Black Forest Gâteau Trifle

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!

Recipe:

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

Option 1:

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.

Option 2:

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.

Enjoy!

Jess ❤️

Jessica’s Black Forest Gateaux Trifle

“Så mörk är natten i midvintertid.

Men se, då nalkas Lucia.

Hon kommer, den goda, med ljuset hit.

Hon kommer med hälsning om julefrid.

Hon kommer med ljus i sin krona.”

Yesterday was Santa Lucia day – the celebration of light. It’s one of my favourite Swedish traditions. The origins is the story of Saint Lucy and marks the beginning of Christmastide. It always falls on the 13th December.

The legend of the martyr Saint Lucy is rather grim. During the Roman Empire, the Christians were being persecuted. Many hid in the catacombs, and Saint Lucy would venture down there with trays of food. As it was so dark, but in need of full use of her hands, she wore a candle lit wreath on her head to light up her way with her tray of food. She was later killed for refusing to marry a pagan.

Nowadays, we all get up super early and head to our church. Normally fighting through snow and frost and huddle up inside. We all pile in to the church and sit down in the pews. The church will be decorated beautifully and everyone seems happy, in spite the early rise. And in spite of having to sit so close to one and other. (Swedes don’t like to have sit close next to strangers.)

Then we patiently wait for Lucia to enter the church. Wearing a white dress (white representing innocence. Cheerful!) and a red sash (red symbolising the blood of martyrdom. Again, cheerful.), and a gold wreath/crown with candles on her head (the candles symbolises the fire that refused to take Saint Lucy’s life….Yep.), walking at the head of the procession.

And it gets me every time.

The Nordic countries have very little sunlight in winter.

And from the darkness that engulfs the church, suddenly this glorious light appears, gradually filling the space. The heat from the candles warming us.

And the singing. The beautiful hymns. Softly in the beginning and then progressively building in strength.

(Have a look and listen here)

This year I was invited to talk about Lucia at my daughter’s school. I dressed up in my white dress and crown, (yes, I have my own set!), brought extra white dresses and candles for our very own Lucia procession and gingerbread cookies.

My goodness. It was so beautiful. The kids were so curious and asked lots of questions like:

From “which candle is your favourite?” (Pointing to the candles in my crown)

“Is that your nightdress?” to “when are we eating the cookies?”

We all sang Lucia songs and ate the gingerbread cookies.

Because that’s the other thing about Lucia day. It’s a Feast and we eat. A lot.

Speaking of Feasts – I tried a new trifle recipe that went down very well with my friends that I’d like to share with you. It was so easy to make! I’ve tweaked a recipe my friend Erika shared with me.

Jessica’s Lucia Black Forest Trifle

Ingredients

Good quality custard

100g good quality chocolate

400 g brownie bites

50g Black cherry jam

About 100g Cherry brandy

300g cherries (pitted, if you can get them)

100g amaretti biscuits

400ml double cream

Decorations:

100g Toasted flaked almonds

Chocolate curls

Cherries

1. Melt the chocolate, either in a microwave in short bursts or over a bowl of simmering water on the stove. Leave to cool but not to get too stiff.

2. Gently stir in your custard and mix the two together.

3. Now cut the brownies or chocolate cake into fairly thin slices and arrange in the bottom of the bowl. Spread one layer of cherry jam and then continue with the second layer of brownies and spread over more jam

4. Pour over the cherry brandy, then sprinkle over the cherries.

5. Put your amaretti biscuits into a bag and bash gently with a rolling pin until a coarse like sand consistency. Don’t worry if there’s smaller and bigger bits. The difference in texture will taste wonderful.

6. Sprinkle your amaretti sand over the cherries.

7. Now pour over your custard in an even layer.

8. Put some clingfilm over your trifle and leave to chill until just before serving.

10. Whisk the double cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks, then smooth this over the custard.

11. Decorate with your toasted almond flakes, chocolate curls and cherries.

Enjoy. ❤️

Love, Jess