For the chocolate cake:
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
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¼ cup coffee
½ cup cocoa powder
3 cup packed brown sugar
Pinch of salt
For the passion fruit curd:
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ cup passion fruit purée
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
For the Champagne cream:
½ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
¾ cup Champagne (or other sparkling wine)
1/2 cup heavy cream
Fresh berries, to garnish
1. First, make the chocolate cake. Heat the oven to 350 F. Coat a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray, then line the bottom with kitchen parchment.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Stir in the coffee until smooth and glossy.
3. In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, cocoa, brown sugar and salt. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until slightly puffed and no longer loose at the center. Set aside to cool.
4. Meanwhile, make the passion fruit curd.
5. In a clean small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Add the passion fruit purée and beat again until smooth. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter and salt. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
6. To make the Champagne cream, set up a double boiler with 1 inch of water in the bottom pan. If you don’t have a double boiler, fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch of water, then set a large bowl over it.
7. In the top of the boiler or in the bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until smooth. Add the Champagne and whisk until smooth. Turn the heat to medium and continue to whisk until the mixture is light in color and has thickened to a soft, foamy cream, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
8. In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold the cream into the Champagne cream.
9. To assemble the trifle, cut the cooled chocolate cake into small cubes.
10. In parfait glasses, layer cubes of chocolate cake, passion fruit curd and Champagne cream, repeating the layers until the glasses are filled. Garnish with fresh berries. Enjoy immediately or cover and chill for up to eight hours.
— Alison Ladman, The Associated Press