Thursday, October 1, 2015

Chocolate Brownie Trifle

Okay, I promised to give out this recipe weeks ago after I made this dessert for a get-together with my husband's high school buddies. It tastes a little bit like heaven, and the happy part is that it's easy to make! I modified it from Chocolate from The Cake Mix Doctor. I love this book. I hardly use real cookbooks anymore, what with the handiness of the internet, but this book is an exception.

Time for pre-recipe disclaimers? I only have a couple. The Cake Mix Doctor uses "frozen whipped topping" (code for "Cool Whip") in her recipe. Her reason is that since this dish is already so decadent, she wanted a topping that wouldn't add to the richness. Buying a tub of frozen whipped topping cuts out both calories and preparation, and the end result is incredible. That being said, if you're morally opposed to using Cool Whip (mom?), go ahead and beat up some fresh whipped cream. It will taste amazing either way.

Also, I feel like trifles can look really fancy and elegant, but my presentation never seems to live up to my expectations. So if you make this and it looks as good as it tastes, please post a pretty picture! You'll get a gold star and my admiration.


1 package (19.8 ounces) brownie mix (and ingredients to bake according to directions)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed (or 2 cups whipped cream)
1/2 to 1 lbs fresh strawberries

Grease a 9x13 inch pan. Preheat oven and mix brownies according to package directions. Pour batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips (and pecans, if desired). Bake until the outside 2 inches have formed a crust and brownies feel firm (typically 25 to 30 minutes for most mixes in a 350 degree oven. Again, follow the box's baking instructions and temperature, keeping in mind that the chocolate chips will extend the cooking time by a few minutes. Don't under-bake the brownies for this recipe!) Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

While the brownies are baking, whip up the mousse! Pour the chocolate chips in a medium mixing bowl and set aside. Pour the cream into a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring often. When it reaches a boil, pour the cream over the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is well-combined. Place the bowl (and your electric mixer beaters) in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.

Once the cream-chocolate mixture is completely cooled, remove from the fridge and beat on medium-high until it forms stiff peaks. This should only take 1 to 2 minutes; do not over-whip the mousse! It should look thick and, well, mousse-like (and it tastes like heaven; try a little!)

Wash, de-stem, and quarter your strawberries.

The brownies should be cool by now, so it's time for assembly! Three cheers for all ye folks who have a beautiful trifle dish. I... do not. I usually use a large glass bowl. First, crumble one half of the brownies into half-inch pieces. I find it easiest to use 2 forks for this part and tear little pieces off of the giant slab of brownie. But it matters not how: crumble half of the brownies and place the pieces evenly on the bottom of your serving dish. Next, add half of the mousse, making sure to spread it out in an even layer. Top with half of the frozen topping (or whipped cream). Repeat these layers, crumbling the remaining brownies, adding the mouse, and topping with a flourish of whipped topping. Add copious amounts of strawberries on top, and voila! Trifle. Spoon into individual serving bowls and enjoy. (If you're not going to eat it immediately, cover with lid or plastic wrap and keep chilled in the refrigerator. I'd recommend adding the strawberries close to serving time.)

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