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The Hairy Bikers' Black Forest trifle

The Hairy Bikers / 02 November 2018

A delightfully decadent boozy chocolate and cherry trifle from The Hairy Bikers.

The Hairy Bikers' chocolate trifle
The Hairy Bikers' chocolate trifle

Preparation time

45 minutes




For the chocolate custard

  • 100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp cornflour

For the trifle

  • 500g chocolate cake or brownies
  • 50g black cherry or Morello cherry jam
  • 100g kirsch or cherry brandy
  • 300g pitted black cherries
  • 200g amaretti biscuits
  • 500ml double cream
  • Chocolate curls, to decorate


Chocolate custard, cake and booze. What’s not to like? This is a real showstopper of a trifle and should be greeted with hearty cheers when you bring it to the table. Try it once and it will become a proper tradition.

First make the custard as this will need to chill before you make up the trifle. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. The base of the bowl shouldn’t touch the water. Allow the chocolate to melt, then remove the bowl from the pan and leave the chocolate to cool.

Put the milk and cream into a saucepan with the vanilla pod and bring to just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and leave the milk to infuse and cool slightly.

Put the egg yolks, caster sugar, cocoa powder and cornflour into a bowl. Whisk, preferably with electric beaters, until the mixture is very well aerated, pale and stiff enough that it keeps its shape when you trail the beaters through it. Remove the vanilla pod from the slightly cooled milk and cream mixture. Pour the milk and cream over the egg mixture, stirring as you go, then fold in the melted chocolate.

Mix thoroughly, then rinse out the saucepan and pour the custard back into it. Cook, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens – this can take anything from 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how high you dare have the heat. Don’t have the heat too low or the custard will not thicken, but make sure you don’t let it boil. Keep stirring.

When the custard has thickened to the point of thick double cream, transfer it to a jug and cover with cling film to stop a skin forming. When cool, transfer the mixture to the fridge – the custard will continue to thicken while it chills.

To make the trifle, cut the brownies or cake into fairly thin slices and spread them with the jam. Sandwich the slices together and arrange them in the bottom of a large trifle bowl. Pour over the kirsch or cherry brandy, then sprinkle over the cherries.

Put a layer of the amaretti biscuits over the cherries, then pour over the custard in a thick, even layer. If you have time, place the bowl in the fridge until almost ready to serve, again covered in cling film. Whisk the double cream in a bowl until it forms soft peaks, then smooth this over the custard. Decorate with chocolate curls.

Hairy Biker tip:

For an additional touch of festive decadence, decorate the trifle with chocolate-dipped cherries.

British Classics The Hairy Bikers

The Hairy Bikers’ British Classics by Si King and Dave Myers is published by Seven Dials in hardback on 1 November 2018 at £22

Visit our chocolate section for more decadent dessert recipes


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.