This one’s either for people who don’t like to cook or for devoted cooks who nonetheless need something really speedy.
3 double-chocolate-chip American-style muffins
7 oz (200 g) dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids)
1 x 680 g jar pitted morello cherries, drained and soaked overnight in 3 fl oz (75 ml) dark rum
2 level tablespoons morello cherry jam or conserve
9 oz (250 g) mascarpone
14 oz (400 g) fresh custard
10 fl oz (275 ml) whipping cream
You will also need a trifle bowl or serving dish with a capacity of 4 pints (2.25 litres)
You need to start this recipe the day before you want to serve it, and all you do at this stage is soak the drained cherries overnight in the rum. The next day, begin by slicing the muffins horizontally in half, then spread each slice with some jam and weld the slices back together to their original muffin shape. Now cut each one vertically into 4 pieces approximately ¾ inch (2 cm) wide, and lay these all around the base of the trifle bowl or serving dish.
Now take a skewer and stab them to make holes, then strain off the rum the cherries have been soaking in and sprinkle it all over the muffins, scattering the cherries on top. Now, reserving 2 oz (50 g) of the chocolate for decoration, break the rest up into squares. Place the broken-up chocolate in a large, heatproof bowl, which should be sitting over a saucepan of barely simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Then, keeping the heat at its lowest, allow the chocolate to melt slowly – it should take about 5 minutes to become smooth and glossy. Remove the bowl from the pan and give it a good stir, then let the chocolate cool for 2-3 minutes.
While that’s happening, put the mascarpone in a bowl and beat to soften it, then add the custard and whisk them together. Next, whisk in the cooled, melted chocolate, then pour the whole lot over the soaked muffins and cherries. Now whip the cream to the floppy stage, then carefully spoon this over the trifle, spreading it out with a palette knife. Lastly, chop the rest of the chocolate (using a piece of foil to protect it from the heat of your fingers as you steady it), shredding it very finely. Sprinkle the shreds over the surface of the trifle, cover with clingfilm and chill until needed.