Friday, December 7, 2007

Black Forest Trifle

Each year I usually serve a trifle for either the Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner. And I don't always use a recipe - I just put together one in my head.

I believe the traditional English trifle uses pound cake, fruit and sherry. I've decided to be creative and blend different flavors such as gingerbread, pear and mascarpone. This recipe uses the Tres Leches sponge cake with cocoa powder added, some cherry brandy, the Cherry Compote and whipped cream.


9 eggs, separated
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk, mixed with 1 tablespoon baking powder

Cherry Compote

1/3 cup kirschwasser or white rum
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
One large trifle bowl - preferably 9 inches in diameter or larger


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans.

2. In a separate bowl sift or mix together the flour and cocoa powder. Set aside.

3. Beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale; add the vanilla.

4. Add flour/cocoa mixture alternately with the milk mixture.

5. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Stir about a third of whites into batter, then fold in the remainder until completely blended. Pour batter into prepared pans - 3/4 full. You may have left over batter - bake an extra round layer if you like.

6. Bake on middle rack of oven until cake tests done, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a rack for 2 hours.

7. Remove cakes from pans. Using a large knife, remove part of cake tops to make an even surface. Also if layers are too big to fit your trifle bowl, cut cake around its perimeter to fit. Sprinkle cake with kirschwasser.

8. Beat whipping cream and sugar until stiff.

9. Assemble trifle: place one cake layer in bottom of trifle bowl; place about 1/3rd of cherry compote on top of cake layer then 1/3rd whipped cream. Repeat until all cake layers are used and whipped cream is on top layer.

10. Chill overnight.

Serving: sprinkle chocolate shavings on top of trifle.