Quick Italian Trifle


by Heather Harris Brady

So you’re probably wondering why I don’t just call this tiramisu because it looks like tiramisu right? Indeed it does my friends, and it tastes very much like it as well. However, I named it something else because, quite frankly, this is a quick and dirty version. Dessert triage if you will, something you turn to when the guests are on their way and the dessert you made is now all over the floor. Or in my case, when a recipe you’re testing didn’t turn out!

Ideally this should chill for about two hours, but if you don’t have that kind of time you’ll see my notes below.

Quick Italian Trifle, Makes about eight 1″ slices

  • One sleeve of savoiardi biscuits
  • 1 c. semi-sweet mini chips
  • 1 cup of fresh, hot, strong coffee
  • 1/2 c. whipped cream cheese
  • 2-1/2 c. milk
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 pkg. unflavored gelatin, softened in 1/4 c. cold water
  • 1 T. sherry

First, make the filling. Put the milk into a shallow saucepan. Stir together the sugar and cornstarch, whisk them into the milk and put the pan on medium heat. Continue to whisk until thick, about five minutes. Whisk in the gelatin.


Add some of the hot milk to the eggs, stir and whisk the egg mixture. Cook for another two minutes, then whisk in the sherry and the cream cheese.


Set the pan into a larger pan of ice cubes and water to cool it down quickly while you get the next step done.

Line the bottom of a loaf pan with biscuits, breaking them as needed to cover most of the space. Spoon coffee over the biscuits, soaking them well (I used almost half a cup.). Then sprinkle them with chips.


Pour half of the cream over the biscuits, then repeat for the next layer.



You’ll end with a layer of cream, so crush the last two biscuits and sprinkle them over the top.


Now slide the pan into the freezer. Take it out after an hour and put it in the refrigerator if you’re not yet ready to serve. To serve, dust your plates with cocoa powder, then slice down and through the dessert with a spatula. The first piece is always the hardest.




There you have it! Store any leftovers in the fridge. You can cut out/back on the gelatin if you prefer a softer set. This might be a quick recipe but I’ve paid a lot more for a lot less-tasty restaurant tiramisu in my time.

One year ago: Saddle of Venison Cake


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