Combining two flavoursome treats into one delicious dessert, this coffee chocolate trifle recipe by MasterChef Champion Louisa Ellis pairs dark chocolate mousse with a rich coffee custard.



This sublime new recipe from Chef Louisa Ellis, created just for Difference Coffee, emphasizes the best characteristics of a classic trifle – the contrasting textures and distinctly delicious elements that combine into something altogether greater than the sum of its parts. It goes one step further, though, and replaces the flavours of a classic trifle with the far superior (in our humble opinion!) flavours of rich dark chocolate and top-quality coffee. The result is a truly delightful dessert that you’ll make again and again.

The coffee and chocolate trifle recipe does have a long-ish ingredients list and multi-step instructions, but don’t let that intimidate you. The preparation steps are quite straightforward, and using store-bought chocolate cake simplifies things considerably. So does using an electric mixer, which allows you to whip up decadent clouds of fluffy cream and the smoothest chocolate custard with ease.


200g of chocolate sponge/cupcake sponge
200ml of double cream
25g of caster sugar


250ml full fat milk
175ml double cream
1tsp of vanilla essence
6 large egg yolks
40g of cornflour
60g of caster sugar
60ml of Difference Coffee ristretto


150g butter
75g dark chocolate
62g cocoa powder + extra to sprinkle on top
4 egg yolks (lion stamped or pasteurised)
100g of caster sugar
4 egg whites (lion stamped or pasteurised)
112g of soft whipped double cream



Bring the milk, cream, vanilla and coffee to the boil.
In a bowl, whisk together the cornflour, sugar and egg yolks.
Pour the hot cream mix over the egg mix and whisk thoroughly.
Return the mix into the pan and continue to cook on a medium heat until thick and reaches 85°c. Be careful not to heat too much as the custard will scramble and burn.
Transfer the custard into a bowl on top of another bowl filled with ice and a little bit of water to cool quickly. This will help reduce the chances of a skin forming which can later lead to lumpy custard.


Melt the chocolate, butter and cocoa powder over a hot water bath until completely melted. Whisk together until smooth.
Leave aside until needed and allow to cool slightly.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the yolks & caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with the caster sugar until stiff peaks form.
When you tip the bowl upside down, the mix shouldn’t drip out.
Whisk the chocolate mix into the egg yolk mix to make a smooth paste.
Gently, fold the meringue into the chocolate paste in 5 different parts. The first part can be beaten into the paste to loosen it slightly. Bit by bit, fold the remaining 4 parts into the mix whilst trying to keep as much air in the mousse as possible.
Lastly, fold in the whipped double cream until completely combined.


(For individual trifles, split the mix in between 6 glasses)

Fill the bottom of a trifle bowl with the chocolate sponge followed by half of the coffee custard. Allow to set in the fridge.
Top the coffee custard with the chocolate mousse.
Top the mousse with the remaining custard and finish with the whipped cream.
Dust the top with a small amount of cocoa powder and chocolate sprinkles if you like.
Allow to set in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight before eating.


Luton-born Louisa Ellis was an enthusiastic cook throughout her childhood, and after attending culinary college she began an impressive career path starting in the kitchens of multi-Rosette hotels. Building upon a broad experience spanning restaurant, room service, brasserie and banquet catering, Ellis fulfilled an early career goal in moving to Michelin-starred restaurants. In Birmingham, she worked at Adam’s Restaurant, followed by The Wilderness, a 24-seat restaurant specializing in modern British cuisine. Ellis attributes her passion for elevated cuisine and attention to detail to her experiences in these acclaimed kitchens.

While cooking at The Wilderness in 2017, Ellis successfully applied to compete on MasterChef: The Professionals. She finished in the final three as the only female finalist, at the age of just 22. Her career continued its ascent with a position at Sat Bains, a two-Michelin star restaurant in Nottingham. Next came a return to MasterChef in 2020, with Ellis ultimately winning the competition. She celebrates this victory as “My biggest achievement to date.”

Louisa Ellis is currently a private chef based in Nottingham. She creates tasting menus for events nationwide and sold-out a series of restaurant take-overs. During the pandemic, Ellis launched a successful “Heat at Home” service to continue feeding first-class cuisine to appreciative customers. Among them are NHS staff and emergency service workers who receive a special deal.



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