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Chocolate and blackberry trifle

Emma Knowles and Lisa Featherby recipe for chocolate and blackberry trifle.

By Emma Knowles & Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 12 - 16
  • 1 hr 30 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking plus cooling, setting
Chocolate and blackberry trifle
Chocolate and blackberry trifle

Dark chocolate and blackberries are a beautiful combination, and here crème fraîche jelly adds a lovely tang. Raspberries would work well in the mix, too. Start this a day ahead to give the flavours time to develop.


  • 700 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 850 ml thickened cream
  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • 200 gm blackberries
  • 100 ml crème de mûre liqueur
Chocolate sponge
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 120 gm caster sugar
  • 40 gm each plain flour
  • 40 gm self-raising flour
  • 20 gm Dutch-process cocoa
  • 20 gm cornflour
  • 35 gm melted butter, cooled
Crème fraîche jelly
  • 200 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 170 gm couverture white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2¼ titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 750 gm crème fraîche
  • 2 tsp lemon juice


  • 1
    For chocolate sponge, preheat oven to 180C. Butter a 23cm-diameter cake tin, line the base with baking paper, and dust sides with flour. Whisk eggs, sugar and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until pale and tripled in volume (6-8 minutes). Meanwhile, triple-sieve flours, cocoa and cornflour, then fold into egg mixture in 2 batches. Fold in butter, then spoon batter into tin and bake until risen and centre springs back when lightly pressed (20-25 minutes). Cool in tin for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
  • 2
    For crème fraîche jelly, bring milk and vanilla bean just to the boil in a saucepan, then remove from heat. Add white chocolate and stand for 5 minutes to melt, then whisk until smooth. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to milk mixture, then whisk over low heat until melted and combined. Remove from heat and stand to cool slightly (10 minutes). Whisk crème fraîche in a bowl until smooth, then strain into milk mixture and whisk to combine. Whisk in lemon juice and refrigerate until beginning to set (3-4 hours).
  • 3
    Melt dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, then transfer to an electric mixer, add creams and whisk until soft peaks form (2-3 minutes). Place blackberries in a bowl, crush with a fork, then mix in orange juice and liqueur.
  • 4
    To assemble, pour a third of the chocolate cream into a 2.5-litre bowl about 23cm in diameter. Place in freezer until just firm (10-12 minutes), then pour half the crème fraîche jelly on top and return to freezer until just set (15-20 minutes). Halve cake horizontally and trim to fit bowl. Place a cake half on jelly, spoon in a quarter of the crushed blackberries and stand to soak into cake (about 5 minutes). Repeat layering with chocolate cream, jelly and cake, finishing with chocolate cream (if jelly begins to set too much, melt gently over low heat so it will pour). Refrigerate overnight to let the flavours develop, then serve topped with remaining crushed blackberries, fresh blackberries and shaved chocolate.