Spur of the moment trifle... without the triviality.

Silly's mom has recently developed a serious crush on tiramisu.

The boy and I were planning a little gourmet celebration for her birthday: dinner by the insanely attractive son, dessert by yours truly.

And I was completely stumped at what to make.

I woke up late the morning of with the inspiration... tiramisu!


Three problems...

1. I've never made tiramisu in my relatively short life.

2. No ladyfingers. Where do you even get ladyfingers??

3. Where the hell am I going to find time to bake some cake-like substance in order to make said tiramisu by tonight?

The solution? Serious recipe-tweaking and spontaneous trifle-making.

So grab one of those guilty, store-bought pound cakes (hello, Costco!), a tub of mascarpone cheese, and get your trifle on!
 Oh, and you'll totally impress that boy's mom.

Tiramisu Trifle - makes 1 large bowl (about 8-10 servings) (liberally adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours)

One 1 lb pound cake - cut into 1/2 inch slices (I purchased a three pack from Costco and froze the other two!)

Espresso Extract:
2 tablespoons espresso powder
2 tablespoons boiling water (I microwaved the water in a heatproof dish)

Espresso Syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Kahlua

Whipped Mascarpone Filling:
1 8oz package mascarpone cheese
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon Kahlua
2 cups cold heavy whipping cream

A small bar of dark chocolate, shaved
Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

For Espresso Extract and Syrup:
Whisk espresso powder into boiling water until granules are dissolved. Set aside.
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the liqueur and 1 tablespoon of the extract.

For the Mascarpone Filling:
In a large bowl, cream together mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, espresso extract and liqueur with a wooden spoon until smooth.
With a stand or hand mixer, whip heavy cream to firm peaks. Stir one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Fold the remainder of the whipped cream into the mixture with a light hand until incorporated and fluffy.

To Soak the Pound Cake:
Pour espresso syrup into a shallow glass dish (I used a 13x9 baker). Drop a slice of pound cake into the syrup, quickly flip, and remove (The cake really soaks up the syrup).

To Assemble the Trifle:
Arrange a slice or two of the syrup-soaked pound cake in the bottom of a large bowl or trifle dish (I arranged one whole slice in the middle and two half slices on either side). Dollop a few scoops of the filling onto the soaked cake and spread evenly. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate and a dusting of cocoa powder. Repeat layers until bowl is full or layers are used up. Top with more shaved chocolate and cocoa powder.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving. Serve cold right out of the fridge, or slightly softened at room temperature. Yum!


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