I never liked Christmas pudding, so each year I try to find an alternative.  It has to be decadent, fruity and Christmassy.  I found this recipe which ticks all those boxes, so if you want something a bit different this year, or a supplementary dessert give this a shot.  It can be served with a sweet wine which is perfect to finish off the meal- I’m going to try a Fleur du Cap Noble Late Harvest.

choc cherry trifle, christmas recipe


  • 100g bar good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 400ml full fat milk
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 level tsp cornflour
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • 150g of sponge cake or chocolate muffins or any spongy type cake you can get (if you want to be really posh use lady’s fingers or boudoirs)
  • 4-6 tbsp kirsch or cherry brandy
  • 8 tbsp cherry compote or red fruits compote
  • 284ml pot double cream
  • A few fresh cherries



1. Hold the bar of chocolate at an angle on a board and scrape down it with a sharp knife to make lots of shards of grated chocolate for decorating the trifle. Use at least a third of the bar. Pop them in the fridge.

2. Pour the milk into a pan, add the rest of the chocolate and heat gently until the chocolate has melted and the milk has almost boiled. Stir occasionally. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract in a large bowl.

3. Pour the warm chocolate flavoured milk into the egg mixture, stir well and pour it back into the pan. Cook over a low heat, stirring to make a smooth, thick custard. Pour the custard into a clean bowl, cover closely with cling film and leave to cool.

4. To assemble the trifle, slice or break up the cake into chunks straight into a trifle bowl. Sprinkle the kirsch or brandy over then spoon in the compote. Spread the custard on top.

5. Whip the cream (add a little sugar and more booze if you like) until it just holds its shape. Place spoonfuls of cream on top of the custard. Decorate with lashings of grated chocolate and the fresh cherries, just before serving.