Chocolate Amaretti Trifle is a simple and elegant way to serve dessert in hot weather when you don’t want to turn on the oven. You can make it in a large bowl to serve a crowd, or use glasses to make the single serving version.
Each month the club organizer assigns each of us another member’s blog. We check out the blog and choose one of that blogger’s recipes to make for a monthly “reveal day” post. I always enjoy the process, but this month I have to say that I am totally bowled over by the amazing creations that Philip, the creator of Baking Fanatic, has made. A math teacher by day and an accomplished baker in his spare time, Philip had me drooling over so many of his creations that I almost could not bear to pick just one. For a display of his creations, check out his “about” page.
Still, my love of deep rich chocolate won out when I saw Philip’s recipe for St. Émilion Au Chocolat. It’s a no-bake, rich chocolate tart made with a crust of crushed macaroons soaked in brandy. Yes please. And when he tossed off the comment that one could make it layered “trifle-style” in individual ramekins or small glasses,” I was off to the races.
Chocolate Amaretti Trifle is simple to make if you use store-bought amaretti biscuits such as Amaretti di Saronna and either whipping cream or store-bought crème fraîche. (Crème fraîche is a French cream similar to sour cream, but thicker, richer and less tangy.) My recipe halves what Philip made and I converted the English metric measurements to American cups and ounces. Also, since I don’t eat raw eggs, I used mayonnaise as a substitute for the egg yolk in his recipe.
There are three layers in this Chocolate Amaretti Trifle. The bottom is an unbaked crust of cookies soaked in brandy. It has a lovely kick – a fun surprise as your spoon digs down to the bottom of the glass or ramekin. The second layer is rich chocolate, thicker than a pudding, but not hard. Finally the Chocolate Amaretti Trifle is topped by whipped cream or crème fraîche, with a few more brandy-soaked cookie crumbs on top.
Tips for Making Chocolate Amaretti Trifle (or Any Trifle for That Matter)
- Choosing Your Ramekin or Glasses – Be realistic about how much a single serving should be. Although an ice cream parfait glass may look pretty, it is probably too big for single serving of a rich trifle
- Keeping the Layers Neat – For the crust layer, pressing it down with the back of a spoon helps to create a firm surface for the next layer. Between the chocolate and cream, it is helpful to refrigerate the first layer before adding the second. That creates a barrier so that they do not meld into a single layer.
- Refrigerating the Trifle – For a perfectly gorgeous top layer of cream, refrigerate the amaretti crust and chocolate layers, adding the cream only at the last minute. However, if you want to have the dessert completely prepared ahead of time, fill the glass only 3/4 full and stretch a sheet of plastic wrap tightly over the top so that the cream does not touch the plastic.
Easy Single Serving Chocolate Amaretti Trifle
- 6 ounces almond macaroon cookies e.g. Amaretti di Saronna
- 2 ounces high quality brandy
- 2 ounces unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 ounces raw (turnbinado) sugar slightly under 1/2 cup
- 3 1/2 ounces of milk warmed to be quite hot, but not boiling
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 12 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 tablespoon espresso or 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (the powder is a baking ingredient, not instant coffee)
- 4 ounces dark chocolate roughly chopped, at least bittersweet but preferably 70% or more cocoa solids
- 1/2 teaspoon mayonnaise
- 3/4 - 1 cup whipped cream or crème fraîche
Crush most of the cookies into large crumbs in a bowl and sprinkle them with almost all of the brandy, reserving just a bit of the cookies and brandy for topping. Let the brandy soak in for a few minutes, then divide the brandy-soaked crumbs into the ramekins or glasses. Press them down with the back of a spoon.
Whisk or beat the butter and sugar together until they are well combined and the butter lightens in color. Raw sugar is coarse, so the granules will not disappear.
Add the salt, vanilla, espresso coffee (liquid or powder), and chocolate to the hot milk. Let those ingredients stand for a minute or two, then stir or whisk to combine them into a thick, chocolaty mixture.
Add the mayonnaise to the butter and sugar and slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the butter/sugar/mayonnaise. Stir and divide this mixture among the 4 ramekins or glasses.
Cover each ramekin or glass with a tightly stretched film of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least several hours.
When ready to serve, soak the remaining cookie crumbs in the remaining brandy, top each ramkein or glass with whipping cream or crème fraîche and sprinkle on the cookie crumbs.
Crème fraîche is French cream that is thicker, richer and less sour than sour cream.
For the top layer, whipping cream can be dabbed, spread, or piped in a fancy design on top. Crème fraîche is a bit less thick, so you can almost drizzle it in a design.