Monday, October 1, 2012

Starbucks Inspired Caffe Mocha Mini Trifle

I was asked to make some desserts for our International Mission's Banquet at church. I've been itching to make some more trifles since my first trifle making adventure turned out so delicious! 

(You can find my Ferrero Rocher Brownie Trifle recipe here.) 

So, I decided to make some Starbucks inspired desserts including some Pumpkin Spice Mini Cupcakes, Salted Caramel Toffee Mini Trifles (recipes to come) and these beauties: Caffe Mocha Mini Trifles.

Assembling nearly 100 trifles and frosting 75 cupcakes ended up being more of a challenge than I was originally anticipating. I'm not going to lie, I was sweating bullets trying to get these things assembled in time to serve at the event. Thanks to some last minute help from a friend we were able to slap enough delicious desserts together to squeak by, but it wasn't without a few mishaps, a huge mess and a bit of panicking. And honestly, I'd intended to do more than I ended up being able to do, but such is life. 

Normally I'd try extra hard to assemble a perfect looking trifle to photograph. Then I'd have a mini photo shoot with my delicious dessert taking care to make sure the lighting is perfect, and maybe even downloading the first set of pictures to see if I need to make any changes. 

Not this time. After frantically setting out all of the desserts I perused the dessert table, found the 'best in class' for each dessert and hid away on the other end of the foyer to try to do a semi-stealth photo shoot as the event was getting started.  

It was a great event. The food was amazing. The missions presentations were inspiring and the company was wonderful as always.

My kitchen, on the other hand, has not yet recovered. 

Here's the "recipe". I use the term recipe loosely since there are so many ways you can change this up. You can go with completely homemade ingredients to entirely store bought ingredients. Or, like me you can go somewhere in between. 

Also, you can layer these ingredients in any fashion you desire, with as many layers as will fit in your dish. You can make one large trifle, several smaller trifles or a whole bunch of mini trifles like the one pictured. You can use similar ingredients to what I used or you can change things up. You can use cake instead of brownies, your favorite candy instead of chocolate covered espresso beans, pudding instead of chocolate mousse. You can add layers or omit them. Really, the world is your oyster!

But, if you're not comfortable branching out from a recipe you can follow what you see pictured here. 

Whip Cream Layer:

I followed this recipe, utilizing the stabilizing agent to make sure that I could assemble these ahead of time without the whip cream melting. I quadrupled the recipe. But again, I made almost 100 trifles. Even then, I ran out of whipped cream and had to turn to store bought stuff from a can to finish them up. Shhh, don't tell anyone! 

Brownie Layer: 

You can use whatever you'd like. I made two pans of the boxed stuff, then tore the brownies into pieces after they cooled. 

Chocolate Layer: 

I used store bought hot fudge in a jar. Again, you could make something more delicious from scratch. I was just trying to do a whole bunch in a really short window of time. 

Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans: 

I chopped a bunch of chocolate covered espresso beans roughly into quarters, then left some whole ones to garnish the tops. 

Dark Chocolate Mousse Layer: 

I confess, I did this from a box too. I found this near the Jello. 

Assembling the Layers: 

I used a piping bag and frosting tip to pipe some whipped cream in the bottom of a Starbucks sample size cup (about 3.5 ounces?). Then I sprinkled some brownie pieces, chopped up chocolate covered espresso beans and a drizzle of hot fudge. Next I piped some dark chocolate mouse, then whip cream, brownies, espresso beans and hot fudge. I finished the trifles with some whipped cream, and topped it off with a swirl of hot fudge and a whole chocolate covered espresso bean on top. 

However, like I said above, there is no science. You can most certainly layer it in whatever way it works for you and the dish(es) you're using. This is quite rich and a little goes a long way, so I recommend serving this up in small portions. 

And now I have to go clean my kitchen, because it seriously looks like a bomb exploded all over my counter tops. This event was on Saturday mind you, and it is now Monday evening. I can no longer put it off. 

I must. Locate. My counters. Stat. 

But first I must blog because I am a full-blown procrastinator. That, and my husband is at an Elder's meeting. I am more responsible when he's around. Oh, and I really don't want to clean my kitchen... it's a scary, sticky, crazy mess! 

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