Chocolate Delight or Junk is an easy-to-make, layered dessert that is pure chocolate decadence. Pecan shortbread crust is the base for layers of chocolate pudding and no-bake cheesecake all topped with whipped cream. This classic summer dessert can be made family-style for a crowd or dressed up as individual trifles. Either way, it's the best summer dessert ever!
Prep Time 30minutes
Cook Time 30minutes
Chilling Time 6hours
Cream Cheese Filling
2 8-ozblocks cream cheeseroom temperature
½Cheavy whipping cream
⅓Cgood quality cocoa powder
½Csemisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1.5Cheavy whipping cream
dark chocolate bar
To make the crust
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Add sugar, cinnamon, and salt to the melted butter and mix to combine. Add the flour and combine the ingredients with a fork to form large crumbles. Add the finely chopped pecans and continue to mix until the pecans are well incorporated.
To make a family style trifle, gently press the crust into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9” x 13” baking dish. To make individual trifles, press the crumbles together in a large rectangle shape on a baking sheet.
Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Set aside to cool. If making individual trifles, crumble half the crust into roughly half-inch pieces and the remaining half into fine crumbs resembling bread crumbs either in a food processor or by hand.
To make chocolate pudding
Add 1.5 C whole milk, white sugar, and cocoa powder to a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer or until bubbles start to form around the outer edge.
In a 4-cup liquid measuring cup, add the remaining ½ C milk, cornstarch, egg yolks, and salt. Whisk well to combine and set aside until the cocoa and milk mix begins to simmer. Once ready, slowly add the hot cocoa mixture to the egg yolks and cornstarch, whisking constantly.
Once the two liquids are completely combined, add the liquid back to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil for approximately 90 seconds or until a thick custard forms.
Place the chocolate chips, vanilla and coffee in a small mixing bowl and add the hot custard when ready. Whisk the pudding together until the chocolate chips have completely melted and are well combined.
Cover the pudding with plastic wrap so that the plastic is touching the surface of the pudding. If the plastic wrap and pudding are not in contact, a skin will form on the pudding.
Chill the pudding in the fridge for about 4 hours or you can jump start the process by placing the pudding in the freezer for one hour followed by an additional hour in the fridge.
To make cream cheese filling
Place the softened cream cheese into a large mixing bowl. Whip the cream cheese either with a stand or hand mixer on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer halfway through to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Once the cream cheese is whipped, add the powdered sugar and mix on low first, increasing the speed once the sugar is combined to medium-high. Whip for another 1 minute.
Turn the mixer off and add the heavy whipping cream, vanilla and salt. Turn the mixer back on to low until the cream is combined. Then increase the speed to high and whip for 1 more minute.
To make whipped cream
Add the heavy cream and powdered sugar to a medium mixing bowl. Whip the cream on high speed with a whisk attachment until the cream forms stiff peaks. Last, add the vanilla and whisk for just a few more seconds until the vanilla is incorporated.
To assemble the trifle(s)
The trifle starts with shortbread topped with cream cheese filling then chocolate pudding and, last, whipped cream.
If you’re making a family style trifle, you can start by spreading the cream cheese filling across the cooled crust.
If you’re making individual trifles, place about 1 inch of crumbs in each mini trifle cup. Start with the finer crumb to fill in the edges and then use the large crumbs after placing an even layer of fine crumb. This will help ensure a clean finish. Then place ¼ C size scoops of cream cheese filling on top of the crumbs and gently spread the filling to the edges of the cups.
Next, layer on the chocolate pudding which will be about half the height of the cream cheese filling. For a family style portion, you can place large dollops of the pudding on top and spread to cover the surface. For individual trifles, use about 3 Tb of pudding per cup and spread evenly across the cream cheese filling all the way to the edge.
The last layer is whipped cream. Spread the whipped cream all the way across the family style trifle or place a dollop on top of each individual trifle, leaving a rim of chocolate pudding showing around the edge. A piping bag is helpful if you’re making individual trifles to keep the glass looking tidy, but it’s not required.
Before garnishing, chill the trifle(s) for a minimum of 2 hours or until all the layers are ice cold.
The top can optionally be garnished with toasted finely chopped pecans and shaved dark chocolate. To toast the pecans, place the pecans on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degrees oven for about 10 minutes. To shave the dark chocolate, run a vegetable peeler along the edge of the chocolate bar.
*Even if you purchase “chopped pecans” you’ll need to chop the pecans finer than they come. I’d recommend doing so by hand as the pecans can go quickly to a puree in a food processor. You want you pecan pieces to be the size of green peas or smaller.The trifles are pictures as individual servings, but the recipe is traditionally made as a family-style dessert served from a 9” x 13” dish. I’ve included instructions to prepare it both ways.