Sometimes life calls for dessert, and sometimes it calls for Dessert with a Capital D. This is one such pud! Why do anything in half measures? Hannah Miles’ latest book, Layered Desserts is crammed with indulgent treats from all around the world, and each and every recipe would make a great dinner party ‘pièce de résistance’. So whether you’ve got the whole family round for Sunday lunch, or just a few friends over for an intimate supper, impress them with Hannah’s twist on an Italian classic…
While Italians will probably shudder at the thought of including Toblerone in their national dessert, I love the hints of almond and honey crunch that it adds. If you are short of time you can replace the Toblerone cupcakes with store-bought sponge fingers or trifle sponges instead for equally delicious results. I hope you enjoy my take on this classic layered dessert.
FOR THE CUPCAKES:
115 g/generous ½ cup caster/granulated sugar
115 g/1 stick butter, softened
2 UK large/US extra-large eggs
100 g/¾ cup self-raising/self-rising flour
30 g/⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
80 g/3 oz. Toblerone, chopped into chunks
FOR THE CREAM:
500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. mascarpone cheese
500 ml/2 cups crème fraîche or sour cream
3 tablespoons icing/confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
150 ml/⅔ cup amaretto liqueur
200 g/7 oz. Toblerone, chopped unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
12-hole muffin pan, lined with cupcake cases
large glass bowl
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.
Begin by making the cupcakes. Whisk together the sugar and butter until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder and fold gently to incorporate. Half fill each cupcake case with the cake mixture. Divide the chunks of Toblerone between the cupcakes, placing them in the centre of each case, and then cover with a spoonful of the remaining cake batter. Bake in the oven for 20–25 minutes until the cupcakes are firm to touch and spring back when pressed with a finger. Set aside to cool, then remove the cases.
Dissolve the instant coffee in a shallow bowl with 250 ml/1 cup boiling water. Pour in the amaretto and leave to cool. While the coffee mixture is cooling, make the cream by whisking together the mascarpone, crème fraîche and icing/confectioners’ sugar in a large mixing bowl.
Soak half of the cupcakes in the coffee mixture. It is best to do this one at a time as the cupcakes can become soggy if they are in the liquid too long. You want them to absorb some of the liquid but still retain their shape. Place half the cakes on the bottom of the trifle dish, pressing them down with a spoon so that the cupcakes make a layer over the bottom of the dish.
To assemble, sprinkle over half the chopped Toblerone and dust with cocoa powder using a fine-mesh sieve/strainer. Spoon half the mascarpone mixture over the top and dust with another layer of sifted cocoa powder. Soak the remaining sponges, as before, in the coffee mixture and place on top of the cocoa layer. Cover with the remaining Toblerone and dust with another cocoa layer. Spoon in the remaining mascarpone mixture and spread out in an even layer and dust with more cocoa. Chill in the fridge, preferably overnight, to enable the flavours to develop. This dessert will store for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Layered Desserts by Hannah Miles is available here.