This ain't your mama's trifle. There aren't any berries, jam, pound cake, whipped cream (well, we have been known to spray some over the top of our bowl but that's different). It's all crazy chocolate madness all the time.
This cake is a monstrosity. Seriously. It'll add five pounds to you over a weekend... all to your backside. And let me tell you, when a woman who thought making 52 Cakes in a year says this cake is TOO MUCH you know you should proceed with caution. Or better yet, run away without reading the recipe.
Okay. You're free to go. No judging here.
Allright, for you intrepid bakers who decided to keep reading, here's the thing - it's worth every sinful bite. It's worth the expense. It's worth the time. It's worth it.
Also, this recipe is scalable. It doesn't need to be made in a punch bowl - you can make it with a cupcake, pudding cup and snack-sized chocolate bar. It's a great trick to have up your sleeve.
We alternate years between making it in a punch bowl and making it in Mason Jars. The jars are fun as it makes the trifle portable and perfect for gift giving. We even made it camping one year; making the pudding by tossing zip-loc baggies back and forth. Good times.
The essential recipe is this:
Layer cake, flavor booster (caramel sauce, hot fudge, syrups, jam, pie filling etc), wet layer (pudding, whipped cream) and toppings (candy, fruit etc.) until serving container is full. Chill a bit to allow flavors to meld. Serve in bowls with whipped cream.
We make this once a year on Trenton's birthday.
Here's the way he likes it:
2 Mocha Snack Cakes. I double the recipe and have had great luck using an 8x8 pan and a 9x13 pan. Nothing overflows. You need a sturdy cake to take all the weight and moisture so I wouldn't recommend a box mix unless you make substitutions - like applesauce and buttermilk.
2 large packages of vanilla instant pudding
6 Cups Whole Milk
1 vanilla bean (optional but delicious)
Hot Fudge Sauce
Caramel Sauce (ice cream topping)
Whipped Cream for serving.
Make your pudding: After pouring milk into bowl, cut vanilla bean in half length-wise and scrape out seeds with the side of your knife. Whisk into milk, add pudding powder and whisk for about three minutes. Chill in fridge for five minutes.
Slice cake into cubes. I aim for about one inch cubes. Ish.
Collect your layers and punch bowl. Cake, flavor boosters, wet layer and toppings.
The sundae toppings drizzle best if you microwave them for about 30 seconds.
Cover bottom of dish with cake. Don't worry about gaps, gaps are good. It lets the pudding seep through.
Drizzle with caramel sauce.
Drizzle with Hot Fudge Sauce.
Top with half of the pudding. I drop it by spoonfuls.
Sprinkle chopped candy all over the top.
Add another layer of cake. This should come to about an inch from the top of your bowl. You might have cake left. I saved mine for cake pops.
Plop on pudding. I like little clouds of pudding better then spread evenly but it's your cake.
And since it's the top and this trifle is the same color of my 70's era Brownie Uniform, sprinkle a few M&Ms around for color.
Look at this marvel:
One caveat, don't sprinkle with M&Ms until presenting the cake as the color will run into the pudding.
It's really very good.