There were a few traditions from England that she continued through the years, and one she introduced me to was her English Trifle.
She taught me how to make it the last Thanksgiving she was with us, then I made one (after one failed attempt) for Christmas the year after she passed away. I put it in the smaller of the two trifle bowls she left to us.
Though it turned out great, I'm really not much of a fruity dessert girl. Give me chocolate and make it rich. I've been dreaming up this chocolate version for some time now, and finally went for it this Christmas. I figured the worst thing that could happen, it would flop and we'd toss it out. It definitely did NOT flop. Hubs, who was extremely skeptical of my bastardization of his mom's cherished dessert, was more than pleased. Each night when he has leftovers, he says, "Good trifle, honey!" And though I know my MIL would have tsk-tsked at my idea, I know her well, and she would have been pleased with the outcome. Because one thing we had in common was our love of chocolate and Bailey's.
So here is my "tweaked" version: Chocolate & Bailey's Trifle.
And the recipe:
1 box Betty Crocker (or other brand) pound cake mix - prepare as directed, adding 1/3 cup of cocoa powder to the dry mix first.
Cut the cake into small cubes and press lightly into bottom of bowl. Drizzle with Bailey's (or other brand Irish Cream) making sure all cake gets a little. (I used 2/3 of the cake based on my bowl size)
Spread one small jar of raspberry (or other fruit type) preserves over cake layer. (more if using a larger bowl)
Mix one small box of chocolate Cook & Serve Jello pudding per package directions. (use large box if using a larger bowl) Let cool slighly, 3-5 minutes stirring often. Pour over cake layer, place in fridge and let set up.
Mix one recipe of Bird's custard:
2-1/2 to 3 TBS custard powder
2 TBS cocoa powder
2 TBS sugar
Mix these ingredients well in medium sized mixing bowl.
2 cups milk** - place in sauce pan
Spoon several TBS of the milk from the pan into the dry mix and stir to make a paste.
Heat remaining milk to almost boiling - pour into dry mix paste, mix well, return to pan and bring to full boil until it thickens (it will thicken as soon as it starts to boil)
Remove from heat and cool slightly 3-5 minutes stirring often. Pour over jello layer, return to fridge until set.
Repeat with another layer of plain custard WITHOUT adding cocoa powder - this is your cream colored layer. Return to fridge until ready to serve.
Before serving, whip cream and spread over top of trifle.
Ta-Da! DONE and YUM!
* Bird's is available at some specialty grocers, some bigger grocery stores (Kroger) and my favorite place to get British specialty items - CostPlus World Market.
** Rice milk can be substituted for milk if you don't do dairy. A can of soy whipped cream could be used for the whip topping.
And just so you can see the layers inside:
Okay, maybe you can't see it that well - you'll have to trust me.