Sunday, May 31, 2015

Chocolate Raspberry Trifle

A few days ago my husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary and the day after that he celebrated his birthday.  There's no big celebration--we're not party people-- other than going to a dinner with my parents last weekend; in fact, they've also had their wedding anniversary this month.  May is such a celebration month for our families, and the fact that it's when flowers are blooming makes it even better.  I'm such a flower person nowadays, an affection that I don't know where it comes from since I was quite a tomboy growing up.  It might have grown from the time I picked a camera and started shooting.

In the midst of work, chores and school stuff, I managed to make a trifle for us to enjoy this week.  Trifle is a great way to use cake, fruits and mousse together in a relaxed arrangement.  This chocolate and raspberry trifle called my name even if making it took more steps than I wanted too.  First it was the cake, then it's the mousse, then it's the whipped cream.  Between making those components, I also sneaked in strawberry jam making.  I was exhausted! :)  But once it's done, it's worth the time and effort of making it.  The chocolate cake is tender and in need of creamy daub which the mousse comes in place; that mousse is so good and custardy that eating it alone would not considered a sin.  Tart raspberries and soft whipped cream finish off the dessert to a perfection.

A slight modification is as follow:  the chocolate cake recipe is from King Arthur Flour website while the mousse and whipped cream recipe is from original Family Circle magazine.  I added freeze-dried raspberry crumbles for extra oomph and cocoa powder dusting at the end.  And I made several mini version of it for my husband's lunch box, those little jars make it easy to transport.

Chocolate Raspberry Trifle

Makes 24 servings

1 box (16.25 oz.) chocolate cake mix, or try this Self-Rising Chocolate Cake from King Arthur Flour, baked in the same size of pan
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
4 large egg yolks
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut up
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ½ cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 packages (6 oz each) fresh raspberries
Chocolate curls or cocoa powder, for garnish

Heat oven to 350F.  Coat a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Line bottom with wax paper; coat paper with spray.  Prepare cake mix as per package directions with eggs, oil and 1 ¼ cups water.  Bake at 350F for 35 minutes or until cake springs back when pressed.  Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; invert directly onto rack, remove paper and cool completely.

While cake cools, in a large metal bowl, combine egg yolks, ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup water and butter.  Place bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is pale and thickened and registers 160F on an instant-read thermometer, about 7 minutes.  Remove bowl from saucepan and whisk in chocolate until smooth.  In a separate bowl, beat 1 cup of the cream with 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the vanilla until medium-firm peaks form.  Fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture until no white remains.  Cover surface directly with plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Once cake has cooled, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes.  Whip remaining 1 ½ cups cream with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar to medium-firm peaks.  Begin layering trifle:  Spoon half the cake cubes into a 4-quart glass bowl or dish.  Compress slightly.  Spread half the chocolate mousse (about 1 ½ cups) over cake cubes.  Top mousse with 1 pkg of the raspberries and half the whipped cream (about 1 ½ cups).  Repeat layering and garnish with chocolate curls or cocoa powder.  Serve immediately or refrigerate up to overnight until serving.

Source:  adapted from Family Circle magazine, February 2015

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