Chocolate Death

A word of caution: this dessert could lead to declarations of love and/or spontaneous marriage proposals.  Use wisely!

I decided to make Chocolate Death for a church get-together.  Once a month our church has an open discussion on Sunday nights.  It’s jokingly referred to as “stump the pastor”, because it’s a time when anyone can ask any kind of ethical, religious, or spiritual question.  It’s a nice opportunity for people to come who aren’t sure about religion or churches in general.  There’s always a carry-in meal before-hand, and this was my contribution.

Please note that we did not bring the big bottle of rum in the background to the church carry-in, ha ha!

Normally I’d make this in a trifle bowl, but all of my fancy dishes are on a boat somewhere in the Pacific.  I didn’t want to buy an expensive, new bowl when ours will be here in a few weeks’ time.

The basic recipe is simple.  To make it, you’ll need: one 9 x 13 inch pan of slightly under-baked brownies {cooled completely}, 1 large Skor bar or other type of crunchy chocolate candy bar {I couldn’t find Skor in NZ, so I used a Cadbury Crunchie}, a few packages of instant chocolate mousse {I used 4 packages that each made 4 servings}, and 1 large carton of Cool Whip.

Cut the brownies into slightly larger than bite-sized pieces.  Arrange them on the bottom of the bowl so that they’re close, but not crammed in.  You want some space between them.  Next, put some dollops of mousse on top of the brownie layer, making sure that you fill in the spaces between the brownies and by the bowl wall.  Smooth the mousse into a solid layer {I find that it’s easier to do this with a small spoon rather than a large spatula, but that’s just me}.  Place some dollops of Cool Whip on top of the mousse in a similar fashion, smoothing into another solid layer.  Sprinkle broken bits of candy bar on top of Cool Whip layer.  Repeat layers until you’ve reached the top of the bowl or run out of ingredients, then allow to set in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Helpful Notes: This dish can be made up to 24 hours in advance, but I wouldn’t go further than that.  Also, when making the mousse, allow it to sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firm.  Many packages say that you can allow it to sit for 15 minutes, but that’s not long enough.

When layering the brownies, make the first layer out of the brownie “edges”.  I find that the edges are usually a bit harder than the center brownies.  Putting the edges on the first layer gives more time to soak up the whipped cream and mousse, which means that they’ll be softer once you dish up the dessert.

If you prefer, you can substitute Cool Whip with whipped cream.  If you do this, I wouldn’t make the dessert more than a few hours in advance.  Whipped cream breaks down sooner than Cool Whip.

The key to making whipped cream is preparation and timing.  First, chill the whisk or beaters and a large metal bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes.  Pour 2 1/2 C of cold, heavy cream, 3-4 tsp of vanilla, and 1-2 T of sugar {or Splenda} in a bowl.  Whip by hand with whisk for 4 minutes, briskly, or with an electric mixer on low for 1 minute and then on high for 2 minutes.  You don’t want the whipped cream to appear grainy or too stiff – you’re halfway to butter by that point!  Allow to sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes before using.

Variations: If you can’t find chocolate mousse, you could use chocolate pudding.  The dessert will be heavier, but still yummy.  You can also use flavored Cool Whip, mocha chocolate mousse, or liqueurs.  Sprinkle a little of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur or Baileys on top of the brownie layer, and it’ll taste fabulous 🙂

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  1. garden state prep says:

    This sounds amazing and the timing couldn’t be better. I’m having dinner with my aunt and uncle tonight and still haven’t figured out what I’m bringing…so I’m going to try this out today! Thanks!

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