Death by Ferraro Rocher Trifle (or should I call it Nutella Trifle?)

Ferraro Rocher Trifle

I have two friends that I bake for regularly that are frequently mentioned in this blog, not by name of course! They, like me, love food and frequently talk about it. I think that this recipe may have been a favourite for one of them – and that is saying A LOT. Every time I have seen them lately, he mentions this dessert and has a new comment about it. He has asked if he can pay me to make it for him so he can take it to potluck dinners – and of course claim that he made it! And really I didn’t even make it as well as I could have – I would have used Frangelico if there weren’t kids eating it!

Anyways, it is based on a chocolate trifle like dessert known as Death by Chocolate (I often just call it “Chocolate Mess” as it ends up looking like that once served) but it is a Chocolate-Hazelnut Trifle rather than just straight up chocolate. Basically I had a layer of my favourite chocolate cake in the freezer and wanted to use it without making anything that would take a ton of time. Also, I had Ferraro Rocher’s that someone had given me but I was afraid to open them as I have a fear that I will eat them all! So put that together with some Nutella and you have “Death by Ferraro Rocher”! Here are the layers:

Chocolate cake layer from the freezer

Chocolate Hazelnut Trifle

Chocolate Cake or Brownies, cut up in 1inch cubes
Use your favourite recipe or just buy a cake mix if you are being lazy! Although you do want a good cake, it isn’t as important to make sure it is moist since everything else in the dessert ensures lots of moisture!

1/2 cup Frangelico, Kahlua, Chocolate Hazelnut Tea (for the kid friendly version!), or any liquid that has a little sweetness/flavour to add

Nutella Cream Cheese Mousse

Nutella Mousse
3/4 cup Nutella
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
4-8 Tb milk/cream
Beat all together until smooth. Add enough milk to ensure a pudding like consistency.

Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Whip cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla and beat a little more but not too much!

 6 Ferraro Rocher’s, chopped roughly

Cake, mousse, whipped cream, Ferraro Rochers, Repeat!

Assembly:

  1. Arrange half of the chocolate cake pieces in the bottom of your bowl (I like using my trifle bowl but any deep bowl will do – it is nice to use a clear one so you can see the pretty layers!).
  2. Drizzle 4 Tb of Frangelico/whatever you are using over the top of the cake pieces.
  3. Spread half of the Nutella mousse over the cake evenly. I tend to put it in ‘glops’ and then spread it out evenly.
  4. Spread half of the whipped cream over the mousse.
  5. Sprinkle half of the chopped Ferraro Rocher’s over the whipped cream.
  6. Repeat all layers.
  7. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. You can make it ahead of time and refrigerate overnight too.

Look at those lovely layers of deliciousness!

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Vanilla Bean Strawberry Filled Cake

I made fondant strawberries for the top!

I was paid for my first cake recently! It was very exciting really. A friend from my gym was going to buy her daughter’s cake from the grocery store or something but realized instead she could buy it from me! I think she was almost as excited about the idea as I was! Her only real request was to decorate with strawberries – although not necessarily real. But it didn’t have to be strawberry flavoured. Well to me, it did have to have some strawberry flavour because I couldn’t just put strawberries on the outside and then make a chocolate cake or something! Anyways, I decided on trying one of the vanilla cakes from Sweetapolita that she keeps raving on about, pair it with a strawberry curd filling and cover it with fluffy vanilla buttercream.

My mini cake - and inside to see the layers!

Unfortunately I couldn’t actually take a picture of the inside of the cake so I made a mini one for me! (I needed to taste test it too!) I ran out of vanilla icing so I iced it with chocolate fudge icing that I had left from something else. It is one layer short of the real one but the picture still shows the inside. It was pretty tasty although next time I would make thicker cake layers rather than such thin ones as I did this time. I think this is an excellent vanilla cake but I don’t know if it is THE best as has been posted on Sweetapolita… I think I need to try a few others!

Fluffy Vanilla Cake (adapted from Sweetapolita) with Strawberry Curd and Whipped Vanilla Frosting
makes  one 2-layer, 8 inch round cake

  • 6 large egg whites, room temp
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean scraped (or increase vanilla to 2 1/4tsp)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tb + 1tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temp & cut into cubes
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease & line with parchment paper two 8″ cake pans
  2. In a measuring cup or small bowl, stir together the egg whites, 1/4 cup milk, and the vanilla.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or regular & use a hand mixer), combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the butter and remaining 3/4 cup of milk and mix on low speed until moistened. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 90 seconds.
  5. Scrape down the bowl if needed. Add the egg mixture in 3 batches and beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each.
  6. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Straining the Strawberry Curd

Strawberry Curd (this works perfect for Raspberry Curd as well)

  • ~15oz fresh strawberries, stems removed  (or ~12oz raspberries)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 TB lime juice
  • 5 tsp cornstarch
  1. In a small bowl, mix together the lime juice and cornstarch until mostly smooth.
  2. In a food processor or magic bullet, puree the berries with the sugar. Add the cornstarch/lime juice and puree again.
  3. Strain into a medium saucepan through a mesh seive.
  4. Cook over medium until it comes to a boil. Stir constantly and cook for another minute until somewhat thickened.
  5. Strain again into a heatproof contained and allow to cool to room temperature. Chill slightly to make sure it is thick before using in the cake.

Whipped Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • 6 cups icing sugar
  • 2tsp clear vanilla
  • 3-5 Tb cream/milk
  1. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter for 8 minutes on medium speed. The butter will become pale and creamy.
  2. Add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time while the mixer is on low. Add vanilla and cream until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Beat on medium for 6 minutes.

Assembly:

  • I actually made this a 6 layer cake and made 3 9″ layers (I did an extra ‘half’ recipe on top of what is written. I think if I did it again, I would actually double the recipe for 3 thicker 9″ layers) and sliced each of the layers in half. I also used 2 cups of butter & 8 cups of sugar for this size of cake.
  • I layered it as such: cake, vanilla frosting, cake, strawberry curd, cake, vanilla frosting, cake, strawberry curd, cake, vanilla frosting, cake. Cover the entire cake with frosting.
  • When it comes to the layers with the curd, pipe a good “dam” around the outside of the cake prior to adding the curd. This will ensure that the curd doesn’t leak out.