Ready time: 12 hours including chilling time
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 tbsp orange zest
1/4 cup butter
250 g (8 oz) chocolate
1 cup mascarpone
2 cups whipping cream
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup coffee
1/4 cup Kahlua
12 lady fingers cookies
2 ripe persimmons, peeled and chopped, optional
For the brittle, combine sugar and water in a small pot over medium-high heat. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until syrup has turned a dark amber colour. Stir in hazelnuts and orange zest. Pour onto parchment and allow to cool, about 10 minutes. When cool break into pieces.
For the trifle, melt butter and chocolate over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly, then beat chocolate mixture into mascarpone.
Whip 1 cup whipping cream mixed with icing sugar until medium peaks form. Fold into chocolate mascarpone, and set aside.
Reduce coffee in a small pot over high heat until only 1/3 cup remains, about 8 to 10 minutes. Whip remaining cream until medium peaks form. Add Kahlua and whip again until peaks reform. Reserve.
Place a thin layer of Kahlua cream into the bottom of a round clear serving dish. Crumb half of the lady fingers over the cream, and then drizzle with half of the reduced coffee.
Sprinkle with 1/4 of the hazelnut brittle. Add a layer of persimmon, followed by layer of chocolate mousse. Repeat once more, ending with chocolate mousse. Garnish with remaining Kaluha whipped cream and hazelnut brittle.