Sometimes inspiration springs from disaster. I was making the Irish Stout Cake from Baking Pure and Simple
and as I was taking it out of the oven with my new, stiff hot pads I dropped it right on the edge of the oven rack, splitting it in half. I quickly flipped it over and saw that about half of it was fine, and half of it was smashed. So, I made it into this trifle and I think it is my favorite trifle of all time! It never would have happened unless I had dropped the cake. Since this was an impromptu inspiration I don’t have a photo of this particular trifle. The closest I could find was for a trifle made with 3 kinds of mousse and strawberries instead of raspberries. Either way I think you get the idea…
Irish Cream Cheese
1 recipe Irish Stout Cake (below), sliced in half vertically
1 recipe Irish Cream Cheese Mousse (below),
4 pints fresh raspberries or strawberries, 3 pints rinsed once and dried with paper towel
½ cup raspberry jam (optional)
½ cup Simple Syrup (below)
¾ cup chocolate shavings
In the bottom of a 5-quart trifle bowl begin with a layer of Irish Stout Cake, cut side up. Top with half of the washed and dried fresh raspberries, lining raspberries up around the outside first then filling in the center with the rest and half the raspberry jam (if desired). Top with one third of the Cream Cheese Mousse. Repeat the process with the remaining cake, another third of the mousse and washed and dried raspberries. Place the remaining mousse into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe into rosettes around the edges of the trifle bowl then make a circle of rosettes in the center of the top layer of raspberries. Sprinkle the open area between the whipped cream rosettes with the unwashed raspberries and the chocolate shavings. Serves 16 to 20.
Irish Stout Cake
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
½ cup unsalted butter
1½ cups brown sugar
½ cup molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup stout beer
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler or a metal bowl over simmering water in a saucepan, set aside.
Cream butter and brown sugar. Add one egg at a time, mixing until thoroughly incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add molasses and vanilla and mix until combined, scraping down the bowl. Add a little of the batter to the melted chocolate and stir to combine completely. Add the chocolate mixture back to the batter and mix until combined.
Slowly add the beer to the batter in intervals, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Sift the flour, salt and baking soda. When the beer has been fully incorporated, add half of the flour mixture to the batter and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the buttermilk, again scraping down the sides of the bowl and mixing until fully incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Pour the batter into a greased 10-inch round spring form pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick comes out clean when inserted in the center.
Allow the cake to cool completely. Run a knife around the edge of the cake before removing the outer ring of the spring form pan.
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
Combine water and sugar in a saucepan. Cook on high heat until boiling and sugar has dissolved. Cool. Store in the refrigerator. Makes ½ cup.
Irish Cream Cheese Mousse
12 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sugar
½ cup Irish cream liqueur such as Bailey’s
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 quart heavy cream
Whip heavy cream and set aside in the refrigerator. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, cream the cream cheese and the sugar. Stop mixing and scrape down the bowl at least once then resume mixing. Add vanilla and continue to mix, stopping to scrape down the sides often. Add the Irish cream liqueur and scrape down the sides at least once during mixing. When the cream cheese mixture is soft and well combined, fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture in thirds. Refrigerate until ready to use.