Espresso Martini Trifles

Espresso Martini Trifles


Sophisticated and decadent, these get-ahead puds are a real dinner-party treat
  • 1 x 180g pack Taste the Difference soft amaretti biscuits
  • cacao nibs or shavings of dark chocolate, to decorate
  • 30g blanched hazelnuts, chopped fairly small
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 50g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 300g fresh custard
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 5 tbsp coffee liqueur, eg Kahlua
  • 1½ tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 x 250g tub full fat soft cheese
  • 150g mascarpone
  • 40g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
  1. For the brittle, toast the nuts in a large dry nonstick frying pan, over a medium heat, until golden. Tip out onto a plate lined with baking paper. Wipe out the pan and return it to a high heat. Sprinkle a third of the sugar over the base of the hot pan, it should melt and caramelise almost instantly. Gently shake the pan and reduce the heat to medium high. Add another third of the sugar, allow to almost melt then sprinkle the remainder on top. Carefully swirl until it has melted and caramelised – this happens quickly, so take off the heat if needed. Pour the caramel over the nuts to cover, gently tilting to spread it evenly. Set aside to cool and harden at room temperature.
  2. Put the chocolate and custard in a medium pan and heat very gently, stirring, until the chocolate has melted into the custard. Tip into a bowl, press a sheet of clingfilm onto the surface (to prevent a skin forming) and leave to cool, then chill to firm up.
  3. For the coffee syrup, dissolve the coffee and sugar in 2 tablespoons of just-boiled water; stir in the liqueur. Set aside.
  4. For the cheesecake layer, dissolve the coffee in 1 tablespoon of just-boiled water. In a large bowl, lightly beat the soft cheese and mascarpone to mix, then briefly whisk in the icing sugar, coffee mixture and vanilla, until just combined, without it becoming too stiff.
  5. To assemble, find 6 glasses; we used a mixture of styles. Crumble one amaretti biscuit into each glass and drizzle with 1⁄2 tablespoon of coffee syrup. Top with about half a dessertspoon of chocolate custard, then a dollop of cheesecake mixture. Repeat the layering once more. You should have 2 amaretti biscuits left over – either divide these between the trifles or save for another day. Cover the glasses and chill until ready to serve.
  6. To serve, drizzle the trifles with the remaining coffee syrup. Break up the brittle into shards and arrange on top, then sprinkle with cacoa nibs or chocolate shavings to finish.

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