Recipes & Cooking

Coffee Hazelnut Trifle

by The Culinistas

There is a time & place for everything. Moderation, hedonism, coconut oil and steamed greens but also perfectly seared steaks & fondue. January came and went, and we stuck to all our New Year’s Resolutions munching resolutions. Now, it’s time to eat something decadent! This riff on a traditional English dessert is a no-bake, hassle-free assembly of deliciousness. Ours features a layer of cocoa-soaked brioche, mocha mascarpone, and pillowy whipped cream. 

Coffee Hazelnut Trifle

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves 8 to 10


1½ loaves brioche, sliced ½ inch thick
2½ cups coconut sugar, divided
½ cup cocoa powder, divided, plus more for dusting
½ cup ground espresso, divided
1½ cups water
4 cups mascarpone
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups hazelnuts, toasted, chopped

1. Preheat oven 350ºF.

2. Toast the bread: Lay the slices of brioche on a sheet pan with a wire wrack and toast until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Let the slices slightly cool and tear into 1-inch pieces.

3. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups sugar, ¼ cup cocoa powder, ¼ cup espresso, and water to a boil. In a large bowl, pour the syrup over the bread and let sit for 10 minutes.

4. Make the mocha mascarpone: In a large bowl, mix ¼ cup sugar, remaining ¼ cup cocoa powder, remaining ¼ cup espresso, mascarpone, salt, and cardamom.

5. Make the whipped cream: In a large bowl, whisk the heavy cream and remaining ¼ cup sugar until medium peaks form.

6. Build the trifle: In a 8 x 8 deep baking dish, spread ⅓ of the mocha mascarpone evenly on the bottom, then layer on toasted bread followed by a few hazelnuts. Repeat this process until the dish is full. Make the top layer mocha mascarpone.

7. Spoon the whipped cream in the center of the trifle, spread slightly while still leaving an inch border of the mascarpone exposed. Garnish with hazelnuts and dust with cocoa powder.

A special thanks to Sylvie Rosokoff for the beautiful photograph.