Mmmmm…Chhhhocolate…

Holy shitballs y’all!

Last week while looking for a new dessert for Fourth of July, the following words caught my attention: Chocolate Angel Food Cake.

yeah…you read that correctly: CHOCOLATE ANGEL FOOD CAKE!

Did you know this existed? I had no clue! Which seems very negligent of me, since angel food cake is one of my favorites.

I’m sure Pinterest and Google can provide you 7 gazillion from-scratch recipes, but if you’re short on time or the wherewithal or you just don’t want to, then add ½ cup of cocoa powder to a box of angel food cake mix and follow the directions on the the box.

Below is my version of the trifle recipe I found using chocolate angel food cake. And by “I found,” I mean Ann found and sent to me with an enthusiastic suggestion that I make it. I think it’s a great summer dessert for special occasions. Or any time, really, since it’s so easy to throw together. And honestly, what pairs better than strawberries and angel food cake except strawberries and chocolate? I mean, AFTER strawberries and champagne, of course.

Okay, okay…one quick note if you hate strawberries: please do NOT let that stop you from trying this. I think any berry, particularly blueberries, would make a good substitute.

Chocolate Strawberry Trifle

• 1 Angel Food Cake Mix
• ½ cup cocoa powder
• 1 ¼ cup water (or amount listed on cake mix directions)
• 3 cups plain Greek yogurt
• ¼ cup honey
• 1 tablespoon vanilla
• 1 ½ cups frozen strawberries, thawed
• 5-6 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together cake mix and cocoa powder. Add water and with a mixer, mix on low for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, and then mix on medium for one minute. Do not over mix. Pour batter into an ungreased 10” tube pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until cake looks dry and cracked on top. Allow to cool completely and then cut into large chunks. Try not to “sample” too many chunks.

In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, honey, and vanilla. Purée the thawed frozen strawberries, using a food processor, blender, immersion blender, or your preferred implement of destruction. Add to yogurt and mix thoroughly.

In a trifle (or large glass) bowl, place ½ of the cake chunks along the bottom. Layer with ½ of strawberry yogurt mixture, spread evenly (read: as evenly as you can). Top with a layer of strawberry slices. Repeat layers. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving (note: the longer it’s refrigerated, the mushier the cake will be. Not necessarily an issue, however, your layers will start to lose their shape but definitely not their deliciousness!).

bon appétit!

A Peep at My Sweet Tooth

One of the earliest memories I have is going with Granny to the nursing home to visit her father, Pa.  We never stayed long, just a few minutes (probably because she had a little rugrat in tow!)–just long enough to say hi, ask how Pa was doing and hand over a bag of candy.

My great-grandfather, you see, had a sweet tooth–and not just one either!  He could easily eat a large bag of candy in one sitting.  In order to make the candy last longer than 2 hours, Granny would give the bag of candy to the nurses and asked them to ration it out so the bag would last all week.  Of course, Pa was having none of that: once his daily ration was consumed, he would then start raiding candy stashes of everyone in the nursing home.  Apparently, Pa was quite the candy thief.

It is, therefore, little surprise that his great-granddaughter inherited his sweet tooth.  I’m not a big candy fan–I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like candy and will happily indulge–but I much rather prefer cake and ice cream and pudding and pie and cheesecake and cream puffs and…well, you get the picture: things made with love–not in a production line (although, yes, I will concede everything I listed can be made in a production line).

EXCEPT one thing.  It’s completely irrational and totally disgusting and why, why, why I love them I’ll never know, but I do.

Peeps.

Yes, marshmallows dipped in sugar.  I’m not proud, but there you go.  Take a minute to make that face.  Yes, that face–you know that scrunched-up-I-can’t-believe-I’m-actually-hearing-this face you make it whenever you come across the rare individual that actually admits to liking Peeps.  You know, the same one you make when you hear that someone likes Vegemite. The BFF tries her best to indulge my predilection for Peeps (she will NOT under any circumstances acknowledge my voracity for Vegemite, except to say that I’m gross!).  She tries to get me Peeps for every holiday where they make an appearance (which, anymore is ALL OF THEM), such as for example:

HALLOWEEN!

HALLOWEEN!

And in case you’re wondering, NO, I did not eat the entire package in one sitting, much to Pa’s dismay.