Chocolate cherry trifle

NOT TO BE TRIFLED WITH... Give your Christmas trifle a cherry boost. Photo: Supplied

NO Christmas is complete without a cheeky trifle. Why not make the most of the abundance of delicious cherries in our region this Christmas and make it a chocolate cherry trifle!

1 x 20cm round store-bought chocolate sponge
1kg cherries, pitted, plus extra cherries for top
1 Cup rosé Moscato wine
600ml thickened cream
2 Tablespoons caster sugar
50g dark chocolate, shaved
Chocolate Custard
4 Egg yolks
1/4 Cup caster sugar
1 Tablespoon cornflour
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup milk
300ml cream
50g dark chocolate, chopped

For custard:
Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and cocoa in a large bowl. Combine milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling, then pour into egg mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour mixture back into saucepan and place over low-medium heat. Add chocolate and stir until melted. Continue to heat custard until thickened, ensuring it doesn’t boil as it will split.

Cover custard directly with plastic wrap so it doesn’t form a skin, and refrigerate to cool and thicken further.

Place cherries and Moscato in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cherries begin to release their juice and soften, but still retain their shape.

Strain cherries and reserve cherry syrup. Set cherries aside to cool and return syrup to saucepan. Simmer for 3-4 minutes until reduced by half and thickened. Set aside to cool.
Whisk cream and caster sugar together until soft peaks.

To assemble, cut sponge horizontally in half.
Place one layer in the base of a 20cm glass serving bowl and drizzle with some cherry syrup. Cover evenly with half of the custard, followed by half the cream. Scatter the cooked cherries over cream and drizzle with extra syrup.
Continue with another layer of sponge, syrup, custard and finishing with the remaining cream. Top with fresh cherries and sprinkle with shaved chocolate.
Refrigerate for 2 hours or until ready to serve.