Sunday, January 27, 2013

Chocolate Trifle

Last month I was asked to make one of my favorite desserts for a friend's birthday party, so I attempted to really focus on taking lots of pictures of the whole process of making this amazing trifle.  This recipe can be as easy or as difficult as you want it to be.  I'll share with you the 'cheat method' and the 'from scratch' method!  Both are delicious!

Chocolate Trifle (adapted from Paula Deen's Chocolate Toffee Trifle)

1 box chocolate cake mix or one batch Mocha Chocolate Cake
1/2 cup dulce de leche, heated (or, mix 1/4 cup carmel topping with 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk)
2 cups fudge sauce (jarred or recipe follows), warmed
2 cups heavy cream whipped and sweetened with 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla (you can substitute this with store bought cool whip, but there's nothing better than homemade whipped cream and it really is easy to make)
1/2 - 1 cup mini chocolate chips

Prepare the cake according to package instructions or follow the link to the recipe for Mocha Chocolate Cake for a 9 x 12-inch pan.  Allow the cake to rest for 5 minutes.  While cake is resting, heat the dulce de leche mixture on the stove or in the microwave.  You want the mixture to be smooth and runny, so it usually take about 5 minutes on the stove.

Now, using a fork or straw, poke holes throughout the cake, but be careful not to puncture all the way to the bottom of the pan.  After poking your holes, pour the dulce de leche mixture evenly all over the cake and watch it get absorbed by the chocolate!  Allow the cake to cool completely on the counter and then cover with saran wrap and cool in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Cake after the dulce de leche has cooled on the top.  You can barely see the holes in the cake.
Next, remove the cake from the refrigerator and slice it into 1 inch thick pieces (I think mine are bigger than this, then I cut them smaller at the end).  Remember, this is a dump cake, you can't mess it up and it always makes a great impression!  You will need a trifle bowl or large bowl to assemble this cake.  Now you have all of your ingredients: cooled cake cut into small pieces, heated fudge sauce and whipped cream.  The layers begin as follows: cake pieces to fill in bottom layer, 1/4 of fudge sauce, 1/3 of the whipped cream.  Continue that pattern until you run out of items or you reach the top of the trifle bowl.  Sprinkle chocolate chips on top for a beautiful presentation.  Sometimes I have leftovers so I make a mini one in a regular bowl for me and my helpers to share. . .  ;)

These are all of the ingredients ready to be assembled. 

This is the homemade whipped cream.  It's so easy to make!  Seriously.  
Hot Fudge Sauce (this stuff is crazy addictive)

1 4-oz bar bittersweet chocolate (I use any dark chocolate for this)
1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate (baking bars)
8 tbls butter (1 stick)
3 cups powdered sugar
1 2/3 cup evaporated milk (basically one small can)
1 1/4 tsp vanilla

Melt the chocolate and the butter over low heat in a medium saucepan.  Turn the heat up to medium once melted.  Stir in the powdered sugar, alternating with the evaporated milk and mixing well after each addition.  Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer.  Continue cooking for 8 minutes while simmering, then remove from heat and add vanilla.  

Note: This fudge sauce is a labor or love.  It takes a long time for me to make it and I usually bump up the temperature just to a 6 on my stove just to get things moving.  So, if you're new to baking, I might just buy the fudge sauce from the store.  I promise it will still be 'to die for.'  

You see how it sticks to the spoon when the fudge sauce is done?  That's the consistency you want. It also thickens a bit upon cooling.
Yield: 10-12 servings

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