Recipe: Aunt Sherry’s Tipsy Trifle (Kave Becsipett Torta)

Recipe: Aunt Sherry’s Tipsy Trifle (Kave Becsipett Torta)
Photo: Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle

Aunt Sherry’s Tipsy Trifle (Kave Becsipett Torta).

Aunt Sherry’s Tipsy Trifle (Kave Becsipett Torta).

Aunt Sherry’s Tipsy Trifle (Kave Becsipett Torta)

Serves 10 to 12

Cake

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 large eggs, room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup pastry flour (3.75 ounces)

Sherry syrup

1 cup hot, freshly brewed coffee

¾ cup demerara sugar

cup Oloroso Sherry

Meyer lemon cream

4 Meyer lemons

2 large eggs

4 large egg yolks

½ cup granulated sugar

5 ounces (½ cup, plus 1½ tablespoons) cold butter, cut into cubes

2 cups heavy whipping cream

Garnish

¼ cup demerara sugar

1 Meyer lemon, thinly sliced

Make the cake: Adjust the rack to the lower third of the oven; preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour an 8-inch round cake pan; set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Pour into a small bowl; set nearby.

Place the eggs and sugar in a large, heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl on top of a medium saucepan that’s filled with just-simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and lightly whisk until the mixture is warm to the touch. Add the salt; using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is tripled in volume, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Fold the flour into the mixture in thirds, mixing until just incorporated. Pour about 1 cup of the batter into the melted butter, and fold just until combined. Return the butter mixture into the reserved batter, and again fold to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until the top springs back slightly when lightly touched, about 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the outside edge of the cake and invert the cake onto a rack. Cool completely.

Make the syrup: Whisk together the coffee and sugar until the sugar is dissolved, then add the Sherry. Chill completely. Reserve ¼ cup of the syrup for the lemon garnish.

Make the lemon cream: Zest and juice the lemons. Set aside the zest and strain the lemon juice so there’s no pulp. (You should have about ½ cup of juice and 3 tablespoons of zest.) Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, lemon juice and sugar in a heat-resistant bowl. Place the bowl on top of a medium saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Whisk constantly until the mixture is thick and reaches about 165 degrees to 175 degrees. Pass through a fine-mesh strainer into another bowl, then whisk in the lemon zest, followed by the butter, adding it a few pieces at a time. Whisk until completely smooth. (If you have an immersion blender, you can spare your arm and use it to incorporate the butter.) Cover the surface with plastic wrap and chill completely.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream until it has medium peaks. Using a spatula, vigorously stir the chilled lemon curd to smooth it out. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the curd to lighten it, followed by the remaining whipped cream. Cover and chill until ready to use.

To assemble and garnish: Slice the cake horizontally into 3 equal layers. Place the first layer of cake in an 8-inch wide trifle dish. Use a pastry brush to brush the cake with ½ cup to ¾ cup of the syrup (depending on how boozy you want your trifle). Let the layer sit for about 5 to 10 minutes to fully absorb the syrup. Top with 1/3 of the lemon cream. Repeat with the remaining layers of cake, syrup and cream, finishing with a layer of cream on top. Let the trifle chill in the refrigerator while you make the garnish.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the sugar and reserved ¼ cup syrup until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Place the lemon slices in a small oven-proof baking dish, top with the syrup, cover with foil and bake until the skins just begin to turn translucent, about 30 minutes. (If it looks like the lemon slices are too soft, put the pan in an ice bath to arrest the cooking.) Remove from oven, uncover and, when the lemon slices are cool, remove from the syrup and pat dry.

Arrange the candied lemon slices decoratively on top of your trifle and serve.

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