Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chocolate Cookies 'n Cream Trifle

I happen to like trifle.

It doesn't have to be a standard custard-jelly affair. I like the custard-jelly type too, don't get me wrong. But there are a million ways to go about it.

So what do you make for dessert for last-minute dinner guests when you don't know three out of four of them (and therefore you don't know what they may or may not like)?

You go with chocolate, that's what you do.

I whipped up this trifle, which I'd never made before, and I sort of improvised the ingredients and recipe as I walked through the aisles of the grocery store. "Ooh Oreos! Let's put those in!" That sort of thing.

I thought it looked great when I put it into the fridge to chill. But when it came closer to serving, I thought to myself, "Why did I make something I've never made before, something I haven't tasted, for a dinner party?!"

Well I didn't need to worry because it turned out to be a big hit, so I thought I'd share the recipe.


Coffee syrup:
1/3 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder

Chocolate custard:
3/4 cup milk
70g semisweet chocolate chips or 70g dark chocolate
1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla custard powder
3 tablespoons milk

3 chocolate cupcakes (or about 4 ounces of any chocolate cake)
4 Oreo cookies

4 to 6 tablespoons cream*

  1. Dissolve the sugar and coffee in the boiling water to make the syrup.
  2. In a separate bowl, crumble the cupcakes (or cake) into small pieces. Drizzle the syrup over the cake, a tablespoon at a time, allowing the cake to soak it up before adding more. Stir the mixture and continue to slowly add more syrup, a little at a time, until there are no dry bits, but the mixture should not be soggy or watery. You may not need to use all of the syrup.
  3. Take two dessert glasses and spoon a quarter of the cake mixture into each glass.
  4. For each glass, break up an Oreo cookie into small pieces and arrange on top of the cake.
  5. To make the custard, add 3/4 cup milk, sugar and chocolate into a saucepan and cook on low heat until the sugar and chocolate dissolve.
  6. If you're using dark chocolate, you may need to add more sugar to the custard. Taste the milk before adding the custard powder and add more sugar according to your liking. You don't want a very sweet custard though, because there is already a lot of sweetness from the syrup in which the cake is soaked and from the Oreos.
  7. Meanwhile, dissolve the custard powder in three tablespoons milk.
  8. When the sugar and chocolate has dissolved in the milk, bring the mixture to a boil and then slowly add the custard dissolved in milk, whisking constantly. When the custard has thickened, remove from heat.
  9. Let the custard cool a little, for two or three minutes, stirring frequently with a whisk to keep the custard smooth.
  10. Spoon two to three tablespoons of the chocolate custard into each of the two dessert glasses.
  11. Repeat theses layers; divide the remaining cake mixture amongst the two dessert glasses, followed by an Oreo (broken into small pieces) in each glass, and then finally spoon over the remaining custard into each glass.
  12. Let the trifles cool for about 15 minutes, then spoon two to three tablespoons each of cream on top of the second layer of custard.
  13. Chill in the refrigerator for at least three hours, overnight if possible. Dust with cocoa before serving, or decorate with grated chocolate.
(This recipe will make two individual servings. To make it in a single large bowl, multiply the recipe by four. *Use 1 cup of cream if you are making the trifle in a single large serving bowl.)

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