Chocolate, espresso, strawberries and whipped cream. Music to my ears, and some of the most delectable words in the dessert lexicon.
This week we are working with simple ingredients to create something tasty and aesthetically pleasing — Strawberry Mocha Trifle.
I know what you’re thinking: “You had me at aesthetically pleasing.” But not only does this look pretty and, I must admit, a bit regal (um, you reading this, Prince William and Kate?).
It tastes like a little bit of love in every bite.
This isn’t the traditional English trifle (shoot, I just lost Will and Kate). But variations of this dessert are abundant, so we shouldn’t be ticking anybody off too bad. I chose my layers as pound cake, strong espresso, thinly sliced strawberries, whipped cream, toasted almonds and chocolate shavings.
It’s a bit funny that many trifles have liquor in them and I am choosing not to use it in my recipe. I know people are falling off their bar stools right about now with that news, but I feel it will be just as good sans booze. I will be drinking alongside the dessert, of course. I mean, come on, did you think I gave it up for Lent or something?
I love the layering effect of the trifle. The colors, the textures, the flavors, all melding into one. I have a nice clear bowl I’m using, but you could certainly use smaller glass bowls and make individual ones (red wine glasses work, too). I do, however, like the one big bowl with a stem. It’s fun to dig into and looks like you spent an eternity making it just right for your guests. I guess I like the ooohhs and ahhhhs. There, I said it. I know it sounds a bit “trifle” (insert rimshot), but I’m betting you will like the ooohs and ahhhhs too. So do yourself a favor and get your dessert-layering pants on. All your regal friends will thank you.
Now, follow the directions, put some love into it and invite me over when it’s done.
Strawberry Mocha Trifle
1 pound cake (homemade or store bought)
1/2 cup hot water
1 tbsp. instant espresso powder
16-ounce container strawberries (sliced)
3/4 cup sliced toasted almonds (place on baking sheet at 350 for 5-7 minutes)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
Chocolate bar for garnish (optional)
In small cup, add espresso powder to hot (warm) water. Stir and let sit. Cut pound cake lengthwise three times. Make five cuts across width-wise to make 18 pieces of cake.
In trifle bowl (large glass bowl with a stem) or a two- to three-quart glass mixing bowl, arrange half of pound cake on bottom. Saturate each piece of pound cake with espresso. Add half of toasted almonds over top of cake. Arrange half of strawberries down the side of bowl and over top of pound cake.
Beat whipping cream, powdered sugar, salt and unsweetened cocoa powder until hard peaks form.
Add half of whipped cream mixture over top of espresso-soaked cake, top whipped cream with rest of pound cake, dust cake with espresso powder. Add sliced strawberries (set aside one or two for garnish) on top of cake. Add remaining whipped cream over top. Cover and put in refrigerator for at least five hours or overnight.
Before serving, grate a bit of a chocolate bar (or sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder) over top, add remaining toasted almonds, add whole or sliced strawberries to finish it off.
Serve and enjoy! Note: You can use my pound cake recipe from last week, omitting the lemon. Store-bought works great, too. These can also be made individually by using parfait, wine or sundae glasses.