Monday, January 23, 2012

Mozart Trifle

          I came across sweet treats called “Mozart” a few times in my life. First, there were world-known Austrian chocolate-coated marzipan candies: I tried them and I realized that I love the combination of chocolate and marzipan. Then, I learnt that the phenomenal contemporary French pâtissier Pierre Hermé has a gateau called “Mozart”: a meringue-based chocolate mousse with apples sandwiched between two layers of a rich cake – made, by the way, with yeast and boiled (!) eggs. And, finally, last year I found a recipe of a dessert layered in individual glasses which had the same core ingredients – apples and chocolate – as Hermé’s creation. Since I was fond of “individual desserts” at that time (there is something romantic and cute about them, isn’t it?) I decided to give it a try. The ricotta cream with three different, yet complimenting flavours, was nice, but overall the dessert somehow missed the mark. After a thorough analysis I came to the conclusion that adding layers of soaked sponge to it would upgrade the whole dish to a different level. Indeed, transforming it into a trifle was a great idea. The resulting dessert was bursting with summer flavours and juicy fruits, together with the moist pieces of sponge, beautifully counterbalanced the richness of the cream. To say true, now when I hear about the traditional English trifle, I instantly think of my Austrian version of it – with a refreshing taste and an elegant look.

Recipe adapted from the original one from


200 gm ricotta
1 egg
35 gm sugar
¼ Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored
1 tbsp butter
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tbsp orange zest
2 tbsp Cointreau
50 ml orange juice
100 gm sponge cake
a few strawberries
a spring of mint


  1. In a bowl, whisk an egg with sugar till pale. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and cook, whisking, till the mixture thickens. Allow to cool, then beat in the ricotta. Divide the mixture into three equal portions.
  2. Dice the apple. Heat butter in a pan and sauté the apple pieces till they are soft and mushy. Allow to cool slightly, then mix with the first portion of the ricotta cream, together with cinnamon. Divide the mixture between two martini glasses.
  3. Combine orange juice and 2 ½ tbsp Cointreau. Cut two rounds out of a sponge cake, soak them in the liquour-flavoured juice and cover the apple and ricotta cream.
  4. Add cocoa to the second portion of the cream and divide it between the martini glasses. Cut another two rounds of the sponge cake (they will be larger than the previous ones), soak them in the juice and cover the cocoa and ricotta cream.
  5. Add orange zest and the remaining ½ tbsp Cointreau to the third portion of the cream and spread it over the sponge pieces. Chill in the refrigerator.
  6. To serve, slice the strawberries and arrange them on top of the desserts. Garnish with the mint leaves.


  1. The original recipe suggested using raspberries and Limoncello. Since I had strawberries, I decided to go for Cointreau since, in my opinion, orange complements strawberries in the same astonishing way as lemon compliments raspberries.
  2. Since I set my trifle in martini glasses, the layers have different thickness. If you take an old-fashioned class, the layers will look even.

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