I am a model of gorgeousness all year but sometimes I have the need to do something really quite disgraceful. This is a good time of year to be disgraceful as one is not wearing quite so many skin tight clothes, thereby revealing less of my beautiful athletic Amazonian figure for all to see. This of course, is a truly saddening situation, so something needs to be done to make this better.
Earlier this week as we all enjoyed Christmas I was having a wistful moment of nostalgia, and I thought about something chocolatey. However I guess I required something more outrageous and frankly indulgent. I settled on the idea of a marvellous trifle. And believe me when I make a trifle it is just fabulous – even Fanny agrees! I needed one with both that luscious sweetness, but laced with something tart to cut the richness. Talking about tart, Fanny was very helpful on the subject of cherry brandy, and spent her time ensuring that my cherries were macerated well before we started.
This particular trifle would make a good party pudding, and would also be very popular on dark cold nights. It is rich, and a small portion will satisfy the most demanding appetite.
So here we are.
2 425g black cherries
4 tbspns of cherry brandy to macerate the fruit
200g sour cherry conserve (we used aldi jam)
3g of gelatine/vege-gel
3 large free range eggs
200g vanilla sugar
4 level tspns baking powder
200g almond flour
225g decent quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa would be ideal)
Preheat oven to 150°c
Grease up a baking dish ready. (we used a 10″ cake dish).
4 egg yolks
150 ml double cream
150 ml full fat milk
100g caster sugar
100g chopped up plain chocolate
For the topping
150ml double cream whipped
100ml of creme fraiche
For the fruit
Place the cherries in the cherry brandy and allow them to infuse for a couple of hours.
For the choccy sponge
Add the butter and dark chocolate to a bowl placed over a pan of simmering water and leave to melt, stirring occasionally. When it is smooth and melted, let it cool.
Then place the sugar and eggs in a large bowl and whisk together for several minutes until pale and stiffer.
Then gradually pour the melted chocolate mixture onto the egg and sugar mix and fold in gently.
Add the almond flour and fold in lightly. Pour into the greased cake tin and add a few of the delicious macerated cherries
Stick it in the oven and cook at 150°c for about 50 minutes until the cake is reasonably cooked. You can tell if you stick a skewer in to the centre of the cake mix and you just get a small mark suggesting a slightly gooey interior- this is correct.
Take it out and leave to cool.
For the custard
Place the cream and milk in a pan and heat until just before boiling point. Take it off the heat. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour and pour the hot milk/ cream mix onto the eggs and whisk until smooth. Add the chopped up chocolate. Stir on a low heat, and cook until all the chocolate has melted and the custard has thickened. Remove from the heat, pour into a jug and cover the surface of the custard with cling film (which prevents a skin from forming). Leave to cool completely.
Back to the cherries and the cherry juices
Place the cherries and the brandy into a pan and reduce,creating a syrup. Reduce on a simmer expecting to lose about a third of the liquid.
Take your gelatine and follow the instructions on the packet. In short, it usually has to be brought to the boil before it is effective so place it in a small amount of water and bring it to the boil for a few seconds.
Now with the reduced fruit syrup, add the gelatine and stir in and allow to cool slightly.
To assemble the trifle
Take the cooled cake and cut out the centre. Fanny used a bowl which she pushed into the cake giving an immaculate round shape. This was removed and you will be left with the ring – the outer part of the cake. Cut this up into cubes.
Douse them with some cherry brandy and place them at the bottom of the serving dish.
Add some of the cherries
Now add the jelly mixture
The next layer is the chocolate custard. Try not to eat it all before you put it in the trifle.
Add the last of the cherries
Top with a mixture of whipped double cream and a couple of tbspns of creme fraiche.
The beauty of this recipe is that you get a free chocolate cake (from the cutout earlier) as well!
Do you know -I really am sometimes always quite fabulous!