A hint of cinnamon and chipotle 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!
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.
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. 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!
- 1 box brownie mix, (see notes)
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ancho or chipotle powder
Orange-Cinnamon Curd Layer
- 2 oranges, zest completely removed, avoid the white pith! (See notes)
- 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
- whipped cream, (see notes)
- chocolate bar, shaved
- orange, zested
- pomegranate arils
- 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 ¾ 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.)
- 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!
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 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...
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 420