I'm a native Texan with a passion for good food and Texas history. Tex-Mex is a way of life for me, and so is baking!
When I was a kid, my grandparents threw the most epic Halloween parties. They always dressed to the nines. I remember one party had Nanny dressed in full clown makeup, with a curly bright blue wig and giant shoes, while Gaga chose to go as a Bela Lugosi-style vampire, complete with giant collared cape.
The next year, they chose the roaring 20s for their combined costume, Nan as a flapper and Gaga as a Big Band conductor. They loved the excuse to to dress up and have fun. Because of that, Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays.
Nanny and Gaga sure knew how to throw a party!
October’s Kitchen PLAY SideCar comes to us from McCormick, who asked for fun and kid-friendly Halloween ideas featuring their black food coloring. I immediately thought of Nanny and Gaga’s Halloween parties when I read the theme. Oh how Nanny would have loved to help me think of a dessert!
Luckily, all it took was one brainstorming session with The Brit to know I was making some sort of trifle, a traditional English dessert that kids love because while it looks so pretty when finished, you get to destroy it when you serve it.
What could scream Halloween more than Black Velvet Halloween Trifle? Using a traditional Red Velvet Cake recipe, I created Black Velvet Cake instead. McCormick Black Food Color was perfect for this – the color I achieved after baking was well and truly jet black. I couldn’t have been more pleased!
After the cake was baked, cooled, and crumbled into bite size pieces in the Trifle bowl, I mixed in Brach’s Candy Corn. The bright contrast of orange, white, and yellow candy corn against the black velvet cake could not be more Halloween-errific.
I covered the crumbled cake with butterscotch pudding made just the perfect shade of Halloween orange with McCormick’s red and yellow food color, and then just before serving, whipped up some homemade whipped cream to layer on top of the pudding. Garnishing the whipped cream with a few more candy corn provided the perfect effect.
Black Velvet Halloween Trifle is a feast for your fun-loving eyes. Each layer is vivid and visible via the trifle glass, and so much fun to dig into! The Brit actually declared this the best trifle he’s ever eaten – I think because butterscotch pudding and black velvet cake pair so well together. Whipped cream just rounds out the experience, and the candy corn provides a lovely little festive surprise every few bites.
Kids of every age will delight at seeing Black Velvet Halloween Trifle adorn your Halloween party table. Make sure though, that you let the littlest hands dig in first – nothing says fun like tearing apart a picture-perfect, creamy, chocolatey trifle.
McCormick is also sponsoring a wonderful giveaway at Kitchen PLAY. Simply recreate any one recipe from this month’s SideCar Series, post about the experience on your blog and provide a link to your post on Kitchen PLAY to enter. All qualifying bloggers in each course will be entered to win $50 (10 prizes total). The deadline is October 31, 2011. Please review the complete contest rules before entering. Good luck!
Black Velvet Halloween Trifle
Black Velvet Cake
Adapted from AllRecipes.com
1/3 cup Shortening
1 cup White Sugar
1 tablespoon Sweetened Cocoa Powder (I used Scharffen Berger)
1 tablespoon Black Cocoa Powder (may be omitted, but add 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder instead)
2 oz McCormick Black Food Color (2 bottles)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon McCormick Pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup Buttermilk
1 2/3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Distilled White Vinegar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8″ round cake pans with baking spray or extra shortening.
In a large bowl, cream together shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition until egg has fully incorporated and mixture is again light and fluffy.
In a small bowl, make a paste of the cocoa powders and food coloring. Add this to the creamed mixture in the bowl, and mix thoroughly.
In a measuring jug, mix salt, vanilla extract and buttermilk. In a small bowl, measure out flour, and whisk it well to aerate.
Alternate adding the buttermilk mixture and whisked flour to the creamed mixture until all are incorporated well.
Measure out baking soda in a bowl, and then add vinegar – be prepared that this will foam up a bit.
Immediately add it to cake batter, folding it in with a rubber spatula. Do NOT mix with an electric or stand mixer after adding the vinegar-soda mixture.
Pour batter in equal parts into each pan, and bake for approximately 22-25 minutes, checking often after 22 minutes for a toothpick to remove cleanly when inserted into the center of each cake.
Allow to cool completely.
Pour butterscotch pudding mix, food coloring and four cups of cold milk into a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, whisk for for approximately 4 minutes, until pudding starts to thicken and you have reached desired color (add more of whichever color you think you need to reach the shade you want now). Place in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes, or until ready to assemble the trifle.
Fresh Whipped Cream
1 pint Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tablespoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
5 tablespoons White Sugar
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with an electric or stand mixer until the cream forms stiff peaks. Refrigerate any unused portion in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
To assemble the Black Velvet Halloween
Break cooled cakes into large chunks either by hand or by chopping with a knife – 1″x1″� chunks are fine. Mix in approximately 1 cup of candy corn, using a fork to distribute.
Spoon well chilled butterscotch pudding directly on top of cake, smoothing with a spoon or spatula. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate if not serving immediately.
Just before serving, spoon freshly whipped and sweetened cream directly on top of pudding and garnish with more candy corn.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I was compensated for my recipe development and photography, and provided with the featured ingredient at no charge. All opinions of the featured ingredient are my own.