Friday, October 2, 2009

Birthday Cake Trifle and Caramel Chocolate Banana Boats

I was all set to post about Oven Barbecue Chicken today. That's what we had for dinner last night and believe me, it was good! As I was going through the "chicken pictures", I realized that the barbecued chicken really needs to be part of a larger post: "One chicken, 4 meals". So that's what I'm doing for the meal plan next week. I truly am getting 4 meals out of 1 chicken! In the meantime, I didn't want to neglect all of you dear, loyal readers over the weekend, so in this post I'm featuring a couple of desserts that I have recently conjured in my kitchen.

First, these individual birthday cake trifles. This yummy dessert is the perfect way to polish off leftover birthday cake. That is, if you can't take it to work to pawn off on your co-workers. I mixed the cake with cream cheese and whipped topping and layered with chocolate pudding. Super simple to throw together for a weeknight dessert!

You could use frosted cake for this too. I just happened to have lots of cake "trimmings" from cutting down the cakes that I used for my daughter's "Ariel" cake. See the tops of the cakes piled up in the back? Those scraps are the cake that I used for this dessert.

I combined 4 oz. of cream cheese, some sugar, and vanilla in a bowl, then beat until smooth.

Then I folded in half a tub of whipped topping.

Stir in the cake.

Mix up a box of instant pudding. Chocolate sounded good to me, but you can use whatever flavor you favor. Then layer parfait cups with the cake mixture and the pudding mixture. Top with more whipped topping and garnish with sprinkles and a cherry. See, super easy! You can make this relatively low in fat if guilt is what's holding you back. I used fat free milk in the pudding mix, low fat cream cheese, and nonfat whipped topping. It was still decadent even without all of the fat. The kids loved it. My husband, who doesn't often eat sweets, was a big fan. Everyone was happy. Especially me. As I've said before, I hate to waste food.

I couldn't very well give my toddler a parfait glass, so here's the baby version.

No complaints here...

This is my oldest daughter's friend who joined us for dinner that night. She wasn't a fan of the main course, but I scored brownie points with her on my dessert. Isn't she a cutie?

Birthday Cake Trifle

4 oz. cream cheese
2 tablespoons- 1/4 cup sugar (To taste. If your cake is frosted, you won't need as much sugar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups whipped topping such as Cool Whip
3 cups leftover birthday cake, broken up
1 package instant pudding
2 cups milk
additional whipped topping for garnish
candy or sugar sprinkles
maraschino cherries

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in whipped topping. Fold in cake. Mix pudding according to package directions. In parfait glasses, layer cake mixture with pudding mixture until glasses are filled, leaving about an inch at the top. Top with whipped topping, sprinkles, and a cherry.

Caramel Chocolate Banana Boats

Now, this is what I made for dessert last night:

Looks fancy, doesn't it? Nah. You just need 4 ingredients and maybe 5 minutes. Seriously. I came up with this one on the fly. We almost never have dessert in this house (birthday cake trifle being the exception to the rule). As stated above, my husband doesn't eat sweets and I don't really need the extra calories. Okay, I confess, I do have a little dessert every night. A piece of chocolate, a handfull of chocolate chips as I load the's a habit. My mom had dessert ready for us almost every night when I was growing up. Even if it was just a bowl of tapioca or home canned peaches...there was dessert on the table. I still like to chase my meal with a little something sweet. But in my house, dessert isn't a formally scheduled conclusion to the meal. That's why I was a little surprised last night as we were clearing the table, when my daughter asked, "What's for dessert?" I first looked in the freezer for ice cream. No luck. Then in the pantry for a cookie or even a graham cracker. No luck there either. "I guess you'll just have to make something," she smiled. I looked around the kitchen and this idea came together quickly in my head. We had bananas, chocolate chips, sugar, and maraschino cherries. I was equal to the challenge. This is really not that different from the peanut butter banana boats that I sometimes serve my girls for breakfast. This took just a couple more steps and a lot more sugar. Hey that's what makes it dessert, right? It's gotta be sweet.

I poured some sugar into an omelet pan and heated it over medium high heat. While the sugar heated, I peeled a banana and cut it in half. Then I arranged the halves on a plate, one vertical, one horizontal and hollowed out a bit to catch the chocolate and caramel.

Don't ignore the sugar for long, because in a couple of minutes you'll have this. Caramel. Remove from the heat source and give it a stir before it burns.

Pour about 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips into a small microwave safe dish with a tablespoon of maraschino cherry juice. Melt them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Stir until smooth.

Now pour the caramelized sugar over the banana halves. Some of it will cool in the air, making pretty, spiderweb-fine strands of sugar around the bananas.

Drizzle the chocolate over the caramelized sugar. And that's it. Start to finish, 5 minutes. I know that it doesn't take much to impress a 5 year old, but my daughter was seriously impressed and delighted with her dessert. We happily split this before I finished the dishes.

Caramel Chocolate Banana Boat

1 banana, peeled and cut in half
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice
1 cherry, for garnish

Arrange banana halves on a plate. Caramelize sugar in a small pan over medium high heat. Melt chocolate chips with cherry juice in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Drizzle caramelized sugar and chocolate over the banana halves. Garnish with a cherry.


Mary | Deep South Dish said...

So clever and so YUM! Hello!! I could go for either one of those this very second!

Katy ~ said...

Clever, clever, clever! How delicious is this!!

Reeni said...

Such delicious desserts!! And adorable kids!!

Julie said...

I'm in love with that trifle!!

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