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.
- 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
- 800 gm cherries, pitted
- 400 gm caster sugar
- 40 ml lemon juice
- 4 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water
- 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
- 75 ml pouring cream
- 20 ml cherry brandy (see note)
- 125 gm dark chocolate (56% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
- 1For 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).
- 2For 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.
- 3Combine 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.
- 4For 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.
- 5Whisk cream, remaining cherry brandy and icing sugar in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (3-4 minutes), refrigerate until required.
- 6Break 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).
- 7Spoon 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.
Drink Suggestion: Bold young vintage Port or tawny. Drink suggestion by Max Allen
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