If you have not abandoned me because of my relatively lackluster (and simplistic) posts over the past four days, thanks! The reason for the pre-fab (and still fabulous) posts was the wedding of two of my very dear friends from Charlottesville: Katie and Mark. Katie has been one of my closest friends since we met our first year of college, and I literally could not imagine my undergrad life, nor my life in Charlottesville as “an adult person,” without her. I’ll fill y’all in on the wedding food and details in a bit, but let’s just go ahead and cut right to MY food contribution to the weekend: Mint Chocolate Trifle.
It is in no way healthy. But it is as delicious as it sounds.
Thursday evening before the wedding weekend, we girls got together to celebrate the bachelorette with dinner, drinks, and dessert at the Matron of Honor’s house. I was (happily) entrusted with the responsibility of dessert. As Katie is a fan of all things mint chocolate–and I am a fan of all things involving pudding and/or (but preferably and) Cool-Whip, a mint chocolate trifle seemed to be the obvious choice.
Interestingly enough, there was a shocking lack of mint chocolate trifle recipes on the internet for adapting…so I had to just throw caution to the wind and see what happened. Every good trifle starts with cake.*
*Unlike “every good boy does fine” this statement is not a pneumonic device for anything.
I chose to use a devil’s food cake mix for deep, chocolate flavor, but you can use any chocolate cake mix you’ve got or that is on sale. I did consider using brownies, but I didn’t want the dessert to be so filling that people could only have a bite or two and then push their plate away. [This is totally understandable, and I'm guilty of it myself,* but it is highly ungratifying for the baker.]
*OK, that’s not really true. While I can say initially say no to dessert if I don’t want it…once I get started I have a hard time stopping.
Prepare the cake based on the box directions.
[Don't waste time making cake from scratch. It's about to get covered in Cool-Whip and pudding so it doesn't matter if it's the best cake in the world or not. Buy the cake that is on sale and keep it simple.]
Cut or break into bite-sized pieces and collect all chunks and crumbs in a plastic bag until it is time to assemble the trifle.
To prepare the pudding [slash] custard, you’ll need to spend some time unwrapping a bunch of mini York Peppermint Patties.
Twelve of them, to be precise.
Pop them into a microwave safe bowl with a splash of milk and microwave for 30 seconds. [Did you know that when you microwave a York* it puffs up like a marshmallow? I didn't either.]
*Not to be confused with a Yorkie. That I do not recommend.
In a very large mixing bowl, combine the melted Peppermint Patties* with two small boxes of chocolate pudding mix, and 3 3/4 cups of milk.
*Not to be confused with Charlie Brown’s mopey friend.
(No, I do not know why I chose to use sugar-free pudding.
I am aware that makes no logical sense.
I am aware that makes no logical sense.
Save calories where I can?)
To the milk, pudding, and peppermints, add 16 oz. of whipped topping. Yes, I meant to type 16 oz. That would be the double-sized container. Did I mention you would need two of those?
Stir and stir and stir.
Chances are, it will be a little lumpy since the Yorks won’t melt perfectly. No worries. Trifles are all about texture.
Let that set for at least an hour in the fridge (although if you don’t, I’m sure the whole thing will still turn out fine). While that’s happening, unwrap some Andes mints and the rest of your peppermint patties.
[Andes mints are so delicious, but--as we discussed that evening--are an oft-neglected candy. Perhaps because they get stuck with the rest of the 'oddball' candy in the candy aisle, and people forget about them. I associate them permanently with my grandparents' country club in Wisconsin. The best part about going to eat dinner "at the club" was smuggling home as many of these from the hostess stand as possible.]
There’s no rhyme or reason.
As long as the outside looks pretty, the inside can just be a mess.
If you don’t have a trifle bowl, do what I did and use an upside-down glass cake cover.
In this case, it’s good to be triflin’.
Mint Chocolate Trifle
1 box devil’s food cake
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding
4 cups milk, separated
2 16 oz. containers whipped topping (also known as Cool Whip or its generic substitute), thawed
1 package Andes Mints
1 12 oz. package (miniature) York Peppermint Patties
1. Prepare cake according to manufacturer’s directions. Allow to cool, then cut and crumble into bite-sized pieces. Store until ready for trifle assembly.
2. Unwrap twelve York Peppermint Patties and place them in a small, microwave-safe bowl with 2-4 tablespoons milk. Microwave for 30 seconds.
3. In a large mixing bowl, stir together melted Yorks, pudding mix, and 3 3/4 cups milk.
4. Add to the bowl one 16-oz. container of whipped topping. Stir well to combine.
5. Refrigerate pudding mixture for at least an hour to set.
6. Unwrap Andes mints and remaining Peppermint Patties.
7. To assemble, layer cake pieces, pudding, whipped topping, and candy pieces, making sure to leave enough whipped topping to finish.