Double Chocolate Berry Meringue Trifle

 

Double Chocolate Berry Meringue Trifle-001

You know that saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”? Well, life was spitting lemon juice at me every time I tried to make this dessert lol. My original idea was to make mini meringue shells and fill them with the cheesecake mixture and berries. But after three tries to make mini meringue shells and failing each time (meringue too runny, cooked meringues not cooked enough yada yada yada) I then went to just two large meringue shells, figuring I could make something like This amazing dessert. But then I undercooked THOSE a touch and when I went to get them off of the baking sheet, they crumbled. Very tasty crumbles, but crumbles nonetheless. So there went the idea of a two layered pavlova sort of dessert. So what did I do? I made lemonade. No, no, not really. Chocolate meringue lemonade? EWWW. I know I can be a bit out there at times, but not THAT much. Proverbial lemonade, people.

So what is the proverbial lemonade? A trifle. As I stood there ready to either cry or beat on a wall because this would be the third mess up (and I have made meringues many many times before. I have NO idea what my issue was this time.) for this idea. But as I stood trying not to sob, the thought popped into my head… make it into a trifle. So…ummmm… I did. Every once in a while I listen to that voice. Usually it gets me in trouble, like that whole incident with Wal Mart and wearing the underwear on my head or the time I…well, never mind.

I have to admit; the trifle idea is a pretty good one. Is it as pretty as having all of this as elegant little meringue shells would have been? No. Do I care? No. I’m more of a rustic type of a gal anyway. More importantly though- will YOU or those you’re feeding care? Oh, hell no. This is creamy from the cheesecake filling, chewy/crisp form the meringue, tart/sweet form the berries and then creamy again from the whipped cream. All in all, while I hate the eggs I wasted getting to this point, I’m quite pleased with the end result. This makes a lot so is perfect for that Summer cookout while berries are in season or great for a large family dinner.

As usual… you know the drill. Get to cookin’.

Double Chocolate Berry Meringue Trifle

  • Meringue-
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted to remove lumps
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cheesecake filling-
  • 8 ounce container mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 egg yolks (optional- they add richness but aren’t necessary if the idea of raw eggs skeeves you out)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted to remove lumps
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Berries-
  • 5 cups mixed berries or berries of choice (I used a mix of blackberries, raspberries and blueberries) rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves, melted and cooled slightly (I like using preserves in many desserts instead os sugar because you get some sweetness but it’s not overpowering plus the berries tend to release less juice using jam or preserves so no liquidy mess)
  • Whipped Cream-
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Make your meringue- Preheat oven to 225 degrees and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on it, add your egg whites, vanilla and cream of tarter. Beat on medium speed until foamy. Turn speed up to high, gradually add your sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Don’t panic if it seems to be taking forever. Some days when I make meringue, it gets to peak quickly. Other times, it may take like 5 minutes. It all depends on the temp of the kitchen, the humidity, the temp of the eggs, etc.
  3. When you have stiff peaks, take the bowl off of the stand and gently fold in your cocoa powder. Don’t mix vigorously or you’ll deflate your whites. When mixed, spread half of the mixture into a circle on each prepared pan.
  4. Cook at 225 for about one hour or until the meringue is cooked throughout (don’t be afraid to stick a knife in there and check; you’ll just be crumbling these up anyway so pretty isn’t imperative. ) and lightly browned. Turn oven off and let meringues sit in the oven for about another hour or until completely cool.
  5. Meanwhile, make your filling- In a large bowl, combine the mascarpone and cream cheese. Beat at medium speed until light and creamy. Add in the sugar (and egg yolks if using) and beat well. Add in the cream and vanilla extract and beat well, until mixture is smooth and creamy. On low speed, beat in the cocoa powder.  If you did NOT use the egg yolks, you may need to add a tablespoon or two more of cream to get this to a more spoonable consistency. Cover and put in the fridge until ready to put together the dessert.
  6. Make your berries-  in a medium bowl (shush… bowls aren’t that hard to wash 😛 ), combine the berries and the preserves. Gently fold together trying not to mush up the berries. Take about a cup of berries and set aside for the top of the dessert.
  7. Make your whipped cream- In a large bowl, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside or refrigerate if not using right away.
  8. To put together- Crumble up one of the cooled meringues at the bottom of a large serving or trifle bowl. On top of that, layer half of the chilled chocolate mixture. On top of that, spread half of the berries. Repeat layering, then top with the whipped cream. Top the cream with the reserves berries. Cover and chill if not serving this immediately and store leftovers in the fridge.

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