Black forest trifle
In the time of Queen Elizabeth I, a trifle was a simple combination of cream and rosewater, flavored with ginger and sugar, a light frothy dessert, closer to a syllabub (cream whipped with fruit juice and liqueur) than today’s trifle. By the middle of the 18th century, trifles included ratafia (almond-flavoured biscuits) or macaroons soaked in sweet wine, covered with custard and topped with whipped cream. Later trifles were decorated with glacé angelica and cherries. Now fresh fruit is a more important component.
- Beat the cream, until thick. Sweeten with icing sugar, if preferred. Cut the sponge into thin wedges or 3cm cubes depending on the type of serving dish you are using.
- Arrange ½ of the sponge in the base of the serving dish. Drizzle with ½ the kirsch. Spoon ½ of the custard on top. Then add a generous layer of cherries. Top with ½ the cream. Repeat the layers reserving a few cherries for the top.
- Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. Serve garnished with the mint.
See more of Jan’s make-ahead festive desserts