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Black Forest trifle

Think of this trifle as broken pieces of Black Forest cake layered with cherry jelly. It might seem odd to ice a cake and then destroy it, but the ganache adds extra texture and a surprise hit of fudginess. This recipe is best prepared a day ahead.

You'll need

400 gm cherries, pitted 100 gm caster sugar 90 ml cherry brandy (see note) 600 ml thickened cream 20 gm pure icing sugar, sieved To serve: fresh cherries, dark chocolate shavings and Dutch-process cocoa   Cherry jelly 800 gm cherries, pitted 400 gm caster sugar 40 ml lemon juice 4 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water   Chocolate cake 50 gm dark chocolate (56% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped 4 eggs, at room temperature 150 gm caster sugar 90 gm plain flour 30 gm Dutch-process cocoa 1 tsp baking powder   Chocolate ganache 75 ml pouring cream 20 ml cherry brandy (see note) 125 gm dark chocolate (56% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped


  • 01
  • For cherry jelly, combine cherries, sugar, lemon juice and 600ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stir to dissolve sugar and simmer until cherries begin to collapse (4-5 minutes). Coarsely purée with a hand-held blender, pour into a sieve lined with a double layer of muslin placed over a large bowl and refrigerate to yield 1.2 litres liquid (45 minutes-1 hour; don’t press mixture through muslin). Warm 250ml cherry liquid in a small saucepan over medium heat. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to pan and stir to dissolve. Add to remaining cherry liquid, then transfer to a 2-litre container and refrigerate until set (3-4 hours).
  • 02
  • For chocolate cake, preheat oven to 180C. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, stir occasionally until melted, keep warm. Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and tripled in volume (5-6 minutes). Meanwhile, triple-sieve flour, cocoa and baking powder. Transfer egg mixture to a large bowl, sieve flour mixture over in two batches, fold to combine. Fold in chocolate mixture, spoon into a 20cm square cake tin buttered and lined with baking paper, smooth top. Bake until centre springs back when lightly pressed (25-30 minutes), cool on a wire rack.
  • 03
  • Combine cherries, sugar and 150ml water in a saucepan, bring to the boil, remove from heat and cool. Stir in 50ml cherry brandy and refrigerate until required.
  • 04
  • For chocolate ganache, bring cream and brandy to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add chocolate, stir until smooth. Stand until slightly thickened (10 minutes), spread over cake, stand until set.
  • 05
  • Whisk cream, remaining cherry brandy and icing sugar in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (3-4 minutes), refrigerate until required.
  • 06
  • Break up cake into coarse pieces and spread in the base of a large shallow serving dish, then spoon over cherries and syrup. Spoon over half the jelly, top with cream and refrigerate for flavours to develop (2-3 hours or overnight).
  • 07
  • Spoon remaining jelly over cream mixture, scatter with fresh cherries and shaved chocolate, dust with cocoa and serve.

Note Cherry brandy is available from select bottle shops. If unavailable, substitute brandy.

At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 12 people

Drink Suggestion

Bold young vintage Port or tawny.

Featured in

Dec 2010

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