It's January. The days are short and extremely cold at the moment. But that didn't stop my dear friends to come over to wish me Happy Birthday (from the other side of town, mind you). So what does a girl like me do in such instances? Prepare a delicious dinner with all the trimmings, of course. Or that's what I should have done, anyway. But it didn't happen. I wanted to make fondue (or a twist on the traditional one) with brie cheese and wild mushrooms. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, apparently not for yours truly. I managed to completely mess up a perfectly simple fondue recipe. It turned out thick and lumpy as hell. But my ever so gracious friends (because that's the kind of people they are) said it was delicious. It was not.
Oh, well at least we had dessert. Black Forest Trifle, namely.
I kept it simple and used store bought Belgian chocolate cake and custard. Those of you who cringe at the thought of store bought custard click here for a good home-made custard recipe.
I used cherries for decoration and only for decoration as they were tasteless. That will teach me never to disobey the cardinal rule of great cooking: always use seasonal ingredients!
Makes 4 to 6 servings, depending on the size of the glasses you use
1 chocolate cake loaf (about 500g)
2 1/2 cups vanilla custard
1 800 ml jar pitted sour cherries in light syrup, drained, 1/2 cup juice reserved
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup kirsch
1 cup heavy cream
chocolate shards and cocoa powder for decoration
Mix 2 tbsp sour cherry juice with the cornstarch. Add to rest of the sour cherry juice and bring to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan. Stir until thickened. Take mixture off the heat then add the cherries and kirsch. Set aside.
Cut chocolate cake into 1/2 inch thick slices. Whip heavy cream to soft peaks (you can add powdered sugar to taste, if desired).
Prepare 6 small water glasses. Start layering with cake slices, then sour cherry mixture, then custard. Repeat layering once more. Finally, top it off with whipped cream. Garnish with chocolate shavings and sifted cocoa.