Everyone’s first dessert, brownies. The second recipe I mastered was a Whipped Mascarpone Fruit Tart, where I learned to make curd, and the whipped filling. The brownies are made with almond flour, making them gluten free, and are scaled down to make 6 brownies. Four will be used in this dessert recipe and the remaining brownies are perfect for snacking while the trifles chill in the fridge. I highly recommend reaching for high quality chocolate for this recipe. I used Scharffen Berger Chocolate Cocoa Powder and their Semisweet Dark Chocolate Baking Chunks. Their chocolate is blended in small batches and gently processed to preserve the subtle flavors in the bean.
This trifle is layered with cocoa puffed quinoa, dark chocolate almond flour brownies, sweetened whipped mascarpone and a bright passion fruit curd. If you can’t find puffed quinoa (you can usually find it in Latin grocery stores) you can swap in toasted nuts or cacao nibs. I’d say that this bottom layer is essential for textural contrast so don’t skip out! It’s a perfect make ahead dessert for a Galentine's Day Dinner or a dinner date for two.
Passion Fruit Curd
- 4 eggs, yolks only
- 1/ 2 cup passion fruit
- 1/ 2 cup sugar, granulated
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Almond Flour Brownies
- 3/ 4 cup almond flour
- 6 tablespoons Scharffen Berger 100% Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
- 1/ 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/ 4 teaspoon salt, fine sea salt
- 1/ 4 teaspoon espresso powder
- 7 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 large egg plus 1 yolk
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/ 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/ 3 cup Scharffen Berger 62% Semisweet Dark Chocolate Baking Chunks
- 4 ounces marscapone cheese
- 4 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 1/ 2 teaspoon lemon, zest
- 1/ 3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
Cocoa Puffed Quinoa (optional)
- 1 cup puffed quinoa
- 2 tablespoons Scharffen Berger 100% Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder
Passion Fruit Curd
Set up a double boiler by placing a heat safe bowl over a pot of simmering water.
Make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl.
Add the egg yolks, sugar, passion fruit and salt to the bowl and whisk until smooth.
Continue whisking constantly for about 12 minutes, or until the mixture reaches 160° F and thickens.
Remove from heat and stir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until well combined.
Strain the curd and cool completely before using.
Lay cling wrap over the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.
Almond Flour Brownies
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Prepare and line a ⅛ sheet pan with parchment.
In a medium bowl whisk together almond flour, Scharffen Berger 100% Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder, baking powder, salt and espresso powder.
In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, melted butter and vanilla bean paste until smooth and glossy.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until well combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet, top with chopped Scharffen Berger 62% Semisweet Dark Chocolate Baking Chunks and bake for approximately 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares for the trifle.
Once cool, cut into ½ inch squares and set aside for assembly.
Once the brownies and curd have completely cooled, set up a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
Whip heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar until stiff peaks form.
Remove whipped cream from the mixing bowl and set aside.
To the bowl of the stand mixer, add mascarpone, sugar, lemon zest and whisk until sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
Gently fold in the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until just combined.
Cocoa Puffed Quinoa
Combine puffed quinoa and Scharffen Berger 100% Unsweetened Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder until each grain is completely coated.
Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa puffed quinoa to the bottom of a trifle cup, add ¼ cup of brownie pieces, ¼ - ⅓ cup of whipped mascarpone and top with passion fruit curd.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a minimum or 3 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, remove from the fridge and garnish with fresh passion fruit.