Four Chocolate Trifle

So I made another boo boo. Take note everyone, if a recipe says you need to use 40% javanese milk chocolate, don’t misread it as simply “milk chocolate”.

You will end up with cloyingly sweet trifle.

I started to cough around the third or forth bite from the sugary coating that had formed around my mouth and throat.

But I still finished my bowl because at the end of the day… it’s a bowl full of chocolate.

So about the milk chocolate. Normal milk chocolate does not have a large percentage of cocoa solids in it. That’s one of the things that makes bittersweet chocolate “bitter”, more cocoa solids versus other things like cocoa butter or sugar.

Sugar. That’s the important part. This recipe expects you to use a fancier milk chocolate with 40% cocoa solids, meaning that even though it’s a milk chocolate, it’s not as sweet as say… a Hershey milk chocolate bar.

I didn’t use a Hershey milk chocolate bar, but I did use Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips, which as they state has “10% chocolate liquor”.

That’s a lot less than 40%.

This means that when I add 1/2 cup packed light muscovado sugar, as the recipe asks me to, I’m adding sugar to an already relatively sweet chocolate.

Trevor said it gave him the shakes and I’m not entirely sure that he was joking.

So next time, I’m going to try to track down the appropriate chocolate. Either that or just leave out the sugar in the milk chocolate layer and see what happens.

If any of you lovely folks try out either option, let me know if it works out for you!

On a positive note, I had someone tell me “oh my god, it’s so good, it’s so SWEET.” with a big grin on his face. And this is a man in his late twenties, not a young, sweet-crazed child. So maybe it’s a little about just knowing what your audience wants?

Although I’m the girl that used to eat sugar out of the stolen sugar bowl with the spoon and I thought this was too sweet. So really, he’s just crazy.

You hear that Corey? I called you crazy. But thanks for liking it. :)

Four Chocolate Trifle

Recipe from

Layer One: The Bottom

  • About 11 ounces homemade or store-bought chocolate brownies, cut into chunks (This was just under half a pan of a standard 8×8 brownie recipe for me)
  • About cup whisky, sherry, rum, or coconut liqueur, for drizzling (optional) (I used less than a cup of Malibu coconut rum)

Layer Two: Milk Chocolate Cream

  • 18 ounces Javanese 40% milk chocolate, chopped (MAKE SURE it is 40% milk chocolate, otherwise omit the sugar below)
  • 1 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • 1/2 cup packed light muscovado sugar

Layer Three: White Chocolate Mousse

  • 11 ounces white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

Layer Four: Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Decoration (Optional)

  • Chocolate, for grating
  • Chocolate pearls (I didn’t have any of these, but they’re adorable if you do!)


  1. First layer: Place generous-sized brownie chunks in the bottom of the trifle bowl, making sure that the brownie can be seen through the bowl from the side. Drizzle over your selected liqueur, if using.
  2. Second layer: Gently melt the milk chocolate in a bowl over lightly simmering water, mixing until smooth. Slowly warm the cream, salt and sugar in a sauce pan until lukewarm but not hot. Pour the warm cream into the milk chocolate and whisk together. Pour over the brownie chunks and place in the fridge to set.
  3. Third layer: Gently melt the white chocolate in a bowl over lightly simmering water. Semi-whip the cream until soft and not stiff. Quickly fold the melted chocolate into the cream and pour onto the set milk-chocolate layer of the trifle. Place the trifle in the fridge to set.
  4. Fourth layer: Bring 1/4 cup water and the sugar to a simmer in a pan, then pour onto the dark chocolate, mixing well. Allow the sauce to cool, then pour it over the white chocolate mousse layer. Place the trifle in the fridge for 30 minutes to set.
  5. Decorate with finely chopped chocolate (mixing dark, milk and white together is quite pretty) or curls. Chocolate pearls or other pretty additions can also work great.

3 thoughts on “Four Chocolate Trifle

  1. Look for Dogoba chocolate. We sell it at the East Lansing Food Co-op in both 100% cacao and 59& cacao bars. This looks great I cannot wait to make it.

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