One thing that I am most adamant about is that fruit is not a pudding. It's just not. I like fruit. And I like cake. I do not like fruit in cake. I somehow feel cheated if a dessert doesn't contain chocolate, cream and all things sugary and sweet. And no, sugary and sweet does not mean fruit. It means even more chocolate. Even more chocolate with even more cream on top. Maybe with a side of meringue.
As a result, when Hartley's got in touch with me last week offering samples of their new black cherry flavour jelly and the ultimate trifle recipe to try out, my first thought was, 'Uh, no thanks'. But Hartley's is a company that holds a special place in my heart as it was their blackcurrant jelly that I craved during my pregnancies. Anyone that visited us in Switzerland during those months was not-so-politely instructed to fill their suitcases with the wibbly wobbly deliciousness or to not bother coming. I couldn't get enough of it.
So I graciously accepted but with a little bit of cunning. I decided to make a regular, traditional version for my trifle-loving husband (I'm hoping that Hartley's will post the recipe on their new website when it's up and running and then I will link to it here) but mix things up a little and create another for chocolate-lovers like myself ... and a bit of a cheat's one at that.
In comparison to the traditional version above, surprise surprise, I wanted less fruit and more chocolate, but I bet you'd already guessed that, right?
Here's what you need to make my dark chocolate and black cherry trifle (serves one very hungry person or two with a more moderate appetite):
One small trifle cake or two sponge fingers
Hartley's black cherry jelly
60g dark chocolate
40ml single cream
200g custard (I bought mine in a packet ... life's too short)
150ml whipping cream
1. Slice the trifle cake or sponge fingers and line the bottom of your serving dish(es) with them. One thin layer is fine but squeeze the slices in so all of the base is covered.
2. Make up the black cherry jelly (I make mine in a measuring jug) and pour approximately 300ml over the cake ... or 150ml in each dish if you are making two separate portions. There will be jelly left over but left over jelly can only be a good thing, right? It then needs to go in the fridge for a good couple of hours to set.
3. A traditional trifle tends to have a layer of fruit ... but not in my world. In my world, a good trifle contains a layer of soft, fudge-like chocolate so break up 50g of dark chocolate in a bowl and pour over the single cream. You can use the purist method of slowly heating the mixture over a saucepan on the hob but I say put it in the microwave for 25 seconds and you'll end up with a similar result (add a few more seconds if the chocolate hasn't fully melted though). Once cooled slightly, pour the chocolate over the jelly.
4. Next, add the custard layer and then put the dish(es) in the fridge while you whip the cream. Of course you can whip the cream with a KitchenAid or similar but as you're soon going to be consuming a horrendous amount of calories, spending ten minutes doing it by hand won't do you any harm.
5. Put the almost finished trifle in to the fridge for two hours to set (if you can stand to wait that long) and once ready, grate the last 10g of dark chocolate over the top.
There you have it. The simplest but yummiest trifle. No fruit in sight.
Go on, you know you want to try it. I promise you, it's lovely.
One thing that my husband and I both agree on is that the black cherry jelly is a genius idea. The flavour is divine and works for those who like a trifle full of fruit and also for those that don't. The boys loved having little pots of jelly with just a smidgen of whipped cream and much-adored sprinkles on top. It's a more palatable version of trifle for tiny tots with tastebuds that can't cope with too much custard and cream in one spoonful
Thanks for the jelly, Hartley's! I may not be converted to the joys of a traditional trifle but I loved taking part in your #jollyjelly challenge.