I was reading the latest issue of "Chatelaine" magazine, and came across an article with Jeanne Beker listing her favourite things to do when touring Northumberland County in Ontario. One of the places she loves is a small tea room where they serve something called "Sex in a Bowl" - layers of chocolate pudding, cake, whipped cream and Skor bits. I just had to have it. Plain and simple. Skor and chocolate and whipped cream? Magic! The title of this post is not "Sex in a bowl", for obvious reasons. I have a sneaky suspicion that the person putting "sex" into a google search is not looking for a wondrous dessert such as mine. I'm sparing them the disappointment! And fending off pervs!
My sis was in town with her girly girls for the weekend. Her birthday, you see. I welcomed her to the dark side of forty! Weird to think that we are getting to be of a certain age, but the older we get the more we like each other. There were days when we were growing up when we tried to scratch each other's eyes out. Really. Just ask my Mom. It wasn't until we were in our mid twenties when we started to develop a closeness, and in the past few years, it's gotten even stronger. She's the first person I call when something terribly good, or terribly bad has happened, and with the wonders of text, she's able to give me constant updates on the girls, such as "O said mama", "O peed in the potty!", "M cut her first tooth!", "M is walking!". My sis pretty much rocks, and I love her to bits. Which is why she ended up getting such an amazing dessert for her birthday.
The kids love nothing more than pudding and cupcakes. The request was made and the Auntie complied. (I hadn't made any since these lovely red velvet cupcakes, and it was about time!) Saturday night was a round of cupcakes, then some pudding. I'd been running around like a crazy person all day, and didn't have time to assemble the amazingness until Sunday, which is the birthday girl's big day anyway. Wanting to be a little different I made smaller trifles in pretty glass bowls, and we scooped out of them. Some shared, others didn't, it was that good. I was holding Miss M, and all she kept saying was "Yum. Yum. Yum." Kind of like her Auntie. I think I was overheard saying I could eat Skor everyday. Knowing there is a glass jar with Skor bits handy saves many a meltdown.
This is my favourite chocolate cake recipe. It's the real deal: dense and moist, full of chocolate richness, but not too sweet, and the coffee enhances the chocolate flavour even more. And you'll never know there is only 1/4 cup of oil in it! For Realz!!! The buttermilk gives it a richness, you'll never know these are "low fat". I even substituted in some whole wheat flour for Pete's sake. You'll never notice that either. Look at me sneaking fiber into your chocolate cake! You can make cupcakes, or a 9"13 cake. I like the cupcakes because they fit the glass bowls perfectly, and I had extras to freeze for a later time. If making the cake, just cut some pieces for this, and use the rest for another use. I'm sure you'll come up with something.
Chocolate Cake with Buttermilk and Espresso
2 tbsp espresso powder
1/2 cup boiling water
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/2 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Dissolve espresso powder in boiling water. Let cool. Grease or spray a 9 x 13 inch pan, line bottom with parchment. Or line muffin tin with papers. Makes about 18 cupcakes, just so you know.
In the bowl of a mixer, add dry ingredients. Beat in buttermilk, eggs, oil, vanilla. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan, or scoop into muffin tin. Cupcakes take about 22 minutes,
cake takes about 40-45 minutes. Let cool.
Now about the pudding. If you want, you can buy the boxed stuff, I won't judge. But seriously, this stuff made from scratch took no time, and it's pretty luscious. Miss O devoured it, so there you go. Kid approved!!!
Creamy Double Chocolate Pudding
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups whole milk
4 oz. good quality dark chocolate, around 55% cocoa, chopped (I used Camino)
1 tbsp butter
In a medium saucepan, whisk together cornstarch, sugar, cocoa, and milk. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thick, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat, and whisk in chopped chocolate and butter. Pour into a dish, put plastic wrap directly on the surface so you won't get that icky "skin", and refrigerate. Makes 6 servings. Adapted from "Bon Appetit".
To assemble the trifle, you'll need:
some chocolate cake pieces
some chilled chocolate pudding
2-3 cups whipped cream, sweetened
1 cup Skor bits or 2 Skor chocolate bars, chopped.
In a trifle bowl, or smaller glass dishes, layer cake, pudding, Skor, whipped cream, Skor, cake, cream, skor. Or however you like. As long as there are layers of pudding, cake, cream and Skor, you can't go wrong!