This wonderful recipe, adapted from Bon Appetit (December 2005), would work just as well in summer as in winter. Mixing the white chocolate with cream mellows its intense sweetness, and the light hit of almond extract really adds to the balance of flavors. And with no custard to make, it's one of the easier trifles to whip up.
Makes 16 servings
3 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
12 ounces high-quality white chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
7 ounces crisp ladyfinger cookies
1 cup raspberry jam, melted in a saucepan over medium heat
1 1/2 12-ounce packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, partially thawed
2 6-ounce containers fresh raspberries
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Simmer 1 cup of cream in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate and whisk until smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Beat remaining 2 1/2 cups cream and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract in a large bowl to soft peaks. Fold in white chocolate mixture.
Stir sugar and water in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar melts. Mix in remaining 3/4 teaspoon almond extract and remove syrup from heat. Quickly submerge 1 ladyfinger in syrup and shake excess back into pan. Place dipped cookie in bottom of 14-cup trifle dish. Repeat with enough cookies to cover bottom of dish.
Spread 1/3 of melted jam over cookies in dish. Top with 1/3 of partially thawed berries with juices. Spread 1/3 of whipped chocolate cream over. Repeat layering with dipped ladyfingers, melted jam, partially thawed berries and whipped chocolate cream two more times. Mound fresh berries in center of trifle. Sprinkle almonds around edge. Cover and chill at least 5 hours and up to 24 hours.