Friday, January 6, 2012

Nigella's chocolate cherry trifle

We stood in the darkness, the cool blades of grass peeking up from between our toes, our eyes fixed upon the city-skyline as we counted down this year's final heartbeats.
The sound of our captured breaths filled the spaces between us until the sky was painted in dancing lights and flickering fire. The park became filled with the cheers of strangers and friends as we hugged and kissed those close to us, babes in arms, dogs panting happily at our feet. As we made the journey back to a friend's house for final toasts and warm goodbyes we held each other close, excited by the thoughts of what wonderful possibilities this year new year may hold for us and our new family of three.

Along with the traditional resolutions of health and happiness, I have assigned myself two core resolutions that I hope I can achieve by the year's end. The first;

listen more, say less
I find that I do not listen very well when I am eager to speak. This year I want to allow others to tell me their thoughts without needing to add my own. My-two-cents are getting in the way of me really knowing those I speak to.

and the second, well probably the one I want to achieve most is;

be present
Too often I am reminiscing about moments past, or planning and imagining things to come that I end up missing the moment I am in. For instance, when I am breastfeeding my daughter I drift away to thoughts of chores needing to be done or ideas needing to be transcribed instead of allowing myself to hear the softness of her breath, or feel the featherlight touch of her fingers as they flutter along my chest as if stroking the keys of a piano. Before long she will no longer be at my bosom and I know it will be something I will miss, so I am endeavoring to savor each nuance as much as possible, in all aspects of my life. NO MORE AUTOPILOT - I am plugging into the present.

What are some things you wish to accomplish or change this year?

And now I shall leave you with the dish I served up on Christmas (please excuse the photo, it was snapped in a flash and therefore less-than-sharp). 

Happy New Year!

ease: 5/5.
prep time: 2hours (I used store-bought cake as suggested but you could also make your own).
cooking time: 2hours to overnight to soak. This was even the day after Xmas.
total: 4hours - 12hours, depending on how long you let it sit before eating.

taste: 4/5. Loved by many.

This was a surprising hit for me. I actually thought the simplicity of the chocolate, cherry and cream would be too simple for my guests but every single one of them thoroughly enjoyed it. My brother, who is beyond picky, proclaimed it to be his favourite dessert I have made. 

The scrumptious cake doused in liqueur and smothered in syrupy dark cherry jam is a beautiful base for the tart cerise tang of the Morello cherries which soften the sweetness of the creamy chocolate pudding and fluffy whipped cream sprinkled with shaved, bitterly kissed chocolate. If you want to make it alcohol-free I would recommend soaking the cakes in the juice of the bottled cherries instead.

To make it even easier you could also use store-bought chocolate custard, or vanilla custard with some good quality melted chocolate mixed in - that way there is zero cooking and all you need to do is layer!

would I make it again: Yes - for it's ease (and you can make it the night before!) and appeal.


  1. Hi, I am new to your blog and just wanted to say that I've actually also made this trifle and it was also received well. It looks like such a speciall occasion dish and tastes just as good.

    As for resolutions, mine are about being more active and pushing the boundaries with my cooking.

  2. It looks amazing and ever so tempting!



  3. Firstly, your trifle looks AMAZING!!!! Layers of chocolate, cherry and cream, how can anyone not love it.

    I love your resolution, especially the one about being present. It's something I definitely need to follow. I am always thinking of the next thing I have to do, or analysing things, and you're right, it does mean you don't enjoy the now.

    Best of luck with your resolutions for the year ahead.

  4. Listening more and saying less is the best advice for all of us! Must admit it's difficult to stay present however. :)
    Love Nigella's Cherry could only have been a hit dessert!
    Happy New Year!

  5. Thanks for the lovely comments - and the best of luck with the new year!

  6. This looks and sounds absolutely stunning. Sounds like something I had years back at Rockpool!

  7. Your resolutions are wonderful- I feel I do the same thing (not because I don't want to hear what people have to say, but like you I'm eager to talk!) maybe a byproduct of spending so much time (all my time) with a 2 year old... I didn't make official resolutions but I'm going to keep this in mind.
    As for the breastfeeding, keep going as long as you can! My boy has yet to be weaned, it has helped with colds and teething - it's taxing at times but oh so worth it at other times. :)
    Happy New Year and many blessings.

  8. Haha yep, I think my eagerness to speak is also due to me talking day and night to my 4month old - when you are doing both sides of the conversation it's hard to snap out when you are actually speaking to a grown up!

    And I hope to breastfeed for anywhere up to two years (I'll stop when we start trying for a second). After persevering through bleeding nipples due to oversupply and my little one's upper frenulum lip tie (thank the lord for nipple shields at that time) I absolutely love it, such a wonderful feeling being able to provide that nurturing to bubs, but during those growth spurts or on a night when all she wants to do is feed, it can be hard, but I know soon enough she will be drinking from cups and off on her own adventures, so I appreciate it whilst I can.

  9. thanks for sharing your goals for the new year, as well as this amazing trifle. not only is it beautiful, but the chocolate-cherry combination always wins!

  10. Beautifully written and Happy New Year to you and yours also.

    What an absolute knockout of a trifle, I can't wait to make it. Choc and cherry together are like a romantic love story in my mouth- cue epic music- lol....ultimate fave!

    I hope this year brings you many moments of enjoyment that you can treasure forever xo