Monday, March 4, 2013

Chocolate Raspberry Trifle

I love me a good trifle. I thought my favorite trifle recipe couldn't be topped but over the weekend I tried a new recipe, and it sort of blew the original one out of the water. I made individual trifles, because I wanted to use my little dishes but of course you could use one large trifle dish, or if you don't have a trifle dish tall drinking glasses would work too. The winning part of this dessert is the rich chocolaty custard. I think in the future I'll forgo the trifle idea and just take a spoon and the bowl of custard with me to my closet, where I'll close the door and hide from the world, while I eat the entire thing while watching reruns of the bachelor on my computer. Heaven. That's my heaven. Anyway, the chocolate raspberry combination is delicious and I love the various textures, the chewy brownies, the airy whipped cream, the juicy raspberries. It's perfection in dessert form.
 Chocolate Raspberry Trifle
For the Brownies
For the Chocolate Custard
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
pinch salt
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
5oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the Whipped Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For assembling
1-2 pints fresh raspberries
bittersweet chocolate shaved or roughly chopped for layers and/or topping

Begin by making a batch of brownies, as they cool start on the custard.

Custard directions:
In a large bowl, mix together granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in 3/4 cup milk. In a large saucepan, bring remaining 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup cream to a boil over medium heat. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into cocoa mixture. Return it all to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking gently, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. (A simmering bubble or two is O.K., but do not let it boil.)

In a medium heat-resistant bowl, whisk yolks. Whisking constantly, very slowly dribble about half the cocoa-milk mixture into yolks until fully combined. Pour yolk mixture into saucepan with remaining cocoa-milk mixture, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking occasionally, over medium-low heat, until thick, about 5 minutes. (Do not let mixture come to a simmer. If pan begins to steam thickly, remove from heat for a few moments and stir well before continuing.) Let cool slightly.

Melt 5 ounces chopped chocolate with butter. Stir until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Cool 5 minutes, then fold into thickened egg mixture. Place plastic wrap directly against pudding (to prevent a skin from forming), and chill until set, about 3 hours.

Whipped cream directions:
Just before assembling, with an electric mixer, beat remaining 2 cups cream with 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until it forms mediumpeaks. Scraping sides to incorporate.

Assembly directions:
Cut cooled brownies into 1-inch squares. Fit a layer of brownie squares in bottom of a 4-quart trifle, glass, or other bowl. Top with half the pudding, a third of the whipped cream, a third of the remaining chopped chocolate and a third of the raspberries. Repeat layering until all ingredients have been used. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap and chill for up to 24 hours before serving.
*Pudding and brownies can be made up to 5 days ahead, and refrigerated. 

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