Yes I am aware that this dessert does not contain either fruit or jelly but I am still calling it a trifle! It’s got layers of cake, booze, custard and cream. So in my book, it’s a trifle.
I was recently in charge of desserts for a big get together so I thought I’d make my Apple and Blackberry Crumble, my Baked Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake and this trifle – just to balance all the healthy fruit ;-). Of course, being my usual disorganised self, I started making the them on Saturday night. Not my best idea. I had popped the cheesecake into the oven at about 11pm and sat down to have a cuppa. Then I got up to clean up and found the saucepan with the melted chocolate and cream sitting on top of the cooker! So basically, there was no chocolate in the cheesecake and it was too late to add it now. I nearly had a heart attack. I almost panicked and took the cheesecake out to bin it and then thought I’d pour it on top of the cheesecake as a ganache when it had cooled. So with a lot of crossing of fingers I chanced this and you know what? it tasted fine. A little over-baked but all the flavours were there. So it just goes to show that almost all cooking disasters can be salvaged!
This trifle however is a different story, I’d find it hard to imagine how this can be messed up. You can make it as easy as you like – buy a shop bought chocolate loaf or brownies and a good quality 500ml tub of custard. Hell, you can even buy ready whipped cream if you like – I don’t judge! If using the shop bought custard, just melt the chocolate and stir it through when cooled. I made my chocolate loaf cake as it has a nice light texture but you could go with brownies if you want a more fudge-like texture. I’ve used Oreo biscuits here but you can use Maltesers, Crunchies – anything you like once it adds a bit of crunch. This has just a hint of Baileys in it so feel free to add some to the custard if you want more of a kick.
Assemble the cake and custard layer in advance to allow the custard layer to set but only add the fresh whipped cream just before serving. This would also be really nice served in individual portions in little glasses.
TIP: If you are anxious about curdled custard, Nigella recommends having some ice cold water in the sink and the minute the mixture starts to split, plunge the saucepan into the water and whisk furiously. The custard should come good again.
Serves approx 8-10, more if part of a selection of desserts.
- 1 Chocolate Loaf Cake
- 100ml Baileys Irish Cream Liqueur (optional)
- 1 pack of Oreos
- 300ml full fat milk
- 300ml double cream
- 7 egg yolks (make meringues from the whites or freeze them for another time)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract or 1 pod
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 100g good quality dark chocolate, min 70%
- 250ml single cream, whipped
- Allow your chocolate cake to cool completely before slicing it into 12 slices. Line the bottom of a trifle bowl with the pieces of cake and pour over the Baileys so that it soaks into the cake.
- Roughly bash up the biscuits and sprinkle most of them on top of the cake. Keep some back to sprinkle over the top when done.
- To make the chocolate custard put the cream and milk into a heavy based saucepan and heat slowly. Do not allow it to come to a boil. If you are using a vanilla pod, split it open, scrape out the seeds and add it and the seeds to the milk and cream. If using extract or paste just pour it into the pot and stir through.
- While the milk and cream are heating, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour until starting to get light and fluffy.
- When the milk looks like it is starting to bubble, remove it from the heat and very slowly start to pour it into the eggs, whisking the eggs the whole time. It is important that the hot milk is added slowly to the eggs and not the other way around as otherwise the eggs will curdle.
- Continue to slowly pour the milk and cream mix into the eggs, constantly whisking until it is all combined. Pour that back into the saucepan and put it onto a low-medium heat. Keep stirring until the mixture is the thickness you need. The longer you cook it the more it will thicken. I did this for about 15 minutes until the mixture had thickened. Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat to speed things up or you will end up with scrambled eggs.
- When thickened, pour the custard into a bowl to cool. Remove the vanilla pod if using and put a piece of clingfilm directly onto its surface to prevent a skin from forming.
- Meanwhile, make a bain marie by putting a heatproof bowl over a simmering pot of water and break up the chocolate and add to the bowl to melt slowly. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. When melted, set aside to cool slightly.
- When the chocolate has cooled, pour it into the custard and mix well together. Put the clingfilm back onto it and put it in the fridge to set.
- When the custard has set pour it over the base of the trifle and put the whole thing back into the fridge for a couple of hours. You can leave it overnight like this if you wish to make it ahead of time.
- When you are ready to serve whip the cream and pour it over the top of the custard. Top with the remaining Oreos.