Chocolate Strawberry Trifle

It was my mom’s birthday this week, so I made her a cake..type..thing. I didn’t want to make a plain cake (not special enough for my special mama), and I was kind of in the mood to try out a trifle. Trifles are AMAZING. I think I’ve really only had one, and it was made by my friend, Cherish, who went to baking school. So that’s probably why I think they’re so great. But I’ve only seen white cake versions of trifle, and my mom needs chocolate, so here’s what I did!

One could easily make this dessert from scratch, because it’s not a “difficult” thing to make, but it does have a lot of components, so I decided to take a couple of shortcuts.

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I used boxed cake mix and jello pudding (instead of custard/mousse). I didn’t actually end up using the Cool Whip, because I found that I had time to make my own whipped cream.

So first things first, you make your cake (in 2 round pans):

Taking a picture with one hand while pouring cake mix with another: NOT EASY.
Taking a picture with one hand while pouring cake mix with another: NOT EASY.

While you wait for that to bake, you make your pudding. Like I said, trifles aren’t difficult to make, but they involve a lot of steps, and it seems that breaking those steps up is the best way to do it. I made the cake and pudding in the morning, then ran some errands while they cooled/chilled in the fridge, and did the rest in the afternoon.

Slice up some strawberries (or whatever fruit you’d like, but come on, with chocolate cake? It’s gonna be strawberries).

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I actually sliced these the night before (and put them in the fridge), so they could stew in their yummy juices for a while. I lie to you in my posts, but I tell the truth in the captions. :)

Then you make yo’self some delicious whipped cream. My heart broke a little when I bought that Cool Whip because I’ve NEVER used Cool Whip before, and I hope I never have to. I just didn’t think I’d have time to make my own, but I did! Yay!

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Now you get to assemble! The best part! So thunk your cake pans upside down on the counter until the cake plops out, and shove one round to the bottom of the trifle dish. Then spread a layer of fruit, a layer of pudding, and a layer of whipped cream. Repeat once, and keep a couple of strawberries to garnish the top.

Refrigerate until serving.

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By the way, as I wrapped my mom’s birthday gift, Jane hopped into the wrapping paper bin.

HAPPIEST CAT ALIVE

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

Sometimes you have to ask your co-workers to do favors for you, or sometimes you make a mistake that they have to fix. When this happens, I like to make them a treat. It makes them hate me less and gives me a good excuse to bake.

So these are my “I’m sorry, Brenda, for asking you to give someone a message when you were on vacation, please don’t hate me Rice Krispie Treats”.

I’ve never made these before, so this was a fun adventure!

You pour about 3/4 cup of Corn Syrup and 3/4 cup of sugar into a large pan, and heat, mixing frequently, until it comes to a boil.

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Then remove from heat and mix in about 3/4 cup of peanut butter (or just, ya know, slap a few dollops in there- who’s got the time and patience to measure out peanut butter, are you nuts?? …btw…”nuts” get it? I’m the funniest person in the world, don’t act like I’m not.)

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Now shake about half a box (4 cups) of Rice Krispies in there and mix together well.

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Line a pan (9×13 or really whatever you’d like) with parchment paper, and awkwardly transfer your mixture into the pan.

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Now melt about 1 package of chocolate chips in the microwave (put in for 30 seconds, take out and stir, put in for another 30 seconds, take out and stir, until it’s smooth).

Definitely try not to get so caught up in eating crumbs off the spoon that you forget about the chocolate, and over-cook it. Not that I would ever do that….

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Somehow fix your scalded chocolate enough to slather it onto your rice krispie mixture.

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Let sit for a while until the chocolate has cooled and is no longer super gloppy. Then cut into whatever size/number of pieces that you want (this batch made about 12 good-sized pieces), and enjoy!

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Peach Galette

I got to do a little baking this weekend. First, I made some shortcake to go with a bunch of strawberries that my mom had.

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I actually didn’t like it much. It looks pretty and all, but it didn’t taste right. I added lemon juice to the strawberries (as a recipe told me to do), which made them taste like rubbing alcohol to me. And the shortcake wasn’t sweet enough for me. I don’t love this kind of shortcake anyway (I’m more into spongy, cakey, strawberry shortcake), but it was Father’s Day, so I made what my dad would like (at least what I figured my dad would like).

And then I made a Peach Galette for a get-together with people in my choir. I’ve made it before (probably not the exact same recipe). It’s super easy and really good.

Just slice a bunch of peaches (I sliced 6 big peaches and made two galettes), and put them in a bowl with sugar and cinnamon for as long as you can.

Photo (20)Then buy Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crust, and unroll one crust (they give you two) onto a greased baking sheet. Put your peaches on top, leaving about an inch at the edges. Then just fold the edges up all the way around and bake at 400 for about 30 minutes. You can also brush the edges with egg and sprinkle with sugar before baking if you want. So easy!

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Apple Pie Welcome

I have new neighbors! Up until about a year ago, the house next door was inhabited by a very odd guy who was sometimes obnoxious, sometimes creepy, and sometimes amusing. So when he moved out, I hoped that we would get some more “normal” neighbors in there. I haven’t met them yet, but I wanted to welcome them to the neighborhood, so I baked them an apple pie.

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I haven’t mastered the edging technique yet (any tips?), but I’ve decided that my pie looks “rustic.” Better than calling it “ugly”, which it could also be called. Good thing it’s pie.

I think new neighbors should always receive some sort of welcome baked good. Pie seems like the best option to me. It just says “home, warmth, and goodwill.” I hope they like it!