Crème Malakoff – an Austrian Almond Cream Trifle
by eat in my kitchen
The Malakoff trifle is one of the most tempting desserts I have ever had on a spoon and although it’s quite a rich treat, I can’t get enough of it! My favourite recipe is from our dentist’s wife Margit. This passionate baker and her husband are longtime friends of our family and they are one of the sweetest couples I know, they make a great team on many levels! Margit is from Austria and she truly mastered the art of her country’s extravagant sweet creations. The Austrian cuisine is famous for its cakes, cookies and creams, what would the world be without the elegant Sachertorte, the rustic Kaiserschmarrn, chocolaty Brabanzerl cookies, cinnamony and buttery plum dumplings or the amazing Malakoff trifle? This is pure opulence on a plate!
Whenever Margit brought one of her delicate glass bowls filled with her luscious signature dish to my mother’s kitchen, my childish heart jumped with excitement. I could barely wait for the next birthday, Christmas or New Year’s party which would bring another Malkoff trifle to our table!
My beloved dessert starts with a heavenly buttercream refined with the sweet smoothness of liquid cream and lots of nutty almonds. This velvety richness is layered with rum and milk soaked ladyfingers and topped with whipped cream. The final result looks surprisingly light and fluffy, you just have to whip it long enough and all those eggs, butter and cream turn into luscious clouds of indulgence. Like Margit, I always make a trifle with the Malakoff cream, some prefer to turn it into a Charlotte or a cake, the Malakofftorte with homemade sponge cake. I like the convenience of a trifle made with store-bought ladyfingers, especially when we have guests over, like this Christmas or New Year’s Eve. I just layer the cream and sponges the day before the big event to let it all soak overnight.
Yesterday, I ate the last portion, it was our Christmas Eve dessert and it was still fantastic. I just served it with pomegranate and lychees for some fresh sourness to balance out all that wonderful creaminess.
The ingredients for the buttercream (butter, eggs and heavy cream) have to be at room temperature to bind!
For a 2l / 4.5 pint glass bowl for 4-6 people you need
butter, soft, 120g / 4.5 ounces
sugar 140g / 5 ounces
fresh organic egg yolks, at room temperature, 3
heavy cream, at room temperature, 250ml / 8.5 ounces plus 250ml / 8.5 ounces (cold) for the whipped topping
ground almonds 140g / 5 ounces plus 1-2 tablespoons for the topping
ladyfingers about 250g / 9 ounces
milk 150ml / 5 ounces, to dip the ladyfingers in
rum 50-75ml / 2 – 2.5 ounces (to taste), to dip the ladyfingers in
almonds 14, for the topping
In a bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and mix for about 2 minutes before you whisk in the egg yolks. Mix for a few minutes until the sugar dissolved, the mixture should be light and fluffy. Slowly pour in the warm cream (in drops) and continue mixing until the the egg-butter mixture and the heavy cream are combined, this will take about 7 minutes. Gently stir in the ground almonds with a wooden spoon.
In a deep plate, mix the milk and rum, dip in the ladyfingers (both sides) and spread 1 layer in the glass bowl. Cover with half the buttercream and continue with the next layer of soaked ladyfingers. Spread the remaining cream on top and finish with the third (and the last) layer of ladyfingers. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge overnight.
Whip the cold heavy cream just before serving and put on top of the trifle. Sprinkle with ground and whole almonds.
Take the trifle out of the fridge about 15-20 minutes before serving.