Sunday is Mother’s Day. In a calendar packed with ‘days’ commemorating anything from The Pancake to The Voting Rights of the Lesser Spotted Purple Possum, this is one of the few that I actually do agree with. Mothers are special. They deserve it. My mum has sadly been gone for ten years, but if she were at my table this Sunday, I’d make her this Black Forest trifle. OK it’s not strictly a trifle, bit it is prettily layered in teeny glasses. What it really is, is a deeply chocolatey chocolate mousse of sorts, layered with cherries and topped with cream – all the things I love so much about Black Forest cake, in a glass.
It’s incredibly simple but deeply luxurious. As with all simple but luxurious things, excellent ingredients are non-negotiable – high cocoa content proper chocolate, fantastic cherry compote and fresh cream from happy cows.
For the chocolate, a minimum 70% cocoa content is called for. My go to is Lindt. For the cherry layer you could cook fresh or frozen cherries with a bit of sugar to form a luscious compote. I take the short cut and open a jar of Bonne Maman Cherry Preserve. You can actually taste and see the fruit and the texture is just perfect, very compote-like. It is pricey because it is French, but their preserves are exquisite, there is nothing local that beats it. (SA jams/preserves/conserves are by and large fruit concentrate and sugar and pectin laden atrocities. Just total rubbish, but that’s a post for another day.) And of course Bonne Maman means ‘good mom’, so there’s that!
You can make this Black Forest trifle on the day, but it needs three hours in the fridge, so bear that in mind in your planning. Or you could make the mousse layer the previous day and top it with the final two layers just before serving.