If there is one dessert in this world that reigns all power and influence over my self-control, I might have to point a finger at the trifle. It encompasses yummy dense cake for one thing (check), some kind of mousse/pudding for another (check), and it's then topped with a huge canopy of whipped cream along with sprinklings of fresh fruit, toffee bits, chocolate chunks, or in this case, peppermint candy cane slathers. Many original and traditional trifles involve some fashion of alcohol-drenched cake, which I do not drink, as well as some form gelatin creation, which, if we're getting snobby, I suppose pudding is a form of gelatin, which I have then used in this recipe. Generally speaking, you will find most trifles include at least the basic components namely cake, a custard of some fashion, and whipped cream, which this recipe does not fall short of.
Whoever the brilliant-minded, genius-tongued person was who decided cake wasn't enough on its own and started layering that with heavy custard and whipped cream was either downright insane or didn't have enough sugar in their diet because this is NOT diet-friendly. No No. It is indulgent. It is laden with calories. And it is quite delicious. Every bite down to the last lick of the bowl is satisfying.
And if you have a bigger crowd to take dessert to this week, you won't be short of portion sizes with this baby accompanying you- it does at least 10. Of course if you are like hubs and myself, you'll want more to nash on later-- like, for breakfast the next morning. Any objections? I thought not.
And if you want to go really overboard with peppermint thing, try adding 1 tsp of peppermint extract to the CAKE batter.
And if you are REALLY ambitious and have hours of free time this week, you certainly may forgo the cheating way of using pre-packaged cake and pudding and make your own. I applaud you if you do.
And, well, enjoy. Most of all, have a sensational Christmas, good luck it all done, and if you're traveling, go safely.
I am sensing this week may go by very quickly!
Peppermint Chocolate Mousse Trifle
2 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 cup crushed peppermint candy cane, separated
12 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 box chocolate cake mix (dark chocolate or chocolate fudge flavor)
1 large box chocolate pudding (or vanilla-- whatever!)
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, whipped (add 2 Tbsp powdered sugar while it's beating)-- this is for the very top of the trifle
First-make the cake in a 9x 13 glass pan according to package directions. Allow to cool completely.
Now you will make a white chocolate mousse. First, prepare an ice bath-- take a large bowl, fill it halfway up with ice cubes and then fill it with cold water. Set aside. In a small saucepan, take 1 cup whipping cream and bring it a boil. In a food processor or blender, place 12 ounces of chopped white chocolate in and add the boiling cream to the white chocolate. Blend/process this until it's smooth and combined. Pour it in a bowl, and PLACE THIS BOWL in your ice bath (but you don't want any water seeping in, so proceed with caution!). Allow to cool- 20 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, whip another 1 1/2 cups of cream until soft peaks form. Slowly FOLD this into the white-chocolate cooled mixture. Also fold in 1/2 cup of crushed peppermint candy. Gently stir until it's all combined, cover with wrap and allow to refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Just before you are ready to assemble everything, make your pudding according to package instructions- it should "gel" up within 5 minutes or so. Set aside.
Using a large glass bowl, layer as follows:
Chocolate cake chunks
White chocolate mousse (that has been chilled in the fridge:))
Chocolate cake chunks
White chocolate mousse
Whipped cream (the very top)
Peppermint shavings (topping)
Clear as mud?
Or just do it however your heart tells you to.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (best if chilled for at least 1-2 hours before serving).