Orange Chocolate Mousse Trifle

Posted on Nov 14 2007 - 10:09am by Barry C. Parsons

Orange Chocolate Mousse Trifle – this recipe was a rescue for an over baked chocolate sponge cake that turned out to be a much better dessert than I had first planned.

Orange Chocolate Mousse Trifle

Orange Chocolate Mousse Trifle

This orange infused chocolate mousse trifle recipe isn’t really a recipe at all but an attempt to rescue a chocolate sponge cake that I over-baked. I’m usually pretty good at setting the timer but I forgot this time and went upstairs and forgot about it. the cake wasn’t burnt at all but sponge cake can be quite unforgiving and even if over baked by 5 minutes can be too dry to use as a stand alone cake.

The solution of course for any almost any cake issue is to turn it into a luscious trifle. A little soak in Grand Mariner or even orange infused simple syrup can rescue the dry cake and by the time you pile on all that chocolate mousse, whipped cream and chocolate ganache, you crime against cake will well and truly be covered up.
Orange Chocolate Mousse Trifle

Orange Chocolate Mousse Trifle

In this recipe you can use a chocolate sponge cake as I did or use the easy one-bowl chocolate cake recipe provided below.
Orange Chocolate Mousse Trifle
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Orange Chocolate Mousse Trifle - this recipe was a rescue for an over baked chocolate sponge cake that turned out to be a much better dessert than I had first planned.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: Serves 12
For the Chocolate Cake
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup soured milk (1 tbsp lemon juice added to 1 cup milk)
  • 1 cup black coffee
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Chocolate-Orange Mousse
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Zest of a large orange very finely chopped
  • 1 oz water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
For the orange syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • zest of a large orange
For the Chocolate Ganache Sauce
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
For the Vanilla Whipped Cream
  • 1 ½ cups whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Additionally you will need
  • 3 ounces Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur (optional)
To prepare the Chocolate Cake:
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with electric mixer for 2 minutes.
  2. Pour into 2 greased and floured 9 inch cake pans.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare the Chocolate-Orange Mousse
  1. Whip your cream to soft peaks and chill in refrigerator.
  2. Melt chocolate with butter and orange zest on low heat, stirring until smooth.Cool for 15 minutes.
  3. In double boiler, whisk yolks, sugar and water. Cook and stir over boiling water until mixture reaches 170 degrees F.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate mixture. Place saucepan in a bowl of ice water and stir constantly until chocolate cools to about room temperature.
  5. Fold in whipped cream. Beat egg whites to soft peaks and fold into the mousse.
To prepare the orange syrup
  1. Boil the sugar, water and orange zest together gently for about 15 minutes.
  2. Strain out the orange zest and set the syrup aside to cool. You can save the candied zest for garnish if you wish.
To prepare the Chocolate Ganache Sauce
  1. Scald ½ cup cream and add 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips.
  2. Stir over low heat until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
To prepare the Vanilla Whipped Cream
  1. Beat the cream, icing sugar and vanilla together to firm peaks.
To assemble the trifle
  1. Chop the cake into cubes and layer ⅓ of them into the bottom of your trifle bowl. drizzle with the chocolate sauce.
  2. Next sprinkle the cake with orange syrup and Grand Marnier (or combine both).
  3. Add half the mousse in the next layer.
  4. Begin to layer again with another ⅓ of the cake cubes, chocolate sauce, orange syrup/Grand Marnier, the remaining half of the mousse and finally the remaining cake cubes and orange syrup/Grand Marnier.
  5. Top with Vanilla Whipped Cream and serve with the Chocolate Ganache Sauce. Garnish with a supremed orange, candied orange zest, and/or shaved chocolate.

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Made it! Love it! I cheated a bit by not using the chocolate cake recipe (from scratch). Otherwise, I completed all of the other steps in less than 1 hour! The mousse is incredible. The ganache is to die for. I did use the candied orange zest as a garnish and it was beautiful.