1kg pitted cherries, fresh or frozen
200g sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1½ gelatine leaves
150ml milk
300g milk chocolate, chopped into small pieces
300ml cream
500g mascarpone
50g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
90ml water
20g chocolate
150g sugar
40ml canola oil
90ml milk
1 egg
75g flour
30g Dutch cocoa powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon baking powder
300g pitted cherries, fresh or tinned (I used tinned amarena cherries)
edible flowers


1.Place the cherries, sugar and lemon juice in a pot.
2.Cook over a medium heat, stirring often, for about 30 minutes until the cherries have broken down slightly, and the juice is thick and jam-like. Taste and add a bit more lemon juice or sugar if necessary.
3.Pour into a large trifle dish (or 8-10 small dishes/ glasses) and leave to cool.
5.Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft and pliable, then drain.
6.Bring the milk to a boil and pour over the chocolate and the gelatine leaves. Whisk to combine and leave to cool slightly.
7.In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks.
8.Check the temperature of the chocolate mixture – it should feel lukewarm/slightly cool to the touch (if it is too warm it will melt the cream, but too cool and the mousse will be lumpy).
9.Once at the correct temperature, fold the chocolate into the cream and pour on top of the cherries.
10.Put in the fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.
12.Whisk together the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla paste in a bowl over a pot of boiling water and melt until you have a smooth mixture that will pour easily.
13.Once the chocolate mousse is set, top with the mascarpone cream.
14.At this stage the trifle can be left covered for up to two days in the fridge.
16.Preheat the oven to at 150°C.
17.Boil the water and pour over the chocolate.
18.Whisk until melted then add the sugar, oil, milk and egg. Whisk to combine then add the dry ingredients and mix.
19.Pour onto a slice tray lined with baking paper and bake for 15-20 minutes until the cake springs back when touched.
20.Leave to cool.
21.You can leave the cake in the fridge (separate from the trifle) for up to 1 week before serving.
23.Break the cake into bite-sized chunks and put onto the trifle, piling up slightly in the middle.
24.Pile the cherries onto the trifle – coating the cherries with a touch of either high- quality olive oil or cherry jam will help give them a nice shine.
25.Top with edible flowers to serve.

Recipes & food styling Maxine Scheckter / Photography Amber-Jayne Bain / Styling Deborah Sweeney

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