Peob and I spent Saturday night and most of Sunday lunchtime putting together a gorgeous black forest trifle. Here's how it went:
We started with a base of brownies (made with lots of really good dark chocolate and sweetened with maple syrup) baked in the wee hours the night before and left to cool until morning, then topped with half a jar of sour cherries and their juice, then topped with chilled vanilla custard cooked while we baked the brownies, then we whipped some cream and spooned generously over the other ingredients, and garnished with a sprinkling of dark chocolate. Perfection.
You can use pretty much any recipe you like for any of the components of this dish, but here are some you might find helpful:
1 1/2 c. flour
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. maple syrup
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped roughly
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. oil
2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350, and line an 8"x8" dish with parchment paper. Sift together flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder. Combine chocolate, maple syrup, water, oil, and vanilla in a small saucepan and warm over low heat, stirring gently, until chocolate is melted. Allow to cool slightly before adding to dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Batter will be very thick. Spoon over parchment-lined dish and bake 20-25 min. Cut into squares and let cool completely before assembling trifle.
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar
one vanilla bean, scraped, or a good slug of vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a double boiler (if you don't have a double boiler, a metal bowl set over a saucepan works just as well - just be sure the width of the metal bowl allows it to sit on top without falling into the water below) and warm over simmering water on medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until custard has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be sure not to overcook, or cook over too-high heat, or the egg will curdle. That said, don't sweat it if a few lumps form! Just give it a really good go with a whisk to smooth out the lumps and you're golden. Place in the refrigerator to cool before assembling trifle.
1 c. heavy cream
sugar to taste
a little vanilla extract, if you like
This is such a no-brainer I'm not sure if it even warrants being a recipe. Using an electric hand-mixer, whip cream until it goes solid and creamy. See above for the kind of texture you're going for. Add to trifle as pictured above. And there you have it, ladies and gents, trifle!