Decadent Black Forest trifle

Boozy poached cherries, sweet mascarpone cream and a fluffy chocolate sponge make for one truly decadent dessert - it's no wonder why it's one of The Australian Women's Weekly's Best Ever Recipes!

  • 40 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking
  • 10 mins marinating + Refrigeration
  • Serves 10
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Decadent black forest trifle
  • 200 gram (6½ ounces) dark (semi-sweet) chocolate, chopped coarsely
  • 200 gram (6½ ounces) unsalted butter, chopped coarsely
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup (150g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
  • cherries with stems and chocolate shards, to serve
Poached cherries
  • 3/4 cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) water
  • 1 1/3 cup (330ml) dry red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 500 gram (1 pound) cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) grand marnier
Mascarpone cream
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 500 gram (1 pound) mascarpone
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind


Decadent black forest trifle
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease a 19cm x 29cm (7¾-inch x 11¾-inch) slice pan; line base with baking paper, extending paper 5cm (2 inches) over long sides.
  • 2
    Place chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan of simmering water; stir until melted. Remove from heat; cool.
  • 3
    Beat eggs, sugar and a pinch of salt in a small bowl with an electric mixer for 7 minutes or until thick and pale. Sift flour over mixture, then fold in gently with a large metal spoon. Add melted chocolate; carefully fold through.
  • 4
    Spread 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.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, make the poached cherries and the mascarpone cream.
  • 6
    To assemble the trifle, break sponge into small pieces. Place half the sponge into base of a large trifle bowl. Spoon over half the poached cherries and poaching liquid, then top with half the mascarpone cream. Repeat with a second layer of ingredients; cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, decorate with cherries and chocolate shards.
Poached cherries
  • 7
    Stir 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.
  • 8
    Meanwhile, combine wine and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove 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); discard cinnamon.
  • 9
    Add cherries and Grand Marnier; stir until heated through. Transfer to a heatproof container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Mascarpone cream
  • 10
    Beat egg whites and half the sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  • 11
    Combine egg yolks, remaining sugar, mascarpone and rind in a medium bowl; whisk to combine.
  • 12
    Lightly fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.


Chocolate sponge cake suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave. The poached cherries and sponge can be made the day before.

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