When I was growing up in Tasmania our family Christmases were big.
There were my Grandparents, my family, my Mum's sister's family, and her brothers family in attendance at Christmas lunch. Sometimes some of my Mum's other brother and his family, who lived interstate, would fly back for the holidays, and sometimes my Nan's brother and his wife would visit too.
Those Christmases were filled with food, and there was always more food than all of us could possibly eat, but that was part of the fun of the event. And my brother and my cousins and I especially loved it because it was Christmas day it was the one day of the year we could indulge in sugar filled treats unchecked. By the day we'd end up feeling sick, but we didn't care.
The women of the family would share the task of cooking, and all had certain dishes that they made each year. It would be decided who would get the ham and who would cook the turkey. Who'd make the roast potatoes, salads and prawn cocktails and so on. However there were certain dishes that were signature dishes. Debbie, mum's sister, was famous for her trifle, Nanna for her Scottish tablet, and mum for her Black Forest Cheesecake. And when I was old enough to take on cooking responsibility I became famous for my chocolate truffles.
While Christmas just isn't Christmas without making a batch of Nanna's tablet, this year I decided to make Black Forest Cheesecake Trifles in homage of Mum's Black Forest Cheesecake because fresh cherries are just wonderful at the moment.
So, to change things up, because really I just can't help myself, I made Black Forest Cheesecake Trifles. Layers of chocolate cake, topped with cheesecake and vanilla roasted cherries.
And let me tell you, these vanilla roasted cherries are SO good. It's worth making them for the beautiful aroma's they fill your kitchen with when they're roasting. They would also be amazing served on top of a dollop of Greek yoghurt, on pancakes and with a generous scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
So tell me, what Christmas desserts did you grow up with? And do you still make them now?
12 Treats of Christmas
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Black Forest Cheesecake Trifles
- VANILLA ROASTED CHERRIES:
- 600 g of cherries pitted, 1 ½ pounds
- 1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped
- 1 tbs of caster sugar
- CHOCOLATE CAKE:
- 30 g of cocoa sifted, 1 oz
- 50 g of brown sugar ¼ cups
- 125 cup mls of boiling water ½
- 70 g of butter softened, ½ a stick
- 60 g of caster sugar ¼ cup
- 1 egg
- 100 g of plain flour ¾ cup plus 1 tbs
- ¼ tsp of baking powder
- ¼ tsp of baking soda
- ¼ tsp of sea salt
- CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- 400 g of cream cheese at room temperature, 14 oz
- 200 g of mascarpone cheese at room temperature, 7 oz
- 1 tbs of sugar
- Begin with the vanilla roasted cherries. Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and place the cherries in a roasting pan lined with non stick baking paper and sprinkle with sugar. Add the vanilla seeds and the pod and toss to combine. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the cherries are softened and some of their juices have started to release. Set aside to cool but leave the oven on to make the cake.
- For the cake combine the cocoa, brown sugar and boiling water in a jug and whisk to combine and set aside. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Cream the butter and caster sugar until light and creamy and add the egg. Alternately add the flour mixture with the cocoa, sugar and water mixture and mix until combined. Bake in a small loaf tin for 20 to 25 minutes.
- To make the cheesecake filling combine the cream cheese with the mascarpone cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, or whisk by hand, until smooth.
- To assemble the trifles cut slices of the cake to size to line the bottom of the serving glasses. Divide half of the cheesecake filling between the glasses and top with half of the cherries. Top with another layer of cake trimmed to size, the remaining cheesecake filling and finally the remaining cherries. Drizzle the trifles with any juice from the cherries. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve topped with grated chocolate or chards of chocolate and a dollop of cream.
Rachel @ The Pescetarian and the Pig says
Definitely a recipe I can get behind. These are lovely! I can't wait for cherries to come into season to give this one a try!
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
Vanilla roasted cherries?!? Oh my yum 😀
Goodness me these look delicious! I am not usually a trifle girl, but for these I might just make an exception.
Our Christmas celebrations take place on Christmas Eve because my Mum is Danish. We still gather around the table as a family and everyone eats roast pork (I make do with roast vegetables and my favourite - pickled cabbage) and then we sit around the tree and open presents and eat our body weight in a dessert smorgasbord. We used to partake in a traditional Danish form of rice pudding with cherries, and I think I might have to bring back this tradition this year with a twist of course.
Vespa Woolf says
The vanilla roasted cherries make this irresistible! We'll soon be getting cherries from Chile, so this would be the perfect dessert to try. I look forward to it...thanks!
Ambra Sancin says
I grew up in a Northern Italian home and cakes were full of nuts and chocolate, as well as crostate with liqueur-soaked cherries. I'm going to make some this weekend.
Patricia @ The Answer Is Cake says
The trifles look great - but honestly, a bowl of those Vanilla Roasted Cherries would be enough to make me very happy indeed!
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
I've been enjoying receiving your newsletter about all the beautiful christmas treats!!! I love this black forest cheesecake trifles in glass!!! And your vanilla roasted cherries makes this dessert even much more refined!
Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon says
The vanilla roasted cherries sound amazing! Your trifle looks so delicious and elegant. It certainly doesn't resemble the trifles of my childhood!
These trifles look amazing - I love how you took a cheesecake and made it into something even more delicious!
Vanilla roasted cherries sound delicious! I love the combination of chocolate and cherry and this looks like a lovely lighter alternative to cheesecake.
A wonderful recipe! Those trifles must taste divine. I love the idea. Trifle is so versatile...
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I'm drooling over the sound of vanilla roasted cherries! I love the flavors of black forest, what delicious trifles!
Thanks Laura 😀 The vanilla roasted cherries are a definite winner. I bought some more cherries yesterday so I can make another batch to have with yoghurt for breakfast.
Jean | Lemons and Anchovies says
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Oh wow Jen these look amazing. Vanilla roasted cherries?!? Yum! I wonder if this would work for raspberries? I have a sort of similar idea in my head for a dessert I'm doing in two weeks and this would work brilliantly!
Thanks Claire 😀 I'm sure it would be beautiful with raspberries. 🙂 Any berries really.