NOURISHMENT – RECIPES FOR SUCCESS

Mini Trifles for Two

By Elle Penner, RD, MPH

Let’s indulge this month, shall we?

Between Galentine’s Day, Palentine’s Day and good old-fashioned Valentine’s Day, there are plenty of excuses to celebrate. Personally, I prefer a cozy dinner at home to a crowded and costly Valentine’s Day dinner out, and these mini trifles might just have something to do with it. Whether you’re a chocolate lover or prefer the tang of a fruity dessert, there’s something for everyone—though it might be hard to choose just one!

Made with layers of chocolate pudding, crushed graham crackers, hot fudge and toasted, gooey marshmallows with a little help from the broiler, the mini s’mores trifle is the next best thing to an actual s’mores when you don’t have a campfire. Maybe even better.

The mini berry crunch trifle incorporates layers of fluffy angel food cake, fresh berries, whipped cream, crunchy granola and generous drizzles of a simple, homemade berry sauce for tang.

The mini Oreo brownie trifle takes your basic brownie up about 10 notches with layers of whipped cream, thick hot fudge and crumbled Oreos between.

Canned whipped cream, store-bought brownies and angel food cake can be subbed for homemade should you want to put your culinary efforts toward a romantic dinner instead.

Though decadent, these mini trifles are perfectly portioned for two, but they are also plenty big enough to share if you have one or two hopefuls hovering around with spoons in hand.

NOTE: The berry and Oreo brownie trifles call for whipped cream. Canned will work, but you also can make it from scratch with only three ingredients in just a few minutes. For 1 cup of homemade whipped cream, combine ½ cup cold, heavy whipping cream, 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract in a chilled mixing bowl and beat/whisk just until stiff peaks form. Homemade whipped cream can be made up to one day in advance and stored in a covered bowl or Mason jar in the refrigerator.

MINI S’MORES TRIFLES

MAKES: 2, 10-ounce mini trifles

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup mini marshmallows, divided
  • 1 cup chocolate pudding
  • 4 graham crackers, crumbled
  • ¼ cup hot fudge, warmed

DIRECTIONS

Set oven to broil. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Divide marshmallows into 4 little piles (¼ cup per), each with a circumference similar to the size of your trifle bowls. Broil marshmallows until marshmallows melt slightly and turn golden brown. Be careful to watch the entire time because it only takes about 60 to 90 seconds. Once toasted, allow marshmallows to set 2 to 3 minutes.

When marshmallows are cool enough to handle, assemble your trifle by layering ¼ cup chocolate pudding, ¼  graham crackers, 1 marshmallow circle and 1 tablespoon hot fudge in each dish. Repeat to create a second layer. Serve immediately.

MINI BERRY CRUNCH TRIFLE

MAKES: 2, 10-ounce mini trifles

INGREDIENTS

For the berry sauce

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey

For the trifle

  • ½ cup homemade berry sauce
  • 2½ ounces angel food cake, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 1 cup chopped, fresh berries
  • ½ cup granola of choice

DIRECTIONS

For the berry sauce, combine water, frozen mixed berries, vanilla extract and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 to 7 minutes, until fruit is very soft and starting to break down. Remove from heat and either mash berries or puree for a smooth sauce. Allow sauce to cool 10 minutes.

To assemble the trifles, spoon 2 tablespoons berry sauce into the bottom of two bowls. Layer ¼ of the angel food cake into each, followed by ¼ cup whipped cream, ¼ cup fresh berries and 2 tablespoons granola. Repeat to create a second layer, finishing with a bit more berry sauce on top, if desired.

MINI FUDGY OREO BROWNIE TRIFLES

MAKES: 2 mini trifles

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 (2½- to 3-inch) brownies, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 4 Oreo cookies, crumbled
  • ¼ cup hot fudge, warmed

DIRECTIONS

Warm brownies and hot fudge.

To build trifle, place 1 brownie in the bottom of each bowl. Top with ¼ cup whipped cream, ¼  crumbled Oreos and 1 tablespoon hot fudge. Repeat to create a second layer. Serve immediately.

Video by: Elle Penner, RD MPH
Photo by: Elle Penner, RD MPH

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Author

Elle Penner, MPH RD

Elle Penner is a registered dietitian and former lead dietitian at MyFitnessPal, turned full-time writer, recipe creator, photographer, blogger and mama. Her favorite things include her camera, carbs, sweaty workouts and her son.

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