Cherry Chocolate Christmas Trifle

Prep time 1 hour
Cook time 1 hour
Servings 12-16
Difficulty Tricky


Cherries in Vanilla Syrup
500ml water
500g jam setting sugar
1kg fresh cherries, pitted
1 vanilla pod, split & scraped
Juice of ½ lemon

Gold Chocolate Cream
360ml cream (A)
480g gold chocolate, melted
640ml cream (B)

Chocolate Brownie
360g butter, unsalted
435g sugar, brown soft light
Pinch salt
210g dark chocolate, melted
6 eggs
175g flour, plain
30g cocoa powder

Champagne Sabayon
180g cream
150ml champagne or sparkling white wine
5 egg yolks
70g caster sugar

Assembly in Order
1kg Cherries in vanilla syrup
500g Gold chocolate & vanilla cream, whipped
1 Chocolate brownie disc 18cm diameter
500g Gold chocolate & vanilla cream, whipped
75g Dark chocolate, melted
1 Chocolate brownie disc 18cm diameter
450g Gold chocolate & vanilla cream, whipped
200g Champagne sabayon

To Decorate:
Dark Chocolate Block & Shards
Fresh Cherries & Melted Gold Chocolate
Chocolate Decorations
Gold Leaf
Icing Sugar

Cherry Chocolate Christmas Trifle


Cherries in Vanilla Syrup
Add the sugar to a large saucepan with the water and a scraped vanilla pod & seeds. Whisk to mix well and turn onto a medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly and bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar. Add the cherries and stir the pan gently until the contents comes to a second boil then turn off the heat. Stir in the lemon juice.

Gold Chocolate Cream
Place the melted gold chocolate in a large bowl. In a saucepan, bring the cream (A) just to the boil and pour onto the melted chocolate. Leave to sit for 30 seconds before stirring well with a spatula to combine.
Add in the cold cream (B) and stir well before covering and transferring to the fridge for a couple of hours to chill. 
Add the cooled cream mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer and attach the whisk. Whisk the cream on a medium speed to form firm peaks.

Chocolate Brownie
Preheat an oven to 180°C and grease a 25cm diameter springform cake tin. Line the bottom and sides of the tin with a sheet of baking paper. Lightly spray the paper with canola spray.
Place the butter, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl and stir well to cream until pale and fluffy, using a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure it is mixed evenly. Continue to mix and stir in the melted chocolate until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing continuously. Sieve the flour and the cocoa powder together and fold into the mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the tin and level with a palette knife.
Bake for 45 minutes or until the brownie is fully cooked. Leave to cool in the tin before removing from the tin and allowing to cool completely. Slice the brownie in half horizontally to form two round discs.

Champagne Sabayon
Whisk the cream until you have thick ribbons, then set aside. Add the Champagne, egg yolks and sugar to a large metal bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk by hand for 3-4 minutes until the mixture becomes thick and pale. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk by hand for a further minute. Chill the bowl in the fridge for 5 minutes and then gently fold in the reserved cream. 

Drain the cherries and reserve the syrup. Arrange the cherries into the bottom of the glass bowl with a few tablespoons of the syrup.
Spoon a gold chocolate cream layer onto the cherries and spread out to the edges of the dish with a spoon. Layer a chocolate brownie disc onto the cream and gently push down, then add a couple tablespoons of syrup onto the brownie.
Spoon the second batch of gold chocolate cream onto the sponge and then drizzle the melted chocolate randomly over the top using a spoon. 
Push the second chocolate brownie disc on top of the cream and again push it gently into the cream layer to half submerge.
Spoon the second batch of gold chocolate cream onto the sponge and then drizzle the remaining cherry vanilla syrup onto the cream.
Spoon over the champagne sabayon to the lip of the glass dish and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour to let everything settle and soak in.

Grate chocolate over the top of the trifle and dip whole cherries with stems in gold chocolate and arrange them on the surface. Add chocolate shards and dust with icing sugar.