Thursday, November 19, 2015

Chocolate Caramel Trifle with Raspberries: An Alternative to Pumpkin Pie

Photo: Sunset
Sunset has a wonderful list of 28 Thanksgiving desserts. Most call for pumpkin or cranberries but the one that stands out for me is Chocolate Caramel Trifle with Raspberries. This chocolate trifle is outstanding... and decadent. Below is the original recipe and an easy adaptation for the Time Challenged Cook.

Chocolate Caramel Trifle with Raspberries

Note: Make and cool pastry cream while cake bakes and cools.

About 1/2 cup (1/4 lb) sweet butter, at room temperature
About 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup hazelnut- or coffee-flavor liqueur
Caramel Pastry Cream
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries (6 oz.), rinsed and drained

1. Butter and flour 9-inch square baking pan.
2. Coarsely chop 3 ounces of the chocolate and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in  microwave oven on full power (100%), stirring every 30 seconds, until melted and smooth, about 1 1/2 minutes total.
3. In large bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, beat 1/2 cup butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate.
4. In another bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, stir to combine, then beat until well blended. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread level.
5. Bake in 350° regular or convection oven until cake begins to pull from pan sides, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cake cool to room temperature in pan on a rack, about 1 1/2 hours.
6. Run thin knife between cake and pan sides and invert onto board to release. Cut cake into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes. Layer third of cubes in the bottom of a 3- to 3 1/2-quart trifle bowl or other straight-sided glass bowl. Drizzle 1/4 cup liqueur evenly over cake. Spoon third of Caramel Pastry Cream over cake and spread level. Repeat to make two more layers each of cake, liqueur, and pastry cream, ending with pastry cream. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
7. Finely chop remaining 1 ounce chocolate or scrape into curls. Arrange raspberries on trifle and sprinkle chocolate evenly over berries. Scoop onto dessert plates to serve.

Easy Adaptation:
Use a good chocolate cake mix. You can also substitute caramel syrup for the caramelized sugar in the pastry cream. Fast and easy. I serve this trifle in a glass bowl with straight sides. Trifles should be seen and admired, as well as taste good.

Photograph: James Carrier for Sunset. Yours will look this good, too!

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