Mocha Cream Trifle

Chocolate cake and espresso cream combined with Cognac make this an elegant yet easily assembled dessert.

Ingredients

Espresso cream

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup espresso
  • 1 cup milk
  • tablespoons cornstarch
  • ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cups heavy (whipping) cream

Cognac Syrup

A 2½-quart bowl

Method

To make the espresso cream

Place the egg yolks and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk until thick. Stir in the espresso, the milk, and then the cornstarch.

Transfer the espresso milk to a noncorrosive heavy-bottomed saucepot. Stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, cook the mixture over medium low heat for about 10 minutes, until thick. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot or the espresso milk will stick and burn. Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the chocolate and vanilla extract.

Strain the espresso mixture through a strainer. Transfer it to a stainless steel bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the espresso base until cool.

Put the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on high speed until soft peaks form. Fold it into the espresso cream. Refrigerate the cream until you are ready to assemble the trifle.

For the Cognac syrup

Stir together the simple syrup and the Cognac. Set aside.

To assemble the trifle

Slice the sponge cake in half horizontally. Pour a ¼- to ½-inch-thick layer of espresso cream in the bottom of the -quart bowl. Cut and fit cake pieces, forming a single layer over the espresso cream. Brush the cake with some of the Cognac syrup and again top with espresso cream.

Repeat the layering process, beginning with cake pieces, until the bowl is full, ending with the espresso cream.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Spoon the trifle from the bowl and serve with cognac custard sauce.

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