So I think I’ve officially entered the adult world regarding Christmas. I’m legitimately excited about some of the practical things I might be getting for Christmas (things on my list: new slippers, new trash can). But more telling than that, I’ve gone from the impatient “There are a whole ____ days until Christmas!” sentiment to “Oh my gosh! There are only ____ days until Christmas!”
I swore as a child that I would never reach a stage where I would be excited about something as unexciting about a trash can and would never feel that Christmas is coming too soon. And yet here I am perfectly happy about it. Well, except the Christmas coming too soon. Time could slow down a bit for me, not only because my baby girl is growing up so fast, but also because I had intentions of doing a bit more Christmas baking that at this point look like they will go on unfulfilled.
The only reason this dessert made the cut is because we had some friends over for dinner last week, and a trifle seemed like the perfect easy yet holiday appropriate dessert. And it was on the menu later in the week, too, for my office Christmas party. And obviously, if you’re looking for a last minute holiday dish, I think it would be perfect for you too. Yes there are a lot of components, but you can use shortcuts as much as you want (I totally used brownies from a box) and you can do so much of it ahead of time (I made my brownies, pudding, and whipped cream the day before). And all of this means this dessert is low on the difficulty scale and high on the impressive scale. Which I have so needed this month when everything has needed to be as quick and convenient as possible. (Even though you might not believe me because of this and this.)
And since that’s the case, I’m pretty sure I need to go fold laundry or wrap some Christmas presents or just find something to do while Evelyn is still asleep.
Hope you have a Merry Christmas/Happy New Year/Wonderful Holiday Season!
The best thing to do with this dessert is make as much of it ahead of time as you can. You can make the pudding, brownies, and whipped cream a day in advance, and then assemble it in the morning before you serve the dish in the evening. If it has a day to sit, it really is best. I'm not putting time estimates on here because it completely depends on how you make it. You can used a box of brownies (or probably even brownie bites from you grocery store bakery), a box of pudding, and frozen whipped topping, so that the most time consuming thing is assembling the dish. Or you can make everything from scratch. Your choice, and either way works.
- For the pudding:
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups milk
- 3 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- (Alternative: a large box of chocolate pudding mix)
- For the whipped cream:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon mint extract
- (Alternative: a container of frozen whipped topping, defrosted, and with mint extract stirred in)
- For the brownies
- 1 (9 x 13 inch) pan brownies (make you own or use a box)
- To finish:
- 1 package chocolate mint candies, chopped (like Andes)
- To make the pudding, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa power, salt, and milk in a medium-sized saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. It will come to a boil and then thicken up (it takes about 10-15 minutes). Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Then remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to let cool slightly, but continue to whisk frequently to prevent a film layer from forming on top. Then cover with plastic wrap (once it is cool enough that the plastic won't melt), placing the plastic wrap directly on top of the surface of the pudding. Refrigerate until completely cooled.
- To make the whipping cream, combine the cream and sugar in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Then add the mint extract and beat just until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
- To assemble the trifle, crumble of 1/3 of the brownies and place in the bottom of a trifle dish. Top with 1/3 of the pudding, a sprinkling of chocolate mint candies, and 1/3 of the whipped cream. Continue to layer until all the ingredients are used (except maybe a few of the candies), ending on whipped cream. If you have any extra candies left, top with a bit of those. Refrigerate until ready to serve.