Friday, November 28, 2008
Dark Chocolate Espresso Trifle
This Thanksgiving, I decided to concoct my own recipe for a luscious dessert. I had made this dessert over a year ago and it was delicious, this time I revamped it a little and I believe it turned out even better.
For the Dark Chocolate Cake Layers:
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa powdered
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1-1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each addition.
3. Measure the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder, and espresso powder into a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine.
4. Measure the milk and vanilla into a measuring thing.
5. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
6. Divide batter into two 9" cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
For the Espresso Pastry Cream Layers:
2 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch table salt
5 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold), cut into 4 pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1.Heat half-and-half, 6 tablespoons sugar, and salt in medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until simmering, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.
2.Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks in medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until sugar has begun to dissolve and mixture is creamy, about 15 seconds. Whisk in cornstarch until combined and mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 30 seconds.
3. When half-and-half mixture reaches full simmer, gradually whisk simmering half-and-half into yolk mixture to temper. Return mixture to saucepan, scraping bowl with rubber spatula; return to simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until 3 or 4 bubbles burst on surface and mixture is thickened and glossy, about 30 seconds. Off heat, whisk in butter, vanilla and espresso powder. Transfer mixture to medium bowl and let cool in ice bath, stirring occasionally. (I also poured my pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve to ensure a creamier texture.)
For Sweetened Whipped Cream Layer:
1 pint whipping cream
Powdered sugar to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whip cream, sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
For Bittersweet Chocolate curls:
1 bar bittersweet chocolate
Let sit in warm place for 30-60 minutes. With vegetable peeler, slide along the bar lengthwise to make nice chocolate curls.
To Assemble, trim cake to fit your trifle dish. Layer cake, pastry cream, whipped cream and then repeat. Finish by sprinkling Chocolate curls. Refrigerate until ready to serve.