Festive Chocolate & Cherry Trifle

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By Darren Purchese

It simply is not Christmas without a trifle; it makes such a great table centerpiece. The best thing is you can invent your own trifle layers using your favourite dessert components. Mix & match fruits, creams, jellies and inclusions, as there really are no rules. This trifle is entirely made up of recipes from this website. Of course, you can serve this anytime of the year but the work involved as well as cherries being in season and of course the presentation means this dessert is best saved for a special occasion.

Plan this well in advance to reduce the stress and workload, the trifle can be finished up to the custard layer on Christmas Eve and refrigerated over night to finish on Christmas Day.

Before tackling this recipe whizz down and read the assembly instructions (step 10), this will help you with your strategy for making each component.

Time

72

hour

0

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Advanced

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3

Portions

12
servings

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Ingredients

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COMPONENTS

500g Cherries In Vanilla Syrup
500 ml Moscato Jelly
360g White Chocolate & Vanilla Cream
1 Brownie Disc 18cm diameter
360g White Chocolate & Vanilla Cream
75g Dark Chocolate, melted
1 Brownie Disc 18cm diameter
360g Custard For Trifle
200g Champagne Sabayon

CHERRIES IN VANILLA SYRUP

250 ml water
250g jam setting sugar
1000g cherries, fresh pitted
1 whole vanilla pod, seeds scraped
½ lemon, juice

MOSCATO JELLY

1 bottle Moscato (750ml)
125 ml water, cold
250g caster sugar
22.5g gelatine leaves

WHITE CHOCOLATE & VANILLA CREAM

500 ml cream, thickened
1 whole vanilla pod, seeds scraped
250g white chocolate, buttons or coarse chopped

CHOCOLATE BROWNIE

480g unsalted butter, softened
580g soft brown sugar
280g dark chocolate, melted
440g eggs, (approx. 8 whole)
230g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
 pinch salt

THICK CUSTARD

275 ml cream, thickened
275 ml milk
1 whole vanilla pod, seeds scraped
95g caster sugar
20g cornflour
60g egg yolks, (approx. 3 large eggs)

CHAMPAGNE SABAYON

180g cream, thickened
150 ml Champagne or sparkling wine
100g egg yolks, (approx 5 large eggs)
70g caster sugar

TO FINISH

 dark chocolate shards
 fresh cherries
 cherries in vanilla syrup, drained
 meringue bulbs
 gold leaf
 icing sugar
1

 

2

For the cherries in vanilla syrup… add the sugar to a large saucepan along with the water and scraped vanilla seeds. Whisk to mix well and turn onto a medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly and simmer for 2 minutes to ensure the syrup is starting to thicken. Add the cherries and stir the pan gently until the contents comes to a second boil then turn off the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and place into sterilised jars or containers.

 

3

To make the jelly… Soak the gelatine leaves in a shallow container with the cold water for 4 minutes to soften. Heat the Moscato and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat; turn the heat off just before the mixture starts to simmer. Stir to dissolve the sugar but don’t whisk, as you don’t want air bubbles in the mix. Add the gelatine/water mixture to the pan and stir gently to melt the gelatine. Strain the jelly through a sieve into a large jug or bowl.

 

4

To make the white chocolate & vanilla cream… Start by pouring half the cream in a saucepan with the vanilla seeds and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Remove from the heat, put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream onto the chocolate and leave to sit for 20 seconds before stirring to emulsify the chocolate. Add the remaining cream and mix well. Store the cream in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Transfer the cream to the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer and attach the whisk. Whisk the cream on a medium speed to firm peaks and use immediately.

 

5

For the brownie… preheat an oven to 180°C and grease 2 X 30 cm X 20 cm baking trays with a 2 cm lip. Line the bottom of the trays with an exact size sheet of baking paper. Lightly spray the paper with canola spray.

 

6

For the brownie mix… place the butter, sugar and salt into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on a medium speed until pale and fluffy, use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure it is mixed evenly. Continue to mix and add in the melted chocolate followed by the eggs, adding one at a time. Sieve the flour and the cocoa powder together and fold into the mixture. Spread the mixture into the trays and level with a palette knife.

 

7

To bake… bake both trays for 20 minutes or until the brownie is fully cooked. Leave to cool in the tray for 15 minutes and then run a knife around the edge of the brownie to loosen before turning it out onto a cooling rack. Cut an 18cm diameter disc from each brownie and reserve in the fridge until needed for assembly. Use the brownie trim for our festive Rum Balls.

 

8

For the thick custard… Combine the cream, milk, scraped vanilla seeds and pod in a saucepan and heat to a simmer. Remove from the heat and remove the vanilla pod. Mix the sugar, cornflour and yolks together well with a whisk until the mixture pales and thickens. Pour one third of the hot milk/cream onto the yolk/sugar mixture and mix well with a whisk. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk/cream and mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon. Place the pan back onto a low to medium heat and whisk stir constantly while cooking the custard until it starts to boil and bubble. Cook at this temperature for a further 20 seconds stirring the entire time. Serve immediately or transfer the custard into a bowl set over ice and stir regularly to cool quickly before storing the custard in the fridge until needed.

 

9

For the Champagne sabayon… whisk the cream until you have thick ribbon and set aside. Add the Champagne, egg yolks and sugar to a large metal bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk by hand for 3-4 minutes until the mixture becomes thick and pale. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk by hand for a further minute. Chill the bowl in the fridge for 5 minutes and then gently fold in the reserved cream. Transfer the mix to a serving bowl and consume within an hour.

 

10

To assemble… drain the cherries and reserve the syrup. Arrange the cherries into the bottom of the glass bowl. Slowly pour the melted jelly into the bowl to cover the cherries. Place the bowl in the fridge and leave to set overnight.

The next day spoon the first quantity of whipped white chocolate & vanilla cream layer onto the jelly and spread out to the edges of the dish with the spoon. Then drizzle half of the reserved cherry vanilla syrup over the top of the cream. Push 1 of the chocolate brownie discs into the cream to half submerge.

Spoon the second batch of white chocolate & vanilla cream onto the sponge and then drizzle the melted chocolate randomly over the top using a spoon. Push the second chocolate brownie disc on top of the cream and again push it gently into the cream layer to half submerge. Drizzle the remaining cherry vanilla syrup onto the cream.

Add the custard onto the cream and level smooth with a palette knife. Spoon over the champagne sabayon to the lip of the glass dish and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour to let everything settle and soak in.

 

11

To finish… Spoon over the champagne sabayon to the lip of the glass dish and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour to let everything settle and soak in. Remove from the fridge and decorate with chocolate shards, fresh cherries, drained cherries in syrup, meringue dots and icing sugar dusted over the top.

 

 

 

1
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2
0 hours 0 minutes

For the cherries in vanilla syrup… add the sugar to a large saucepan along with the water and scraped vanilla seeds. Whisk to mix well and turn onto a medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly and simmer for 2 minutes to ensure the syrup is starting to thicken. Add the cherries and stir the pan gently until the contents comes to a second boil then turn off the heat. Stir in the lemon juice and place into sterilised jars or containers.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

To make the jelly… Soak the gelatine leaves in a shallow container with the cold water for 4 minutes to soften. Heat the Moscato and sugar in a saucepan over a medium heat; turn the heat off just before the mixture starts to simmer. Stir to dissolve the sugar but don’t whisk, as you don’t want air bubbles in the mix. Add the gelatine/water mixture to the pan and stir gently to melt the gelatine. Strain the jelly through a sieve into a large jug or bowl.

4
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To make the white chocolate & vanilla cream… Start by pouring half the cream in a saucepan with the vanilla seeds and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Remove from the heat, put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream onto the chocolate and leave to sit for 20 seconds before stirring to emulsify the chocolate. Add the remaining cream and mix well. Store the cream in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Transfer the cream to the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer and attach the whisk. Whisk the cream on a medium speed to firm peaks and use immediately.

5
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For the brownie… preheat an oven to 180°C and grease 2 X 30 cm X 20 cm baking trays with a 2 cm lip. Line the bottom of the trays with an exact size sheet of baking paper. Lightly spray the paper with canola spray.

6
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For the brownie mix… place the butter, sugar and salt into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on a medium speed until pale and fluffy, use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure it is mixed evenly. Continue to mix and add in the melted chocolate followed by the eggs, adding one at a time. Sieve the flour and the cocoa powder together and fold into the mixture. Spread the mixture into the trays and level with a palette knife.

7
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To bake… bake both trays for 20 minutes or until the brownie is fully cooked. Leave to cool in the tray for 15 minutes and then run a knife around the edge of the brownie to loosen before turning it out onto a cooling rack. Cut an 18cm diameter disc from each brownie and reserve in the fridge until needed for assembly. Use the brownie trim for our festive Rum Balls.

8
0 hours 0 minutes

For the thick custard… Combine the cream, milk, scraped vanilla seeds and pod in a saucepan and heat to a simmer. Remove from the heat and remove the vanilla pod. Mix the sugar, cornflour and yolks together well with a whisk until the mixture pales and thickens. Pour one third of the hot milk/cream onto the yolk/sugar mixture and mix well with a whisk. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk/cream and mix well with a spatula or wooden spoon. Place the pan back onto a low to medium heat and whisk stir constantly while cooking the custard until it starts to boil and bubble. Cook at this temperature for a further 20 seconds stirring the entire time. Serve immediately or transfer the custard into a bowl set over ice and stir regularly to cool quickly before storing the custard in the fridge until needed.

9
0 hours 0 minutes

For the Champagne sabayon… whisk the cream until you have thick ribbon and set aside. Add the Champagne, egg yolks and sugar to a large metal bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk by hand for 3-4 minutes until the mixture becomes thick and pale. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk by hand for a further minute. Chill the bowl in the fridge for 5 minutes and then gently fold in the reserved cream. Transfer the mix to a serving bowl and consume within an hour.

10
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To assemble… drain the cherries and reserve the syrup. Arrange the cherries into the bottom of the glass bowl. Slowly pour the melted jelly into the bowl to cover the cherries. Place the bowl in the fridge and leave to set overnight.

The next day spoon the first quantity of whipped white chocolate & vanilla cream layer onto the jelly and spread out to the edges of the dish with the spoon. Then drizzle half of the reserved cherry vanilla syrup over the top of the cream. Push 1 of the chocolate brownie discs into the cream to half submerge.

Spoon the second batch of white chocolate & vanilla cream onto the sponge and then drizzle the melted chocolate randomly over the top using a spoon. Push the second chocolate brownie disc on top of the cream and again push it gently into the cream layer to half submerge. Drizzle the remaining cherry vanilla syrup onto the cream.

Add the custard onto the cream and level smooth with a palette knife. Spoon over the champagne sabayon to the lip of the glass dish and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour to let everything settle and soak in.

11
0 hours 0 minutes

To finish… Spoon over the champagne sabayon to the lip of the glass dish and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour to let everything settle and soak in. Remove from the fridge and decorate with chocolate shards, fresh cherries, drained cherries in syrup, meringue dots and icing sugar dusted over the top.