When our monthly bunko group sent the email sign-up for food, I signed up to bring a dessert. I've not been in the making-things mood very often recently, with morning sickness in the early months, and the whole my-husband-is-a-med-student-and-never-home thing going on, but I decided it was time to get out of this rut.
The theme was springtime stuff/gardening, so I decided to make a pretty trifle.
I was very lucky to get a lovely trifle dish with a lid for a wedding gift. It sat in storage for a few years, until my sister dug it out to use, and then when we moved from our tiny condo, it got a permanent spot in my pantry.
I wanted to really go for it with this trifle. The ones I've had/made in recent years have been on the healthier side: angel food cake, reduced-fat cool whip, etc., blah blah blah. Also, I didn't really want an intensely chocolate-focused trifle. I (typically) err on the side fruit-focused desserts in general anyway.
I wanted none of this let's-make-it-healthier stuff. I wanted the good stuff. Not low-fat and homemade, but still light. With only things in it that I like, and nothing in it that "needed" to be in it, like nuts or blueberries (I like both nuts and blueberries, but I don't always need them in a trifle).
So, may I present, one of the few (if any?) concoctions that I have totally made up myself. The parts (pound cake, vanilla pudding, and whipped cream) are all homemade, but not my own recipes. The combination of them, however, is my own. Let me be clear: I don't think this is super-genius or anything, but maybe some of you will find its simplicity of taste-combination freeing?
I'll show you the parts individually, and then bring it all together at the bottom.
Let's start with the VANILLA PUDDING. Having never made pudding-pudding before (except for pudding-ish pie fillings, like so), I found this recipe from NYTimes here, so I figured it was a safe bet.
Some lovely half-and-half, a wonderful start to many tasty things.
I had one more vanilla bean, so I went for it on this one, for the authentic factor (I guess...whatever that means). I'm sure it's just as yummy (and slightly simpler) with vanilla extract.
Pudding made and about to put in the fridge to chill (you can see how thick it is on the side of the bowl):
Cut and sprinkled generously with sugar:
POUND CAKE, recipe from my lovely & talented sis-in-law Amanda (and her sis Diana), similar to this one. (I am holding out hope that one day soon, she will get her own blog going and share it with you from there!)
WHIPPED CREAM, doubled this recipe (starting with a chilled bowl, popped in the freezer for a few minutes):
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Easy! And so much tastier (to me) than Cool Whip. So why not?
And DARK CHOCOLATE CHUNKS, Kroger brand. I trust that you can all imagine what they look like by themselves.
Leslie's Trifle (with everything she likes in it)
- 1 quart (or this full recipe) vanilla pudding, chilled
- 1/3-ish of one pound cake, cut into small cubes
- 1 pint strawberries, sliced and sprinkled generously with sugar
- 2 batches (at least) of whipped cream
- 2/3 bag (or however many you want) dark chocolate chunks
Cover the bottom of the trifle dish with the pound cake chunks. Spread (generously) half of the pudding over the top. Spoon strawberries over the pudding until covered; sprinkle chocolate chunks on top. Top this layer with whipped cream until covered. Repeat layers: pound cake, pudding, strawberries, chocolate chips. Top all with whipped cream with garnish with strawberries and chocolate chips. Chill at least one hour.