When I was growing up my maternal grandparents lived in San Francisco. For those who know ‘the City’, as my Grandmother always referred to it, they were on Russian Hill, facing Coit Tower above the bustling intersection of Columbus and Bay streets. There was no more fantastic location to me. When we’d come to California to visit them we spent all our time out exploring. They were a few blocks from the cable car turnaround for the line that went downtown. Fisherman’s Wharf was a few blocks over from that. But my all-time favorite walk was to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory by the bay.
At the time it was a working factory. As you’d near the building you could smell the chocolate which was as close to a Willy Wonka experience as I could imagine. I loved being able to see the chocolate being made behind glass partitions and have a sample at the end. Watching the silky, molten chocolate being poured was pure magic!
At the time Ghirardelli chocolate really could only be purchased locally. However thanks to international logistics and the internet, anyone can order Ghirardelli chocolate online or find it in the local grocery stores. My fond memories and positive experiences beckon me whenever shopping for chocolate chips and I always go for Ghirardelli first. I keep a variety of their chips and bars in my freezer, ready for any unanticipated tap on the shoulder from my chocolate recipe muse!
I have found myself over the past few years really enjoying darker chocolates the best. A higher cacao content provides a truer natural chocolate flavor to me. I feel it offsets the sweetness of any confection it’s partnered with, making both flavors stand out more fully. Recently I’ve been experimenting with Ghirardelli’s 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate. The chips are larger and flatter than most baking chips, making them very quick and easy to melt into a rich, creamy consistency. The bittersweet chocolate also provides a more significant flavor ‘bite’ when nested in something like a cookie. The chips are all natural and made with quality ingredients therefore adding a deep, authentic flavor to whatever they are added.
As I have been dreaming up special Valentine’s Day confections, I wanted to make a special Trifle. My kids asked immediately if I would please make homemade Chocolate Pudding and the ball starting rolling quickly toward Heavenly Chocolate Raspberry Trifles. Chocolate and raspberry are a quintessential flavor combination that I love. For the cake, with my Grandmother in mind, I used a gluten-free Angel Food Cake. Angel Food cake feels to have become lost behind the current day fascination with the more dazzling salted caramel, Cake Pops, and Cronut confections. This dessert seemed a perfect place to incorporate Angel Food cake along with the luscious, flavor-packed Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding, fresh Raspberries and a bit of whimsical whipped cream and sprinkles to top it all off! Indeed the combination of varied flavors and texture were a hit with my taste testers as I know they will be with yours as well!
These luscious Heavenly Chocolate Raspberry Trifles are constructed with freshly homemade Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding layered on Angel Food Cake, topped with fresh raspberries. For a festive touch, a dollop of whipped cream and Valentine's sprinkles make it holiday-ready but it can be enjoyed anytime.
The Angel Food Cake is your choice of store-bought or homemade. I created a gluten-free version by baking from a GF mix (source noted in recipe).
- 1/3 cup granulated Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 cups Whole Milk
- 3 large egg yolks, beaten lightly
- 3 tablespoons unsalted Butter; each tablespoon cut roughly into 4 pieces (does not need to be precise)
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup Ghirardelli Bittersweet 60% Cacao chips
- 1 Angel Food Cake (homemade or store bought; I made a gluten-free Angel Food Cake from a Kinnikinnick mix); cubed to make 6 cups (there may be leftovers)
- 3 cups Fresh Raspberries, rinsed and placed on a kitchen or paper towel to dry
- Whipped Cream (store bought or home prepared) to top trifles
- Valentine’s sprinkles (optional)
- Before beginning, place a fine mesh strainer over a heatproof mixing bowl which holds 4 cups volume or more, and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt; whisk to combine fully.
- Pour ¼ cup of the milk into the dry mixture in the saucepan and whisk to dissolve the cornstarch completely. Add the remaining 1 ¾ cups milk and the lightly beaten egg yolks to the mixture, whisking to fully combine.
- Heat saucepan over medium heat, stirring often using a heatproof spatula, until the mixture comes almost to a simmer and begins to show small bubbles. Reduce heat to low, continuing to stir constantly, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan while stirring, until the pudding thickens (5-10 minutes).
- Continue to stir the pudding constantly. When the pudding can be spooned onto the top of the pudding mixture and it holds its form, rather than melting back into the mixture, it should be removed from the heat (approximately 5 additional minutes).
- Add the butter to the pudding mixture; stir until butter is fully dissolved.
- Pour pudding mixture through strainer, using the stirring spatula to press the mixture through the strainer, as well as scraping the outside of the strainer into the bowl.
- Add the vanilla extract and chocolate chips, stirring until the chocolate is fully melted and combined with the rest of the pudding.
- Pour pudding into a quart size Mason jar or an alternative container which will hold up to 4 cups with a sealable top/lid. Seal and place in the refrigerator until fully set (approximately 1-2 hours).
- For larger Trifles, select a serving glass or Mason Jar which holds 2-2 ½ cups volume. Place 1 cup of the cake cubes at the bottom of the glass, followed by ½ cup chocolate pudding. Layer on ½ cup raspberries and finish with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkles. If desiring smaller servings, the ingredients may be divided in half and layered into serving glasses holding 1 ½ cups volume to make 12 servings.
The majority of the Total Time is due to the pudding chilling which can take up to 2 hours.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.