The original recipe called for Grand Marnier. Of the orange liqueurs, Grand Marnier tends to be somewhat bitter, Cointreau is sweet, and Grand Suzette is somewhere in between. (I don’t like the flavor of orangecello.) A trifle isn't that difficult to make, although it can take some time if you make your own ladyfingers. Just plan ahead so it has at least a day to chill and let the flavors blend and the ladyfingers soften.
Orange Trifle with Grand Marnier Cream
Adapted from Sunset Magazine, Dec. 2008
zest of 5 oranges
12-14 medium oranges
1/2 c. orange liqueur
1/2 c. orange marmalade
12 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened (if unavailable, use softened cream cheese)
3/4 c. whipping cream
10 oz. ladyfingers* (if unavailable in your grocery store, make your own or use crushed sugar cookies, not pound cake—it’s the wrong texture)
1/4 c. orange marmalade
1 T. orange liqueur
Peel and segment oranges to make 4 cups of segments and 1/2 cup of juice. In a bowl, mix liqueur and marmalade; add oranges and juice and stir. Macerate for 2 hours. Then drain the oranges, reserving the liquid.
In a mixer, combine mascarpone and whipping cream; beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside 1/4 cup of orange juice liquid; add the remaining juice mixture to the cheese mixture. Mix until blended (mixture will be softly creamy).
In a trifle bowl or straight-sided serving bowl, layer one-third of the ladyfingers on the bottom; drizzle with a little of the reserved juice mixture. Top with one-third of the whipped cream mixture, then add a layer of one-third of the orange segments. Repeat for two more layers, ending with orange segments in a decorative spiral on the top.
Heat marmalade with orange liqueur just until it’s a bit melted. Brush over the top layer of oranges. Chill for 3-4 hours.