Sunday, February 24, 2013

Death by Chocolate {recipe}

chocolate, dessert, allergy-friendly

Years ago, when Addison was just a tiny baby, we attended a small church in Germany. The American congregation stayed after services the first Sunday of each month to have a potluck lunch. Every month, one family brought a huge bowl of Death by Chocolate. When they got orders to move back to the states, the recipe was handed down to me so that none of the future potlucks would be chocolate-deprived.

Over the years, I've made this dish for countless events. When I filled my biggest bowl with Death by Chocolate last winter, it made almost enough to feed Addison's youth group gathering of about 20-30 people.

Death by Chocolate (regular)


1 large box brownie mix and ingredients to make it
2 large boxes Jello instant chocolate pudding plus milk needed to make them
1 large container Cool-Whip (or 2 small containers)


Bake brownie mix according to package directions, let cool.

Crumble half the pan of brownies into the bottom of a huge bowl. Mix one package of chocolate pudding. Let set for about 5 minutes, until just starting to get firm. Spread pudding over the top of the crumbled brownies. Let cool in fridge until the pudding sets. Spread half of the cool-whip on top of the pudding. Repeat layers with the remaining brownies, the second package of pudding, and the remaining cool-whip.

If desired, you can add crushed Heath bars or Heath baking bits on top of each layer of Cool-Whip.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Allergy-friendly Death by Chocolate

For Brownies:

1/3 cup cocoa
3/4 cup flour (if using gluten-free flour, add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup margarine or vegetable oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce

To make brownies, preheat oven to 350*. Grease bottom of 8x8 pan. In a medium bowl combine cocoa, flour, xanthan gum (if needed), baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to make sure everything is well combined.

In a medium saucepan, melt margarine (or just add oil). Add brown sugar and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Stir until melted and then allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Stir applesauce into margarine-sugar-chocolate chip mixture until well combined. Add dry ingredients, stir well. Add remaining chocolate chips and stir. Do not overmix.

Bake at 350 for 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.

* A special thank you to Kathy P who graciously allowed me to use her fabulous brownie recipe. She regularly shares allergy-friendly recipes at Kids with Food Allergies.

For Pudding:

3 Tbsp. cocoa
1/2 cup sugar
dash salt
2 cups milk (or milk alternative), divided
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp. margarine
1 tsp vanilla

Bring cocoa, sugar, salt, and 1 3/4 cups milk to a boil. Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 cup milk. Add to boiling mixture and remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla, then chill.

For "Cool-Whip":

2 cans coconut milk (the cans of coconut milk, not the drinkable milk substitute)
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1-4 Tbsp tapioca starch
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

See recipe at Savvy Vegetarian. Note: the coconut milk needs to be refrigerated overnight before you begin.

Layer the brownies, pudding, and "Cool-Whip" according to the directions for the regular version of Death by Chocolate.

In the top picture, the "regular" Death by Chocolate is on the left and the allergy-friendly version is on the right. We all agreed that the allergy-friendly version was an acceptable substitute. The fake "Cool Whip" has a bit of a coconut flavor, but it blends well with the rich chocolate flavors of the rest of the dish.

Bloggers on the Schoolhouse Review Crew are sharing recipes this week. Visit the Crew blog any time after Tuesday morning February 26th to see the list of what everyone else is cooking. You can also find a fun recipe link-up each week at Home to 4 Kiddos.


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  1. Thank you for including the allergy friendly, dairy free version! My son is extremely allergic to dairy. I can't wait to try this, sounds delish!

  2. Awesome! Sounds like something our youth group could easily get addicted to also.... and thanks for the allergy free version! Nothing like having it already figured out - you saved me a lot of work!

    Have you ever found a sub that works like the coconut milk? That doesn't work here for my allergy kiddos.

  3. Yes Chocolate! Gotta love it. It looks delicious. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I LOVE Chocolate; it's one of my weaknesses! Thanks for sharing this recipe!



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