Filed Under: Brownie | Dessert

Chocolate Dream Trifles

By Tessa Arias
March 1st, 2011

Chocolate Dream Trifles are luscious from the light mousse and chewy from the rich brownie bites. HEAVEN.

Cook: 30 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.
Texture: Luscious, light mousse and chewy, rich brownie bites all in one bowl? Heaven.
Ease: Pretty straightforward actually. I made the mousse and brownies a day ahead of time.
Appearance: Is there any dessert more beautiful than a trifle in a glass dish? I especially love these cute mini trifle dishes which can be found at Sur la Table or Amazon.
Pros: Brownie and mousse layers can be made a day ahead of time, entire trifle can be assembled a day ahead of time. Perfect for entertaining. DELICIOUS.
Cons: None really, except maybe that this dessert isn’t exactly a daily treat.
Would I make this again? YES. Next time I might drizzle some chocolate sauce in between layers for extra indulgence.

Yesterday I did an upper body workout for the first time in ages. I half expected to wake up looking like Madonna this morning. But instead I was just sore. Super sore. As I finish this post I’m grateful that typing requires only the movement of my fingers and not my arms.

I’m also grateful for chocolate. I’ll never get sick of chocolate. It’s one of my most super duper favorite things in the world. Just look at all the chocolate recipes I’ve posted over the months (there’s a lot). This recipe is one to remember though because the combination of textures and the beautiful presentation are just so perfect. I get excited just thinking about it. Then I get sad when I remember that there’s no more left. Wahh.


How to make
Chocolate Dream Trifles

Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Chocolate Dream Trifles are luscious from the light mousse and chewy from the rich brownie bites. HEAVEN.


Brownie Layer:

  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Mousse Layer:

  • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips, or 8 ounces semisweet chocolate,
  • chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream, well chilled


For the brownies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Cover a 13 x 9 x 2 pan with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang, and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt butter and chocolate, stirring constantly. Alternatively, melt in microwave using 30 second bursts in microwave safe container. Transfer chocolate mixture to bowl of stand mixer or large mixing bowl, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Add sugar vanilla to chocolate mixture, using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer or hand mixer – mix together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Scrape down bowl, add eggs and salt mix until batter is lightened in color, 2-3 minutes. Stir in flour by hand until just combined. Spread mixture into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cool in pan on wire rack 30 minutes. Can be made up to 3 days ahead.

For the mousse:

  1. Fill a small saucepan half full with water. Choose a small, deep heatproof bowl that fits snugly on the saucepan. Be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Add the chocolate to the small bowl and set the water-filled pan and bowl over medium heat.
  2. Heat the chocolate, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until it is melted, about 5 minutes. During that time, the water should simmer, not boil. Adjust the heat up or down as needed. Turn off the heat. Remove the bowl from the saucepan of water. Set the bowl aside to cool slightly.
  3. Pour the cream into a seperate large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream on medium speed until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Add the warm chocolate to the cream. Continue beating on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. To test, turn off the mixer and lift the beaters. If the cream makes soft little peaks that flop over slightly, it is ready.
  4. Spoon the mousse into serving cups or glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before preparing trifle.

To assemble trifle:

  1. Remove baked brownies from pan and using a large knife or bench scraper, cut into 1-inch chunks, or the best size to accommodate your trifle dish(es). Fill the bottom of your trifle dish with about half of the brownie chunks.
  2. Spoon half of the chocolate mousse over the brownie chunks. Layer the remaining brownie chunks over the chocolate mousse layer. Spoon the remaining chocolate mousse over brownie layer. Serve now or refrigerate until ready to serve, up to one day.

Recipe Notes

Brownie adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts and Mousse from Williams Sonoma
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

Leave a Comment & Rating

Add a Review or Question

*Please select a rating to complete your comment.

Recipe Rating

  1. #
    pixie — December 4, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    it wasnt as fluffy and light colored as yours. it was like a thick syrup and dark brown choclate. i just realized that the recipe called for heavy cream and i used heavy whipping cream:/ do you think thats why it didnt turn out the same?

  2. #
    Pixie — December 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    This taste delicious but my mousse was all chocolate it wasn’t white. Why do you think it happened? I did exactly as said:/

    • #
      Tessa — December 4, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      I’m not quite sure what you’re asking? The mousse is chocolate and shouldn’t be white colored.

  3. #
    Bruce — November 8, 2011 at 10:03 am

    This trifle looks really delicious
    Christmas Trifle Recipes

  4. #
    Peggy — March 7, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    This looks so delicious! You're definitely right – you can't go wrong with chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!

  5. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — March 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    These are stunning! I love the small dishes… And, I'm totally craving some chocolate mousse, now.

    I can totally relate to that sore feeling after an upper body workout, too… I've been gradually trying to do more strength training, so there have been a lot of sore days!

  6. # — March 3, 2011 at 4:02 am

    true story — i've never made a trifle. it's kind of weird actually because this looks so good, i should be making them all the time.

  7. #
    Aveen — March 2, 2011 at 9:09 am

    This is absolutely nothing like the trifles I remember having as a kid, all jelly and sponge and layers of rubbery yellow custard! Looks VERY yummy 🙂

  8. #
    Tracey — March 2, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Gorgeous photos Tessa – these look so good! I love the mini trifle dishes, I need to add some of those to my wish list 🙂

  9. #
    Sheena — March 2, 2011 at 1:06 am

    This trifle looks heavenly – so many wonderful layers of chocolate! I haven't done a workout in ages, but I know that horrid sore feeling the next day, hope it goes away soon, Tessa 🙂

  10. #
    Aisha Jameel — March 1, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    wow ! lovely dishes and a really good presentation 🙂 will definitely try this out
    I have a blog too .I would be really happy if you follow it !


  1. Pingback:Chocolate and Raspberry Trifle | I'll Have Seconds

Join the Handle the Heat Community

Cookie Customization Chart
Do you want a more delicious life?
Instead of digging through cookbooks and magazines and searching the internet for amazing recipes, subscribe to Handle the Heat to receive new recipe posts delivered straight to your email inbox. You’ll get all the latest recipes, videos, kitchen tips and tricks AND my *free* Cookie Customization Guide (because I am the Cookie Queen)!
As Seen On....
NPR People Time Glamour Readers Digest The Huffington Post BuzzFeed