Okay. Let's talk about Dan-freaking-Brown for a minute.
Detailed in my last post, Meringue Mushrooms, I finished the Da Vinci Code. And LOVED it. I mentioned being worried that the prequel, Angels and Demons, wouldn't be as good or as intense.
Which was ridiculous. It was amazing.
Immediately I was sucked right back into Robert Langdon's world. From the mysterious scientific labs in Switzerland to the catacombs underneath the Vatican-- I. could. not. stop. reading.
I just love Langdon. His character is so real and relate-able. He's a real guy that happens to have an enormous passion for history/symbols. Which, having an obsession of my own (ahem, baking), I totally get. And then he gets pulled into these intense adventures. For me, Living in the middle of endless cornfields in Nebraska, Dan Brown makes it possible for to travel the globe, see beautiful architecture and art, fall in love, and help save the day. All in a novel's time. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The way Brown weaves his fictional story between layers of actual fact and history makes it believable and exciting. You finish and have to remind yourself that it was just a book. Kind of like when you finish the lovely literary mammoth, Harry Potter. Wizards aren't real. Hogwarts (sob) isn't real....... Robert Langdon is. not. real.
I've started The Lost Symbol (#3), and couldn't be more excited for all the history, mystery, and scandal. When I return to life again, I'll be sure to let y'all know how it was.
Finally back to school- spring semester began this week. Though the first week is largely consumed with syllabi and introductions, it still seems to be one of the hardest weeks of the semester. The shock of waking up on time, textbooks instead of novels, and jeans instead of sweatpants (that feel a bit restrictive after the flannel freedom I had been accustomed) -has been a little rough. (Though let's be honest. I'll be wearing sweats again by the end of the week).
But what better way to make a rough week better than with ice cream! This particular selection is a layered trifle with layers of cherry/chocolate ice cream, pistachio ice cream, and moist dark chocolate cake. Probably one of the easiest desserts you can make, and definitely tasty. And you can choose whatever flavors you like too! - I just browsed Walmart and chose a couple pints of Ben & Jerry's that looked intriguing (man I love the ice cream aisle).
Below I have a basic recipe for the trifle-- but really, you can do this thang anyway you want.
1 recipe of this chocolate cake (or your favorite cake mix, store-bought pound cake, etc.), cut into cubes
2 pints of any any ice cream that strikes your fancy (I would choose 2 different flavors), softened slightly
Hot Fudge, Chocolate Syrup, Whipped Cream (or whatever topping you want)
1) In a standard loaf pan (or 6-inch cake pan, small round bowl, or whatever shape you want your trifle to be in), spread 1 of your pints of ice cream. Top with half of your cake cubes, pressing them slightly into the ice cream. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes to firm up. Then spread on your other pint of ice cream. Top with the other half of your cake cubes, pressing in slightly. Freeze for about an hour or so. Flip over your pan onto a serving plate to release trifle* and top with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, etc. Serve immediately.
* Tip for getting it out of the pan: fill the bottom of your sink with a little hot water. Place your pan in the water (just letting it cover the bottom and a little up the sides- you don't want water in your trifle). Hold it in there for maybe like 20 seconds and then flip the pan upside down onto your serving tray. If it still sticks, place back into the hot water for another few seconds. This process warms up the ice cream a little making it easier to slide out. *
Other Trifle Ideas:
-Spice Cake Cubes (or Carrot Cake Cubes) + Butter Pecan Ice Cream + Caramel/Fudge Swirl Ice Cream
-Chocolate Cake Cubes + Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream + Fudge Swirl Ice Cream
-Lemon Cake Cubes + Vanilla Ice Cream + Pistachio Ice Cream