Saturday, 24 January 2015

Chocolate Orange Brownie Trifle: A Christmas Day Showstopper!

We spent Christmas day at my in laws this year, and I was tasked with the Christmas day dessert.  I spent months planning what I was going to make, and changed my mind a million times in between! In my mind a Christmas dessert should always involve peppermint, but since it gives my husband insane heartburn that was off the table! So then we came up with the idea of chocolate orange...I'm not really a fan of orange flavoured desserts - you won't have seen anything on my blog featuring orange before for this reason! so it's slightly ironic that this dessert turned into the craziest orange overload ever!!  In my mind it's also not Christmas without a trifle, but I don't like custard and knew I didn't want to make a boring old traditional trifle so a brownie trifle with mousse layers seemed like a great alternative! and before I knew it, this 9 layer beast had been dreamt up in my head!

I knew it needed to look impressive sitting on the table (that's how I imagined I'd serve it turned out I served it straight from the fridge and dished it up into bowls whilst everyone was in a different room so no one saw it anyway!!) but it made me happy at least that it looked pretty in the bowl! I had planned to do Christmas tree shaped brownies around the inside of the bowl, but my Christmas tree cutter was larger than I had remembered it being! so I settled on stars...which are still slightly festive! Luckily they were so moist they just stuck to the side of the bowl all by themselves! and then the subsequent layers that I filled the bowl with held them in place! 

Layers of brownie chunks started off the fun...followed by a nice thick layer of milk chocolate orange mousse, and then a layer of chopped up Terry's chocolate orange pieces...

Followed by another generous layer of brownie chunks, these were level with the brownie stars around the bowl too.  This was topped with a generous layer of white chocolate orange mousse...

followed by, you've guessed it, more Terry's chocolate orange pieces!

 Some piped on whipped double cream brought everything together, and I used mini Terry's chocolate orange pieces to decorated, and crumblings of flake too...because it's not a trifle unless it's been crumbled with flake - fact!

There were a lot of components but all were pretty straightforward and it came together quicker than expected.  I used the amazing Ghirardelli brownie box mix from Costco because when it's 8pm on Christmas Eve and you haven't started on dessert yet, you need to cut some corners! but if you had more time than me you could obviously make your own brownies! I also used shortcut mousse recipes, that didn't require egg, because I didn't have time for things to go wrong so a cream cheese no fail mousse was the way forward! 

Although you'd think it would be too much orange in one dessert, it was perfectly balanced by the creaminess of the mousse layers, and the richness of the chocolate brownie and the tang from the cream on top helped to break through the sweetness - I wanted another helping immediately after eating my first! which for an orange hater shows just how yummy this dessert really was! 

Chocolate Orange Brownie Trifle:
Serves 15-20
From Cupcake Crazy Gem

2 pans of chocolate fudge brownies (8x8 size and 9x13) 
I used Ghirardelli Brownie mix - you could make your own from scratch

Milk Chocolate Orange Mousse:
125g milk chocolate
100g dark chocolate
225g cream cheese 
110g cup caster sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
1 orange (zest)
250ml double cream, whipped

White Chocolate Orange Mousse:
225g white chocolate
225g cream cheese 
110g cup caster sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
1 orange (zest)
250ml double cream, whipped

2 Terry's chocolate oranges
350ml double cream
2 bags of Terry's chocolate orange mini pieces
1 cadbury's flake

Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
Prepare a double mix of brownies.  Line your brownie pans with greaseproof paper.
I spread the brownie mix thinly in the larger 9x13" pan and left it thicker in the 8x8" pan.  Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, the thinner brownies will require less baking time.  
Let cool. 
Lift out the greaseproof paper from the 9x13" pan and using a star cutter cut out 12 stars.
Lift out the greaseproof paper from the 8x8 pan and cut brownies into cubes.
Press your brownie stars around the inside of the trifle bowl.  Fill bottom layer of trifle bowl with packed together brownie cubes, set the rest aside for later.

Whisk 500ml double cream using a stand mixer. Once soft peaks start to form it is done.  Transfer it to a bowl, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile chop the milk and dark chocolate into small pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl, set above a pan of boiling water.  Set aside to cool.

Beat the cream cheese, caster sugar, orange juice and orange zest together until light and fluffy.  Fold in the cooled chocolate, and fold in half of the whipped cream from the bowl in the fridge.  Your milk chocolate mousse is finished.

Spread over the layer of brownie chunks in the trifle bowl.

Chop Terry's chocolate orange pieces using a knife, and spread a layer of them over the chocolate mousse.  Add another layer of brownie chunks.  

Now it's time to prepare the white chocolate mousse using the same method as before.  Chop the white chocolate into small pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl set above a pan of boiling water.  Set aside to cool.

Beat the cream cheese, caster sugar, orange juice and orange zest together until light and fluffy.  Fold in the cooled chocolate, and fold in the rest of the whipped cream from the bowl in the fridge.

Spread your white chocolate orange mousse over the brownie chunk layer in the trifle bowl.

Sprinkle over more Terry's chocolate orange pieces.  

Whisk 350ml double cream in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Transfer into a piping bag and using a star tip pipe small little stars all over the top of the trifle.  Crush a cadbury's flake and sprinkle the pieces over the cream.  

Arrange the mini Terry's chocolate orange pieces so that they overlap slightly over one another in a circular pattern around the edge of the cream, and do a smaller circle in the middle of the bowl too.

Refrigerate the trifle until it is ready to be served.

Eat and enjoy! 

FYI: The ingredients listed are enough to make two bowls of trifle.  I made a slightly smaller bowl alongside the main trifle bowl (without the star brownie shapes around the edge) and so if you only want one trifle you could halve the mousse quantities but would still need two pans of brownie if you plan on doing the star shapes.  


  1.! This looks insanely tasty and the brownie stars look so pretty around the glass bowl.

  2. Wow now thats a trifle! Love the brownie stars around the edge. I'm not a chocolate orange fan myself either, but I can imagine happily devouring this. Bet it was a real show stopper

  3. This looks divine! Brownies are my weakness so I can't even imagine how yummy this tastes. I'm definitely making this soon!

  4. I do love a good chocolate and orange dessert! This looks absolutely amazing! I have it booked marked for next Christmas .... if I can wait that long!!!

  5. This looks smashing Gem, I'm feeling all Christmassy again :)

  6. That is a super chocolate orange combo! Love the brownie stars - will have to bookmark this for next Christmas!

  7. Oh my WORD! That is stunning, love the stars around the bowl - so pretty and so festive! Chocolate orange IS Christmas to me so I have got to make this next Christmas... assuming I can wait that long!



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