Mexican Chocolate Trifle with Orange Curd and Pomegranate Pudding

A hint of cinnamon and red chile in a brownie provide the base for this indulgent Mexican Chocolate Trifle with Orange Curd and Pomegranate Pudding. The fresh orange curd gets a hint of cinnamon, and the pomegranate pudding with its pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses, and pomegranate arils gets thickened with tapioca. The result is a festive, holiday trifle with vibrant and fresh Mexican flavor! Fantástico!

Mexican Holiday Trifle Hero Image

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – Mexican Chocolate Trifle Inspiration

An observant reader may have noticed my recent and somewhat repetitive emphasis on Mexican flavors that include chiles, pomegranates, citrus, and cinnamon… First, I love that flavor combination. Second, pomegranates and citrus are in season in the Rio Grande Valley, and its amazing! Besides, what’s not to love?

My Mexican Chocolate Trifle with Orange Curd and Pomegranate Pudding is the final installment in my Cozy Christmas Menu for Two 2017 series of posts. I hope you didn’t miss the Roasted Spicy Orange-Pomegranate Glazed Winter Vegetables, and my Festive Mexican Cornish Game Hens for Two! This menu bears no resemblance to Mexican-American fare; rather, it combines Mexican ingredients and flavors with fresh seasonal ingredients to bring those vibrant flavors to your holiday table.

📋 Trifle Ingredients

Brownie Layer

  • brownie mix – Use your favorite box mix, and follow instructions. You’ll add ground cinnamon and red chile powder. I use Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies. You will probably need eggs and oil for the mix. If you follow a gluten free diet, these Gluten Free Brownies are delicious. Simply add the cinnamon and ancho powder to the batter prior to proceeding with the recipe!
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ancho or chipotle powder

Orange-Cinnamon Curd Layer

  • orange zest
  • sugar
  • fresh orange juice
  • butter
  • eggs
  • fine sea salt
  • cinnamon

Pomegranate Pudding Layer

  • pomegranate juice – 100% juice like Pomi is great.
  • small pearl tapioca – I use Bob’s Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca. If you substitute quick cook tapioca, adjust cooking time, and I cannot attest to the results being the same as I’ve not tried it!
  • pomegranate molasses – You can find pomegranate molasses in the international foods aisle quite often or order pomegranate molasses online. You can also make pomegranate molasses if you are so inclined.
  • sugar
  • fine sea salt
  • pomegranate arils – If you hate breaking down pomegranates, look for arils in the produce section of your market.

Garnishes

  • whipped cream – I whip my cream and add a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar. You can use commercial whipped cream, but PLEASE don’t use fake stuff!
  • chocolate – We like 70-75% dark chocolate, and use a peeler to shave it over the whipped cream.
  • orange zest
  • pomegranate arils
  • cinnamon
The orange curd, pomegranate pudding, ancho cinnamon brownies ready to layer in the Mexican chocolate trifles.

🔪 Instructions

Work Flow

  1. Soak the pearl tapioca in the pomegranate juice.
  2. Start the brownies.
  3. Make the orange-cinnamon curd.
  4. Make the pomegranate pudding.
  5. Whip the cream.
  6. Layer the trifles and garnish.

Brownie Layer

  1. Prepare brownie mix according to package instructions. If there is a “fudgy” as opposed to “caky”, choose the “fudgy” option. Thoroughly mix in the cinnamon and chipotle powder.
  2. Spread the brownie mixture in a pan larger than recommended. I use a half sheet pan to achieve a thickness of about ¾ of an inch. Cook until set in the center (10-15 minutes with my mix and oven combination). Allow to cool completely. 
  3. I served the trifle in small glass trifle dishes, and used my large biscuit cutter. Cut the cooled brownies in a shape that will fit in your dishes. 

Orange-Cinnamon Curd Layer

  1. Process the zest and sugar – Add the orange zest and sugar to a food processor. Process until the zest resembles fine crumbs. Add the remaining ingredients, and process until very smooth.
  2. Make the curd – Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened, (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The curd is ready when it coats a spoon, and registers about 175 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Be careful not to overcook, or it will curdle. Remove from the heat and let cool or refrigerate.

Pomegranate Pudding Layer

  1. Prepare the pudding – Add the tapioca to the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan, and allow the tapioca to soak (no heat) at least 30 minutes. 
  2. Cook the pudding – Slowly bring the saucepan to a simmer, stirring frequently. Add the pomegranate molasses, sugar, and salt. Simmer (uncovered) 10-15 minutes. Cool completely. Stir in the pomegranate arils. (Mixture thickens as it cools.)

To Serve

  1. Assemble the trifles – Start with a layer of the pomegranate pudding. Top with an appropriate sized piece of brownie. Add a layer of orange curd, and another piece of brownie. My trifle dishes allowed for a second layer of pomegranate pudding, and a final piece of brownie (for a total of 3 brownie layers). I then top the trifle with REAL whipped cream and garnish with grated orange zest, pomegranate arils, shaved chocolate. Cinnamon is another nice option!

❓ FAQ

Can I make this dessert in advance?

Yes and no. I would suggest making the components – brownies, orange curd, and pomegranate pudding separately up to 24 hours ahead. Before serving, assemble and whip the cream.

Is this Mexican trifle good leftover?

I don’t think it’s good leftover as an assembled dessert. As mentioned above, keep components separate until ready to serve. Leftover curd and pudding are good on toast or an English muffin, and will be fine for 1-2 days. The brownies make a fine snack.

💭 Tips

I use Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies for a 13 x 9 pan, and cook it in a half sheet pan for 10-15 minutes. This makes a thinner brownie layer. Watch carefully, and remove when set but still soft.

Zesting the oranges – I have a razor sharp Microplane 38006 Professional Series Large Shaver that did a great job with minimal effort. You want pieces rather than fine zest. After removing zest, squeeze the juice. You’ll need ¼ cup.

I use Bob’s Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca. If you substitute quick cook tapioca, adjust cooking time, and I cannot attest to the results being the same as I’ve not tried it!

I whip my cream and add a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar. You can use commercial whipped cream, but PLEASE don’t use fake stuff!

Calories are nearly impossible to quantify with a dessert like this. You won’t need the whole package of brownies if you’re doing individual trifles. Depending on how big your serving dishes/bowls are, you may have curd and pudding left as well. This is a festive holiday dessert, and we don’t exercise discipline on holidays right? The google gods want calories…

You may have extra brownies (or not). I’m sure they’ll not be wasted! You can always top them with a scoop of ice cream!

🧂 Useful Stuff

Note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you. This helps to offset the costs of maintaining my blog and creating awesome content! 😊

I always feel like I have to apologize when I post an occasional dessert, especially when it is decadent like this one.  😯 In my defense, we practice moderation at Andersen casa. We rarely “do” dessert, but Christmas is an exception. If you love a decadent treat now and then (like I do), try this Crumbl Sugar Cookies Recipe or these Peruvian Alfajores Cookies. I rarely come across anyone that can exercise restraint and discipline 100% of the time. Deprivation leads to failure IMHO.  😀

So, live a little, and give this Mexican Holiday Trifle a try!

Feliz Navidad Signature

Mexican Chocolate Trifle with Orange Curd and Pomegranate Pudding Feature Image

Mexican Chocolate Trifle with Orange Curd and Pomegranate Pudding

A box brownie mix with cinnamon and red chile powder layered with orange curd and pomegranate pudding in a truly decadent and Mexican-inspired holiday dessert!
4.67 from 6 votes

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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Assembly Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 420 kcal

Ingredients
  

Brownie Layer

  • 1 box brownie mix - (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ancho or chipotle powder

Orange-Cinnamon Curd Layer

  • zest from 2 oranges
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice - from zested oranges
  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon - optional

Pomegranate Pudding Layer

  • 1 ½ cup pomegranate juice
  • 3 tablespoons small pearl tapioca - (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils

Garnishes

  • whipped cream - (see notes)
  • chocolate bar - shaved
  • orange - zested
  • pomegranate arils
  • cinnamon

Instructions

Brownie Layer

  • Prepare brownie mix according to package instructions. If there is a “fudgy” as opposed to “caky”, choose the “fudgy” option. Thoroughly mix in the cinnamon and chipotle powder.
  • Spread the brownie mixture in a pan larger than recommended. I use a half sheet pan to achieve a thickness of about 3/4 of an inch. Cook until set in the center (10-15 minutes with my mix and oven combination). Allow to cool completely. 
  • I served the trifle in small glass trifle dishes, and used my large biscuit cutter. Cut the cooled brownies in a shape that will fit in your dishes. 

Orange-Cinnamon Curd Layer

  • Add the orange zest and sugar to a food processor. Process until the zest resembles fine crumbs. Add the remaining ingredients, and process until very smooth.
  • Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened, (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The curd is ready when it coats a spoon, and registers about 175 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Be careful not to overcook, or it will curdle. Remove from the heat and let cool or refrigerate.

Pomegranate Pudding Layer

  • Add the tapioca to the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan, and allow the tapioca to soak (no heat) at least 30 minutes. 
  • Slowly bring the saucepan to a simmer, stirring frequently. Add the pomegranate molasses, sugar, and salt. Simmer (uncovered) 10-15 minutes. Cool completely. Stir in the pomegranate arils. (Mixture thickens as it cools.)

To Serve

  • Start with a layer of the pomegranate pudding. Top with an appropriate sized piece of brownie. Add a layer of orange curd, and another piece of brownie. My trifle dishes allowed for a second layer of pomegranate pudding, and a final piece of brownie (for a total of 3 brownie layers). I then top the trifle with REAL whipped cream and garnish with grated orange zest, pomegranate arils, shaved chocolate. Cinnamon is another nice option!

Notes

I use Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies for a 13 x 9 pan, and cook it in a half sheet pan for 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully, and remove when set but still soft.
I use Bob’s Red Mill Small Pearl Tapioca. If you substitute quick cook tapioca, adjust cooking time, and I cannot attest to the results being the same as I’ve not tried it!
I whip my cream and add a tablespoon or two of powdered sugar. You can use commercial whipped cream, but PLEASE don’t use fake stuff!

Nutrition

Calories: 420kcal

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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6 Comments

  1. Hi Tamara,

    I am making this dessert for our gourmet group. How far in advance can I fill the trifle cups? Do you think the brownies will get too soggy if I fill the cups the night before I serve them? Thank you!

    1. Hi Karin! I’ve always had good results making trifles several hours in advance. I’m not sure that I’ve done them the night before, usually the morning of. I prefer the brownie/cake layer to absorb the puddings, so I would think it would work fine… Let me know how you like it!

  2. Such a great idea to put together the Christmas for two series. The Mr and I often spend Christmas with just the two of us and we certainly do not need gobs and gobs of food. That said, this year we decided at last minute to go to a ski resort. But to be honest. . .the food has been blah and I’d much rather have what’s on your menu. Love a little Mexican spice action paired with chocolate. So good.

    Happy holidays to you.