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
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.
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.