Stir the white chocolate until it melts completely, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside to cool.

To a large mixing bowl, add the mascarpone cheese and half of the heavy cream. Stir until the cheese has loosened. Add the powdered sugar and stir to combine. Add the remaining heavy cream and stir until you have a smooth consistency.

To layer the individual trifles, start with the cream mixture, then a layer of crumbled cookies, then the raspberry jam, and add a few fresh raspberries. Repeat this layering one more time and top with a layer of the cream mixture. Refrigerate the trifles for two hours to firm up the cream mixture.

Remove the trifles from the fridge. Top each with whipped cream, a grating of white chocolate, and top with additional fresh raspberries. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

Raspberry Jam

12 ounces raspberries
1/3 cup light-brown sugar
1 lemon, juiced
pinch sea salt

Combine the raspberries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, and cook until thick, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring periodically to prevent any scorching.

Pour into a small jam jar, tighten with the lid, and let cool before storing in the refrigerator for up to a month unopened. Use within 2 weeks once opened. Yield: 1 jar of raspberry jam.


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