There are only a few days left of this year’s National Ice Cream Month. Here’s something a bit off the beaten track: an ice cream trifle. Is it a form of ice cream sundae or a variation of ice cream cake? Make it and take a vote.
Trifle is an English dessert dish made from layers of custard, diced fruit, syrup or fruit juice and cubes of sponge cake, topped with whipped cream. It was traditionally served in a footed glass bowl.
In QVC chef David Venable’s recipe, below, ice cream bars replace the custard and chocolate-covered pretzels replace the fruit and caramel takes over for the syrup.
Adapt the recipe as you like, for example, trading the pretzels for sliced strawberries, and exchanging the chocolate cake for pound cake or ladyfingers. Instead of caramel, we tried a version with custard sauce (crème anglaise).
David used Klondike bars in this recipe, easy to chop because there’s no stick. We prefer Magnum ice cream bars: better quality ice cream and chocolate coating, more flavor choices.
Ice cream bar trifle: Is it a jumbo ice cream sundae or a different approach to ice cream cake? Photo courtesy QVC.
RECIPE: ICE CREAM BAR TRIFLE
3 packages frozen double-chocolate cake (10.8 ounces each) cut into 1″ pieces; we substituted fresh chocolate loaf cakes
6 ice cream bars, each cut into 6 squares
8 ounces dark chocolate-covered pretzels
12 ounces caramel sauce
16 ounces whipped cream or frozen topping
Our favorite ice cream bar: Magnum. Photo courtesy Unilever.
1. CUBE the cake first, then the ice cream bars. If using a fresh cake, freeze it first; it will be easier to cut. Freeze the cubes separately until ready to assemble.
2. CRUSH the chocolate-covered pretzels gently into smaller pieces. Don’t over-crush—you want small pieces, not dust. Reserve 2 ounces to decorate the top of the trifle.
3. PLACE 1/3 of the chocolate cake squares into a large trifle dish. Place 1/3 of the ice cream bar cubes on top, followed by 1/3 of the crushed chocolate-covered pretzels. Drizzle 1/4 of the caramel sauce over the pretzels and top with a 1/3 of the whipped cream. Repeat this order two more times, finishing with the whipped cream.
4. ADD the rest of the caramel sauce and top with the reserved crushed chocolate-covered pretzels. Freeze immediately. David suggests that before serving, you should let the trifle sit at room temperature for 3–4 minutes so the cake can thaw slightly. We like eating frozen cake (especially in small cubes), and brought the trifle straight to the table.