Serves 12 | prep 30 mins | total time
For the custards
- 350ml whole milk
- 300ml double cream
- 6 large egg yolks
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract or the seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- 50g cornflour
- 50ml Kahlua or Tia Maria
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
For the trifle
- 1 x 235g cappuccino Swiss roll sponge
- 75ml Kahlua or Tia Maria
- 3 tbsp freshly made espresso or strong coffee, cooled
- 100g Belgian dark cook’s chocolate (54% cocoa solids), cut into fine shards
- 1 x 250g tub mascarpone
- 400ml double cream
- 50g caster sugar
- dark and white chocolate curls (see Kitchen Secret)
- 1 tbsp gold pearls from an 80g pack
Make the chocolate custard the day before. The trifle can be assembled up to the end of step 3 up to 1 day ahead. Make the chocolate curls up to 1 day ahead; chill. Top with cream and decorate before serving.
- For the custard, heat the milk and cream in a large pan until almost boiling. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar, vanilla and cornflour in a mixing bowl. Pour the hot milk over the egg yolks, stirring until smooth. Pour back into the rinsed-out pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, until you have a thick custard.
- Divide between two bowls, making one half a little bigger than the other (one 400g, one 450g). Into the bigger amount, add the Kahlua plus the cocoa powder and beat well. Cover both bowls on the surface with clingfilm, cool for 30 minutes then chill for about an hour until cooled completely (or overnight).
- To make the chocolate curls for the decoration, melt the dark chocolate and white chocolates in 2 separate bowls over 2 pans of barely simmering water. Spread thinly onto the back of 2 clean baking trays, to about 15cm square. Leave to set in the fridge until just firm but not brittle. Run the blade of a knife over the surface of the chocolate to make large curls – then transfer to a lined tray and chill until ready to decorate.
Tip You can replace the homemade custard with 2 x 500ml tubs chilled custard. Start the recipe by mixing just 2 tsp cornflour with the cocoa powder and 4 tbsp. milk to form a paste, then mix with 1 tub of custard in a small pan. Cook gently for 2-3 minutes until thickened then stir in 50ml Kahlua and beat well. Cover the surface with clingfilm, cool for 30 mins, then chill for about 2hr or overnight until cold. In step 5, beat the mascarpone into the second tub of custard then proceed with the recipe as above.
- To assemble the trifle, slice the cappuccino roll into 1cm slices and use to line the base and sides of a 1.8-2 litre trifle bowl. Mix the Kahlua and espresso together and drizzle over the sponge. Scatter with half of the chocolate shards.
- Beat the mascarpone into the vanilla custard until smooth. Spoon half of this onto the soaked sponge, making sure you can see some of it in between the slices of sponge, and add the rest of the chocolate shards. Cover with the chocolate-coffee custard then the rest of the vanilla custard.
- Lightly whip the cream and sugar until just holding its shape then pile onto the custard. Chill for at least 3 hours until ready to serve. Pile the chocolate curls onto the trifle just before serving and scatter with gold pearls.
To make the chocolate curls, melt 100g each dark and white chocolate in separate bowls over barely simmering water. Spread thinly onto the back of 2 clean baking trays, to about 15cm square. Leave to set in the fridge until just firm but not brittle. Run the blade of a knife over the surface of the chocolate to make large curls – then transfer to a lined tray and chill until needed.