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February 5, 2014

For true love, layer passion fruit and chocolate

Passion fruit, chocolate and Champagne. Could there be three ingredients better suited for a holiday built around love?

There are several components to this dessert, but none of them is difficult, and they combine to form a most impressive and decadent dessert. Passion fruit puree generally is found in the freezer section of your grocer, often alongside the Hispanic ingredients.

CHOCOLATE-CHAMPAGNE TRIFLE WITH PASSION FRUIT CURD

Start to finish: 1 hour

Servings: 4

For the chocolate cake:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1/4 cup coffee

2 eggs

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

Pinch of salt

For the passion fruit curd:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 eggs

1/2 cup passion fruit puree

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pinch of salt

For the Champagne cream:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 egg yolks

3/4 cup Champagne (or other sparkling wine)

1/2 cup heavy cream

Fresh berries, to garnish

First, make the chocolate cake. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray, then line the bottom with kitchen parchment.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Stir in the coffee until smooth and glossy.

In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, cocoa, brown sugar and salt. Add the chocolate mixture, and beat until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan, and bake for 20 minutes, or until slightly puffed and no longer loose at the center. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make the passion fruit curd. In a clean, small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the eggs, and beat until smooth. Add the passion fruit puree, and beat again until smooth.

Set the pan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the butter and salt. Set aside and allow to cool completely.

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