This recipe is a mash-up of a variety of ideas and is really pretty flexible - it can be astonishingly easy, or a little more complicated if you want. It's a trifle, but perhaps not as you know it.
Firstly, please excuse the slightly burnt cake - I've done so little baking lately (our apartment gets so hot in summer that increasing the temperature further by turning on the oven seems folly) that I forgot our zealous oven overshoots the mark on temperature by about 15 degrees. However, that sort of helps illustrate one of the best parts of this recipe - it's a great way of making people rave about a seemingly ruined cake. Just scrape/break off the charred parts and it'll be all good!
You don't have to use cake - if you're going for the path of least resistance and don't have a charred cake to rescue use a supermarket cake or trifle sponge (better than regular sponge, though I'm still not sure why). It'll probably even be cheaper (sad though that is).
And if the path of least resistance doesn't beckon go ahead and make a chocolate cake like I did - and if you still hanker to exert yourself go ahead and make chocolate custard from scratch too. Me, I'm sticking with Meadow Fresh.
To make the regular vanilla custard chocolate, simply melt in a block of Whittaker's chocolate. I say simply but there is a wee trick to this - add about 1/4 of the custard to the chocolate as you melt it, so that it becomes more akin to ganache and doesn't seize up when you add it to the rest of the custard. You could heat the whole lot but it will take longer to chill so only do that if you have plenty of time up your sleeves.
The most time consuming part of making this trifle was actually the bowl. We made it to take to a barbeque, and though I have wanted a trifle bowl for some time (oh the desserts I could make!) so far I've only managed to acquire individual serving ones - probably not the best look to show up to a barbie with four mini trifles. ;-) So Mr Cake offered to go on a mission to get the bowl while I made the cake. Off to Moore Wilson's he went - I knew they had them, I had seen and approved. Alas - sold out! He rang me to consult, and agreed to go to Briscoes, since we had both seen them there. I think you can see where this is going... Next was The Warehouse - perhaps not the most logical place but the website said they had them - before he finally found success at Stevens. And in the end we decided the salad bowl (sans pedestal) was a better bet, at half the price and with potentially more applications. It is perfect for its job, but how ridiculous acquiring it was!
|Trifle/salad bowl, not without its share of angst|
The recipe below will make a lot of trifle - feel free to only make half the quantity if you're not feeding masses of people. Of course, if you (like me) enjoy leftover trifle for breakfast, lunch and dinner go ahead and make the full recipe. ;-)
The jelly is made with the liquid from the cherries, so the flavour is a bit more cherry-centric (I use raspberry jelly which works fine, though if you can find cherry jelly that will obviously also work), and the mixture is then poured over the cherries and cake. Slather the custard on top, and then the optional presentation bonus is to grate a little bit of chocolate over the top and pop a couple of leftover cherries on top.
Trifle always seems to be a hit but this one gets people raving - I couldn't believe how many comments it got. If you wanted to glam it up you could serve it in cute little glasses but I love spooning a generous dollop into a bowl and scoffing it down, carefully balancing each spoonful to contain some of each layer.
Have you got any hit barbeque/potluck recipes that get everyone going back for seconds?
Black Forest Trifle
20cm cake or sponge
1 jar morello cherries (600-700g)
1 packet raspberry jelly (to make 500mls jelly)
1 litre of thick custard
250g 70% dark chocolate
Break up the chocolate and place in a microwave-proof bowl with about 1/4 of the custard. Microwave for one minute then stir to melt the chocolate. If after a couple of minutes of stirring some chocolate remains unmelted, blitz in 10 second intervals, stirring between each one until smooth. Stir in the rest of the custard and chill until needed.
Break the cake or sponge into a large trifle bowl. Drain the cherries, reserving the syrup, and scatter over the broken cake.
Make the cherry syrup up to 500ml with water and microwave or simmer in a saucepan to bring to the boil. Dissolve the jelly as per instructions on the packet and pour over the cake and fruit, distributing as evenly as possible. Chill for half an hour then spread the custard on top and chill for a further 2-3 hours or until needed. Grate chocolate on top to serve, and top with a couple of leftover cherries.