Black-tie Chocolate Trifle

choc trifle

Ok, Here’s how it goes:

  1.  A divine, dense brownie soaked in hazelnut liqueur
  2.  A bed of crushed Ferrero Rocher chocolates
  3.  A velvety, absolutely delicious, chocolate pastry cream.
  4.  A cloud of vanilla whipped cream.


Take a large spoon, eat straight from the bowl and don’t tell a soul.

It’s that good.

choc trifle2

(photo: Demetris Vattis, styling: Roula Demetriou)

Black-tie Chocolate Trifle


For the brownie base

  • 200 gr unsalted butter
  • 100gr semisweet chocolate (I use Cadburys Bourneville)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup + 3 Tbs sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup Philadelphia style cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

For the chocolate pastry cream

  • 4 Tbs corn flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbs cocoa
  • 180 grams semisweet chocolate (I use Cadburys Bourneville)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80 grams unsalted butter

For the whipped cream

  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup Philadelphia style cream cheese
  • ½ cup icing sugar

To assemble the trifle

  • 14 Ferrero rocher chocolates, roughly chopped
  • 4 Tbs Frangelico (Hazelnut liqueur) or Tia Maria (Coffee liqueur)


Make the brownie. Preheat oven to 160 C. Line a 22 square brownie pan with greaseproof paper, base and sides. Leave some paper hanging from the sides. The paper will help you lift the brownie out of the pan once it’s cooked.

In a small saucepan melt the butter together with the chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Put mixture in a mixing bowl. Add cocoa and sugar. Beat to combine.

Add eggs, one at a time, and beat in vanilla extract. Beat in the cream cheese. Add sifted flour and beat to combine.

Transfer mixture into prepared brownie pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until centre is set. Let brownie cool in the pan. Once cooled, lift brownie out of the pan using the greaseproof paper. Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to assemble the trifle. You can make the brownie up to 24 hours in advance. Keep wrapped in the fridge.

Make the pastry cream: Put corn flour in a small bowl and add about ¼ cup of the milk. Stir to dissolve. Put the remaining milk in a saucepan, together with the cream and sugar, over medium-high heat. Once it starts to heat up add the cocoa and chocolate. Stir to melt the chocolate and dissolve the cocoa. Bring the mixture almost to a boil.

In a bowl of a stand mixer add the eggs and corn flour mixture. Beat to combine. With the beaters running slowly add the hot milk-chocolate mixture in a steady stream. Return the mixture back to the saucepan. Add the vanilla and stir over medium-low heat until cream starts to thicken. Keep stirring (a whisk is very good for this) until cream comes to a boil and it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove from the heat and add the butter. Keep whisking until butter has melted and cream is smooth. Transfer into a heatproof bowl. Cover cream with plastic wrap. The wrap must touch the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Let cream cool completely. You can make the cream up to 24 hours in advance. Keep covered in the fridge.

Make the vanilla whipped cream by mixing all ingredients together in a mixer bowl and beating on medium high speed until soft peaks form.

Assemble the trifle: Cut the brownie in about 1,5cm cubes. Spread about a cup of the chocolate pastry cream all over the base of a trifle dish. Put half of the brownie cubes on top. Drizzle the brownie with 2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur. Sprinkle brownie with 7 chopped chocolates. Cover with half of the remaining chocolate pastry cream. Top with half of the vanilla whipped cream.

Continue layering the remaining ingredients; brownie cubes, hazelnut liqueur, chocolates, pastry cream, whipped cream.

Transfer trifle in the fridge for 12 hours before serving. Trifle keeps in the fridge for 3 days.


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