this dessert is highly alcoholic
serves twelve to fifteen drunks
2 to 3 lb. pound cake
-Chocolate marble poundcake is best.
-You can substitute any rich chocolate cake. Use with the frosting, or remove the frosting and eat it with your fingers.
16 oz dark semisweet chocolate chips
-I use Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips.
-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
12 oz whipping cream or more
1/4 c sugar
The 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 carefully in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until it pours freely. Pour the marmalade over the soppy cake slabs.
The Dark Chocolate Mousse Layer
Put the chocolate chips in a glass or plastic bowl and pour 4 oz (1/2 c) 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 1 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.
Whisky always works.
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.
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.