Thursday, March 1, 2012

Individual Black Forest Trifles

Proverbial it may be, the sweet tooth is a genetic trait that runs deep in my family. I have tried but learned long ago that any attempt to suppress a sweet tooth is futile. So I've come up with ways to have dessert without undoing all my efforts at healthy eating. I try only to bake on the weekends - which does not always work out - and portion control - a more feasible approach.

Few desserts are more elegant than an expertly assembled black forest cake. The mounds of white, fluffy whipped cream, contrasted with shards of brown chocolate and bright red maraschino cherries all make a black forest cake a dreamy sight. The problem is: in my house, a cake of this calibre would be devoured in an embarrassingly short amount of time. This is where portion control and single serving sizes come in.

The following recipe makes approximately six to eight individual trifles. I usually use this recipe from Ina Garten for the chocolate cake but, as suggested, you can use a chocolate cake of your choice. A huge convenience is cutting the cakes into cubes and storing them in the freezing so that they are on hand for whenever I get a craving for something sweet, which is usually quite often.

Individual Black Forest Trifles
Serves 6 to 8

1 jar morelo cherries, in syrup
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cherry brandy (optional)
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 pound chocolate cake of your choice, cut into 1/2" cubes
dark chocolate shavings
6 to 8 3oz servings glasses

1. Drain the cherries, saving the liquid and reserving the cherries separately. Add the liquid to a sauce pan, together with the cherry brandy (if using) half cup of sugar. Simmer until thickened and reduced by half. Allow to cool then combine with the reserved cherries, and set aside.
2. Whip the cream, confectioner's sugar, and vanilla together until fluffy, with stiff peaks.
3. To assemble the trifles, place about 4 cubes of cake on the bottom of each individual serving glass. Top with two tablespoons of the cherries followed by two tablespoons of whipped creamed. Repeat each layer ending with the cream. Dust the top of each trifle with chocolate chards before serving.