Chocolate Almond Trifle

Yesterday I baked a cake using a recipe that I have successfully executed probably a dozen or so times: One-Bowl Chocolate Almond Cake from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook. It’s dense and gooey and heavenly. I was out of parchment paper so I took a risk and baked it straight in a greased cake pan. Apparently parchment paper is more crucial than I thought in this recipe. This happened:

Not my finest moment in the kitchen. So what do you do when your cake is a pile of crumbs and you have company coming over in less than an hour? You improvise.

I work in PR. Have I mentioned this? I’ll never forget the time a chef client of mine was about to give seafood grilling tips on live tv during a popular morning show here in Dallas-Fort Worth. The short version of the story is: his grill wouldn’t work just minutes before his segment. I had about a dozen people turn to me as the producer said, “We go live in 90 seconds. Any ideas?” I thought about that defining moment yesterday in the kitchen. (For the record, the segment turned out fabulous and no one watching at home would have guessed the segment they watched wasn’t the one we had originally planned.) Sometimes you just have to recalibrate and launch into action, in PR and in the kitchen. Remember: a recipe is not ruined unless you give up.

So I turned the chocolate cake into a chocolate cake trifle. I whipped some cream (freshly whipped cream is a bit of a staple of mine), sliced some strawberries, and layered with the cake and some of Trader Joe’s to-die for chocolate-covered almonds.

Honestly, it turned out quite pretty! Here’s the method to memorize and keep in your back pocket:

Chocolate Almond Trifle
One 9″ homemade chocolate cake, crumbled
1 cup whipping cream
2 spoonfuls powdered sugar
1 tsp almond extract
2 cups strawberries
Handful chocolate-covered almonds

1) Whip cream. A cold bowl and cold beaters or whisk will expedite the process. Toss in the powdered sugar (which not only sweetens the cream, but also helps it hold its shape) and the almond extract. Mix well.

2) Rinse strawberries, pat dry, and slice.

3) Layer everything! My order was as follows: almonds, cake crumbs, strawberries, whipped cream, plus a garnish of strawberries and almonds. That’s it! I served in martini glasses because frankly, most desserts taste better when served in martini glasses.

To be perfectly honest, I only made two for my friend and I. I threw the rest of the ingredients haphazardly in a Tupperware. After all, I only had 45 minutes to prep for dinner! But I imagine you could get 4-8 servings out of this recipe depending on what you serve it in.

Final note:
Go buy this cookbook. It’s fabulous, just like the Beekman Boys. Just don’t forget to stock up on parchment paper. 😉


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