Friday, 27 June 2008

would you like chocolate with that?

Chocolate. And then some. Many people’s idea of a Very Good Thing.

I confess to a slightly weird relationship with chocolate. I rarely eat the stuff in its pure form, and never have, not even as a kid. But if you mention ‘chocolate’ together with ‘cake’ or ‘pudding’, then you’ll have my immediate attention.

So when the nice people of Gü asked if I’d like to try out their chocolate trifle and their black forest trifle, I had to think about it for only 0.004 seconds* before agreeing. Don’t pretend you wouldn’t do the same.

*roughly, give or take the odd .001

Gu trifles 1

And, given that I don’t have a functioning kitchen, and therefore can’t make my own desserts, the timing couldn’t have been much better.

So. Trifle. According to my (Oxford) dictionary, ‘trifle’ means ‘a confection of sponge cake with custard, jelly, fruit, cream, etc.’ On the packaging, Gü’s chocolate trifle is billed as comprising chocolate ganache, chocolate sponge, cream, and ‘chocolatey’ mousse. So not much custard, jelly, or fruit there, then.

But really, who cares? If you’ve bought something called ‘chocolate trifle’, I think it’s reasonable to assume that fruit isn’t going to be your first priority. And mousse instead of jelly or custard? Seems like a fair swap to me.

So – chocolate is what you get. A great big hit of it. The ganache at the bottom of the trifle is 53% cocoa, which is just how I like it – dark and wicked. The mousse, too, is an intense chocolatey mouthful. The sponge is firm – not a mushy mess, as in so many trifles – and light, and in between it all is a layer of delectable whipped cream. I mean, what’s not to like? If you’re in need of an indulgent chocolate fix, then it’s all right here in a cute little pot for you.

As a child of the 70s and early 80s, I was particularly interested to see what the black forest trifles would be like. For many, like me, black forest gateau (BFG) represented the height of sophistication (can you imagine?? Heady days...). But it fell victim to its own success, and pale imitations – made with poor quality chocolate, disgusting artificial cream, and over-kirsched, sickly cherries – flooded the market, making it an altogether less desirable gastronomic treat.

But like so many things from that era, it’s enjoyed a mini-revival of late. Even Heston Blumenthal came up with a reconstructed version. So what could Gü do with it, I wondered.

Gu trifles 2

Yes, the black forest trifle is on the right. With less cream. Tough choice.

The answer is: they make another very good ‘trifle’. (Note, they get the fruit in this time, which arguably makes it more of a trifle, for the pedants amongst you.) If you were ever put off BFGs because of over-kirsched cherries or yucky cream, then this is the version of BFG for you.

Again, the chocolate mousse is rich and dark (53% cocoa), and the chocolate sponge is as good as in the other trifle. But it’s the cherry compote which arguably steals it – making up 26% of the overall dessert, I think Gü have got the balance with the other components pretty spot-on. It would be easy for the compote either to be dominated, or to completely overwhelm everything else – but it doesn’t. It adds just the right amount of fruitiness, cutting through the chocolate and taking the edge off the chocolatey richness. A well-judged effort all around, then, and a BFG for our times.

One note of 'warning', though - the pots might look small, but they pack a punch. All that chocolate takes some eating. Really. For me, personally, about ¾ of a pot would have been enough.

But you’re made of much sterner stuff, I’m sure.


Manggy said...

Wrong, I would have taken 0 seconds :P "Would you like choc--" YES

Confession: I've never had trifle before! I don't even know how to go about eating it. Do you mix them all up? Do you dig the spoon all the way to the bottom then get a layered sample? Do you eat it layer by layer? (I suppose that last one would be the absolute worst way to go about doing it, next to not eating it at all.) So much for being well-versed in dessert :P How much does it cost? Now I've a hankering for one (I'd have to make it, though, as it doesn't exist here!)!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Hi Manggy - so many questions! Most people just dig in and get a 'layered sample'. But you can do what you like!

The Gu chocolate trifles retail at around £2.38 for 2.

To make your own REAL traditional trifle, I suggest you follow a Delia Smith recipe -,1567,RC.html

Let me know how you get on!

Jules said...

These look delicious!
I love GU products and have quite a GU ramekin collection! Unfortunatelly my local supermarket seems to have stopped selling GU products :(

lorraine@italianfoodies said...

oooo you lucky thing, love gu products even though you can't get them here anymore:(

Heather said...

Gah, why won't those nice Gu people ring me up? I only get emails from people who want me to review their website. No fun, free products. Especially not any chocolate (insert some "trifling thing" pun here).

Nick said...

Those do sound amazing, but can they really be better than a freshly made chocolate trifle? I could see package chocolate pudding being close to the real thing, but something as decadent as a trifle? Now who do you need to know and where do you have to be where a company gives you their newest chocolate product to try? And why aren't I there?

Mike of Mike's Table said...

That looks and sounds yummy

Kevin said...

Free chocolate is always good. I don't think I have ever had a chocolate trifle, just berries and fruit trifles. I will have to fix that.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Kevin on this one ;)

Cinnamonda said...

Gü is not sold where I come from, but what a coincidence that just yesterday I saw Gü and Frü mentioned in the French Cuisine et Vins de France -magazine! Had never heard of them before.


kittie said...

I discovered Gu last October... It was my dessert on a Virgin flight to NY... The highlight of the journey was discovering my boyfriend didn't want his little chocolate pot... double bubble!

So now I have to avert my gaze when I walk past that area in the supermarket. And am going to find it impossible to resist trying these trifles tonight...


You are so lucky.

Gu - if you want any more 'testers', I will happily taste taste taste away! ;D

Holler said...

I am so so jealous! I love gu! I actually picked this up at the weekend, but I had a chat with myself and put it back. I was already having pizza and there are only so many calories, you should pack into one day! I was pleased to see that it was suitable for vegetarians though :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Yes, I'd like chocolate with it! I couldn't decide which one, so I'd like to try both. :)

Naomi Devlin said...


You jammy blogger! How did you get a gig like that? All I get sent is goat milk baby formula, himalayan salt and gluten free recipe books. Time to ask the universe to send me delicious food to review...

x x x

Johanna said...

chocolate? yes please! cherries? most definitely! but hold the cream!

Sarah said...

I was thinking you were talking about the Gu that runners eat on long runs--these look much tastier than those.

Simply...Gluten-free said...

Boy, no one ever sends me food to try :( Lucky you!

David Hall said...

Aaaah! You got asked too! Well, I don't think I can beat that review after finishing them last week. but I do agree, they were fab. Nice one.



i never buy ready made desserts, but if i passed this on the shelves of the supermarkets, i would find it very difficult to say no!

Cynthia said...

I am not a chocolate lover either but I won't resist the offer to try these and not just because they have chocolate in them but because they're trifle! I love the traditional English trifle. I also enjoy trying many variations of it.

Hope your trip was productive.

maybelles parents said...

considering my day, I could eat 3/4 of the package. yum.

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