Boozy chocolate trifle

This dessert is highly alcoholic. And huge: the finished recipe weighs about 8 pounds, not counting the heavy glass trifle bowl, without which it really isn’t worth doing. I developed it after reading, yes, way too many English novels and wondering how to make it with chocolate.

I’ve brought it to friends’ houses only on request. Last time, I took it to Angel’s place when she had 3 Swedish colleagues of her husband’s staying over the New Year holidays. It seemed a safe time to feed people something alcoholic. Those Swedish boys cleaned up half the recipe all by themselves! I don’t know how they felt New Year’s Day, but I do know Angel has never asked me to bring it again. Nowadays I serve it at pig roasts with a minimum of 75 guests.

Boozy Chocolate Trifle

serves fifteen to twenty-two drunks

2 to 3 lb. pound cake
Chocolate marble pound cake is best.
You can substitute any rich chocolate cake.
20 to 30 oz dark semisweet chocolate chips
I use Ghirardelli 60% cacao.
Yes, this is more than one bag. Oh woe, what will you do with the extra chips?
8 to 12 oz orange liqueur like Grand Marnier or Cointreau
8 oz bitter orange marmalade
32 oz whipping cream or more
1/4 c sugar

The Ooshy-Gooshy Boozy Cake Layer

Slice the pound cake in thick slabs. If you are using a frosted cake, cut the frosting off and eat it yourself while you are making this recipe. Line the inside of a large clear glass bowl with the cake slabs. Sprinkle all but 4 T of the orange liqueur over the cake, soaking it completely. There should be some free liquid slopping in the bottom of the bowl. Set the rest of the liqueur aside.

Heat the marmalade slowly and carefully in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until it pours freely. Pour the marmalade over the soppy cake slabs. Reserve a dab for garnish, if you are a garnish kind of gal.

The Dark Chocolate Mousse Layer

Put the chocolate chips in a glass bowl and pour 4 to 8 oz whipping cream over them. Heat in the microwave in 30-second bursts to melt the chocolate. Stir very thoroughly after each 30 seconds. Once the chocolate chips are completely melted and mixed with the cream, stir in 3 T or more orange liqueur to “finish” the chocolate and stop it from overheating.

Whip the rest of the whipping cream with 1/4 c sugar and the rest of the liqueur, until stiff peaks form. Pour half of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture and fold it in carefully so that the volume stays high. This is your chocolate mousse.

Pour the chocolate mousse over the cake. It should be about three inches deep. Give the whole thing a gentle jiggle, so that the chocolate mousse sinks down between the boozy cake slabs.

The Whipped Cream Layer

Pile the rest of the whipped cream on top of the chocolate mousse layer. I usually save a tablespoon of marmalade and dribble it on top of the whipped cream, because that’s as close to fancy presentation as I can handle.

Alternatives to the Orange Version

This trifle can also be made with Framboise (raspberry liqueur) and frozen raspberries mixed with raspberry jam, or with Kirsch (cherry liqueur) or even just whisky and boozy cherries. For a nonalcoholic version of the cherries, use canned Morelli cherries (available in a jar at your imported groceries or health food store), and use the liquid the cherries come in instead of Kirsch or whisky. I suppose some sort of philistine would try it with canned peaches and peach schnappes. I don’t know who would do such thing.

Boozy Cherries

My favorite way to make boozy cherries is to soak dried Montmorency cherries in bourbon or Irish whisky for a few days or weeks. In place of the orange liqueur step above, sprinkle the cherries over the cake, along with the now-cherry-flavored whisky. This will make you all sticky. You will need to thin the cherry-flavored whisky with more whisky in order to have enough cherry-boozy goodness for the full recipe.


Another story where chocolate plays an important role is Coed Demon Sluts: AmandaDelilah brings fancy chocolate to the nursing home where she hopes to recruit 98-year-old Cricket to her team of succubi. Find a download of the scene here, or pick up the book at your favorite store: AmazonKoboiTunesBook View Cafe, or Nook.

About Jennifer Stevenson

Jennifer Stevenson’s Trash Sex Magic was shortlisted for the Locus First Fantasy Novel Award and longlisted for the Nebula two years running. Try her fantasy series Hinky Chicago, which is up to five novels, her paranormal romances Slacker Demons, which are about retired deities who find work as incubi, or her women’s fiction fantasy series Coed Demon Sluts, about women solving life’s ordinary problems by becoming succubi. She has published more than 20 short stories.

Find Jennifer at the Book View Cafe blog, at the second row at fast roller derby bouts in Chicago, or on Facebook.