An early Easter dinner deserved a special dessert and the Black Forest Cheesecake Trifle looked so beautiful, I decided to make it without even thinking things through. Things like the fact that it’s just about impossible to find fresh cherries, which are called for in this dessert, in late March.
Even though I couldn’t find fresh berries, I decided to move forward with the dessert anyhow and go with frozen cherries instead. The good news about that was that they were already pitted. I cut them while they were still frozen so it wasn’t a messy job at all.
The Mousse for this dessert needs to be made the night before serving so it has time to set. The funny thing about the Cheesecake Mousse is that there isn’t any cream cheese in it at all. It used cheesecake-flavored pudding mix. It tastes good, but if I did this again, I’d add a little lemon to the mixture to give it a little zing like real cheesecake does. The cheesecake pudding just doesn’t have that on its own.
Once the mousse is made (be aware that it should be made the night before so it has a good amount of time to set up) and the cake is done, it’s a simple matter of putting the dessert together. Any large bowl will do, but a clear one (an official trifle bowl if you can get one) is perfect so the layers show through.
I don’t know what the photographers did to make the mousse layer come out so white, but the cheesecake pudding is decidedly yellow and even with the 4 cups of whipping cream, there was a cream color to my mousse, not such a beautiful stark white like their picture (which looks like plain whipping cream).
I served this alongside the Dreamy Orange Mousse Cake and Pistachio and Orange Butter Cake and this was by far the winner. It’s rich, moist, tasty, gorgeous. I did just use cherry juice instead of kirsch since we have a 4 year-old in the house and it was still incredible. This is a wonderful, wonderful dessert.
Black Forest Cheesecake Trifle
Makes about 12 to 15 servings
1 (18.25-ounce) box devil’s food cake mix, baked according to package directions
2 tablespoons kirsch or other cherry-flavored liqueur, divided
Cheesecake Mousse (recipe follows)
2 cups pitted fresh cherries, cut in half and divided
1 (14.5-ounce) jar milk chocolate ice cream topping
2 cups sliced almonds, toasted
Garnish: sweetened whipped cream, whole fresh cherry
1. Cut cake into 1-inch pieces. In a large trifle bowl, place half of cake pieces in bottom of bowl. Sprinkle with 1 table kirsch. Spread half of Cheesecake Mousse over cake. Top with half of cherries and sprinkle with half of almonds. Repeat procedure with remaining cake, kirsch, Cheesecake Mousse, cherries, ice cream topping, and almonds. Cover and chill overnight.
2. Before serving, garnish with sweetened whipped cream and whole fresh cherry, if desired.
Makes about 5 cups
2 (3.4-ounce) boxes instant cheesecake-flavored pudding mix
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1 cup sour cream
1. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix and sugar. Add cream, milk and sour cream; beat at medium speed with a mixer until soft peaks form. Cover and chill overnight.
Reprinted with permission from the Deen Bros. Good Cooking and Hoffman Media (www.hoffmanmedia.com).