Having made one decedent dessert a few weeks ago, I was soon ready for another. I had cherries, I had some crème fraîche that needed using up and some egg yolks left over from the Chestnut Cream Meringue Cake I’d made. Friends from The Viewing Gallery had also just given me a jar of their wild cherry jam. Black Forest sprang to mind.
Anyway, back to those cherries. Still enamoured of my new book Ultimate, I’d just chanced on a recipe for Chocolate Cherry Trifle. Well, apart from substituting crème fraîche for whipping cream, I had all the ingredients to hand, so no excuses needed! I wanted to make the whole trifle from scratch, rather than use bought trifle sponges as suggested – I’ve never done that before. The only recipe I could find for a trifle sponge was in Pyton & Byrne and I made 2/3 of the quantity specified. I also only made 3/4 of the trifle recipe and reduced the amount of sugar used.
This is what I did:
- Beat 2 duck egg yolks with 100g caster sugar until thick and pale.
- Folded in 100g sifted white flour (was meant to be self-raising, but I didn’t notice this until too late).
- Whisked 2 duck eggs whites with 20g caster sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar until stiff.
- Folded a 1/3 into the sponge mixture to loosen the mix, then folded in the remainder.
- Spooned into a lined 20 x 30cm Swiss roll tin and baked at 180C for 13 minutes, until lightly browned and springy to the touch.
- Turned on to a wire rack to cool.
- Cut into 16 fingers and sandwiched together with a teaspoon of wild cherry jam.
- Whisked together 3 egg yolks and 30g caster sugar in a bowl until well incorporated.
- Whisked in 15g white flour.
- Brought 275ml milk to the boil and whisked into the egg mixture.
- Returned the whole lot to the pan and simmered for about 5 minutes whilst whisking from time to time.
- Took off the heat and added 55g 85% dark chocolate.
- Stirred until melted and smooth.
- Left to cool.
- Mix 40g slivered almonds in a bowl with 10g icing sugar and 1 dessertspoon of rum.
- Spread out onto a lined baking tray and bake at 180c for about 6 minutes until caramelised but not burnt.
- Leave to cool.
- Lined the base of a glass bowl with the sponge sandwiches.
- Spooned over 4 dessertspoons of damson liqueur (original recipe was for golden rum).
- Halved and stoned 250g cherries.
- Scattered these over the the sponges reserving a few for decoration.
- Stirred 20g icing sugar into 300ml crème fraîche.
- Folded a quarter of the cream into the chocolate custard.
- Spooned the custard over the cherries.
- Spooned the cream over the custard.
- Scattered the almonds, reserved cherries and 10g grated chocolate over the top.
Sadly, I was rather excited by this Black Forest extravaganza. My first ever proper trifle and it was a complete success. Luckily, the self-raising flour was not needed, the sponge rose well and turned out perfectly – tasted just like a trifle sponge should. The individual ingredients held their textural integrity – not too dry and not too soggy. There was a hint of booze only and none of it was too sweet. The chocolate custard was really chocolatey and the crunchy nuts on top would take some beating. The whole was a perfect balance. As I write this CT is salivating and looking rather glum – that was really really delicious he says wistfully!