Trifles, often served for Christmas, are really year-round delights and should be made often. This delectable version is full of rich chocolate and dark cherries making it an absolute dream.
- 4 1/2 Cups milk
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1/3 Cup cornstarch
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 Cups cookie crumbs (made From Vanilla Wafers, Shortbread, or Chocolate Chip Cookies)
- 8 slices chocolate cake or pound cake, 1-inch thick
- 1 can Cherry-Pie Filling (20 ounces), reduced calories, if available
- whipped cream for topping
- shaved dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips for garnish
- Put 4 cups of the milk into a large, heavy saucepan. Add unsweetened chocolate and heat over moderate heat, watching carefully, until bubbles form on milk around edges of pan; milk is then scalded. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Put cornstarch, sugar, salt and remaining 1/2 cup milk into a small bowl. Use a small whisk to stir cornstarch mixture until all dry ingredients are moistened and no lumps remain. Be sure mixture is well stirred just before adding to hot milk.
- Using a large wire whisk, stir hot-milk mixture in saucepan while gradually adding cornstarch-milk mixture. Return saucepan to heat and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until milk mixture begins to boil. Boil 1 minute longer, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. (If you must stop for a short while, place a piece of plastic wrap on surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming).
- Layer 1/2 of the cake into the bottom of a 2-quart souffle dish or glass bowl.
- Spoon 1/3 of the chocolate pudding over the cake. Top with 1/3 of the cookie crumbs, then layer remaining slices of cake to fit in an even layer.
- Set aside 1/2 cup cherry-pie filling. Gently spoon half of remaining filling onto cake in bowl. Repeat layering with another third of chocolate pudding, crumbs, the remaining cherry-pie filling and the remaining chocolate pudding.
- Spoon remaining cookie crumbs around chocolate pudding to form a border. Top chocolate pudding layer with whipped cream, then remaining 1/2 cup cherry-pie filling, placing it in the center.
- Refrigerate trifle, loosely covered, until pudding is well chilled -- 5 to 6 hours.
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