General rule: if you’re going to make something special for your family, don’t take cheap and sleazy shortcuts. That’s my rule, and I’m going to stick by it. That doesn’t mean I never cut corners, but doggonit, if I’m going to make something which says, “I really care about you,” it won’t have non-dairy whipped topping out of a plastic tub. The exception to cutting corners is Chili Cheese dip, which is a football tradition.
So this morning, being St. Patrick’s Day, I was sent a recipe for Irish Chocolate Trifle. My husband doesn’t like chocolate, but with enough liqueur, even he might be tempted. I clicked through to the proffered recipe and said, “ewwwwww.” I’m posting the link if you want the dumbed down version. There you go. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So let’s take a good idea and do it right, OK?
Chocolate Irish Crème Trifle
- Best Chocolate Cake, broken into pieces
- 1 pint whipping cream
- Chocolate pudding, recipe below
- Green spearmint candy, crushed
- Alcohol of choice
Best Chocolate CakeAdapted from Betty Crocker ©1978
- 1 cup all-purpose or cake flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup plus 2 T water
- 1/4 cup plus 2 T buttermilk
- 1/4 cup shortening (I used 1/8 c lard, 1/8 butter as I am eschewing shortening)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate, cooled
Heat oven to 350º. Great and flour square pan 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 inches. Beat all ingredients in large mixer bowl on low speed, scraping bowl constantly, 30 seconds. Beat on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 3 minutes. Pour into pan.
Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool.
Chocolate Crème Pudding
- 1 bar (4 oz.) sweet cooking chocolate
- 2/3 cup half-and-half
- 2 T sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks slightly and set aside. Heat chocolate, half-and-half and sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and the mixture simmers. Remove from heat and gradually beat chocolate mixture into egg yolks. Stir in vanilla. Cover with cling film and refrigerate.
When your trifle is ready to assemble, whip your cream with
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
Resist the urge to add more sweetener or your finished product will be too sweet for some palates.
Assembling the trifle
In a tall-sided trifle bowl, put down a layer of cake bits. Douse them to taste with either Bailey’s Irish Cream or Irish Whiskey or both. The cake should be a sponge for the liquid, not a drowning victim.
Cover with a thin layer of pudding.
Sprinkle some crushed spearmint candy — not too much or your dessert will be too sweet. This is a flavor foil only.
Add a layer of whipped cream.
Repeat until bowl is full, ending with a whipped cream layer. Sprinkle a small amount of the green candy on top as garnish.
Note – the longer the alcohol sits, the better the dessert tastes, so balance that against the reality of the whipped cream being less attractive after a couple of hours. Find your happy time and dig in.
You can also construct individual trifles in tall glasses, leaving out the alcohol to suit individual and/or underage tastes.