Decadent Black Forest trifle

A decadent twist on a classic trifle.
Black Forest triflePhotography: John Paul Urizar. Styling: Michele Cranston.
1H 30M

Boozy poached cherries, sweet custard cream and a fluffy chocolate sponge make for one truly decadent Black Forest trifle.

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Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease a 19cm x 29cm slice pan; line base with baking paper, extending paper 3cm over long sides.


Place chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water; stir until melted. Remove from heat; cool.


Beat eggs, sugar and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl with an electric mixer for about 7 minutes or until thick and pale. Sift flour over egg mixture, then fold in gently with a large metal spoon. Add melted chocolate; carefully fold through evenly.


Spread the mixture into prepared pan; bake for 25 minutes or until firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 10 minutes, before turning onto a wire rack to cool.



Make a caramel by stirring the sugar and the water in a medium saucepan over high heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; boil uncovered, without stirring, for 10 minutes or until caramel in colour. Meanwhile, combine the wine and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove the caramel from the heat and carefully pour in warm wine mixture. Return to heat; stir until mixture is smooth. Bring to the boil; boil, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until mixture is reduced to about 1 cup (250ml). Combine cornflour and 1 tablespoon of cold water in a small cup until smooth; stir into wine mixture. Add cherries, stir until heated through. Transfer to a heatproof container and refrigerate until ready to use. Remove the cinnamon stick.



Beat eggs, sugar and orange rind in a large bowl with a balloon whisk or hand mixer over a saucepan of simmering water for about 5 minutes or until thick and creamy and doubled in volume. Remove from heat and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Whisk the thickened cream and chilled egg mixture in a large bowl with an electric mixer until thick and fluffy.


To assemble the trifle, cut the sponge into approximately 20 small pieces and stack into a wide shallow bowl or trifle dish. Sprinkle over the liqueur. Spoon over half the poached cherries then top with half the custard cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Decorate with fresh cherries and chocolate shards and serve with remaining poached cherries and custard cream.

Sponge cake is suitable to freeze. The poached cherries and sponge can be made up to 3 days before serving. The custard cream can be made a day ahead. If the cream deflates slightly, whisk it until thickened.

Test Kitchen tip

This recipe was originally published in 2021. It was updated in 2023.

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