Every year I say to myself “this year will be different. I’ll be ready with all my Christmas prep far in advance and it will all be a breeze.”
Yes… But that just isn’t possible with three kids, cake sales, PTA stuff, teacher’s gifts, Christmas baking, cooking, parties, work and everything in between. For me anyway!
But I do love Christmas. And I love Christmas food! But it can get stressful, particularly if you’re catering for a big family and friends. So I’m always on the lookout for recipes that are super yummy but also quick and easy.
So this is where the Black Forest Gâteau Trifle comes in to play.
Last year a good friend of mine introduced me to this recipe, hands down the best trifle ever. It’s rich, sumptuous and above else, so easy to make.
The original recipe is by the Hairy Bikers! I have made this making my own custard, but honestly, using good quality shop bought quality custard works just as well!
For the chocolate custard
• 100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
• 300ml whole milk
• 300ml double cream
• 1 vanilla pod, split
• 6 egg yolks
• 100g caster sugar
• 2 tbsp cocoa powder
• 1 tbsp cornflour
For the trifle
• 500g chocolate cake or brownies
• 50g black cherry or Morello cherry jam
• 100g kirsch or cherry brandy
• 300g pitted black cherries
• 200g amaretti biscuits
• 500ml double cream
• Chocolate curls, to decorate
1. First make the custard as this will need to chill before you make up the trifle. Melt the chocolate – either in the microwave or very carefully in a bain marie (a heatproof bowl placed over a pan of simmering water). Leave to cool.
2. Put the milk and cream into a saucepan with the vanilla pod and bring to just-below boiling point. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse until cooled slightly.
3. Put the egg yolks, caster sugar, cocoa powder and cornflour into a bowl and whisk, preferably with electric beaters, until the mixture is very well aerated, pale and stiff enough so that it keeps shape when you trail the beaters through it.
4. Pour the slightly cooled milk and cream mixture over the eggs, mixing as you go, then stir in the melted chocolate. Mix thoroughly, then rinse out the saucepan and return the custard to it. Cook, stirring constantly until the custard thickens – this can take anything between 10 and 20 minutes depending on how high you dare have the heat. Do not have it on too low a heat as it will not thicken, but make sure you do not let the mixture boil and keep stirring.
5. When the custard has thickened to the point of thick double cream, transfer to a jug and cover with clingfilm to stop a skin from forming. When cool, transfer to the fridge – the custard will continue to thicken while it chills.
1. Gently heat your shop bought custard with the melted chocolate and let it rest.
2. To make the trifle, cut the brownies or chocolate cake into fairly thin slices and spread with the jam. Sandwich together and arrange in the bottom of a large trifle bowl. Pour over the kirsch or cherry brandy, then sprinkle over the cherries.
3. Put a layer of the amaretti biscuits over the cherries, then pour over the custard in a thick, even layer. If you have time, place in the fridge until almost ready to serve, again covered in cling film.
4. Whisk the double cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks, then smooth this over the custard. Decorate with chocolate curls.