Black Forest Trifle

(1) 9"x2" round chocolate cake (the darker chocolate the better), cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 cups sour cherries in light syrup, drained (reserve 1 cup syrup)*, plus 10 cherries set aside for garnish
1/2 cup kirsch
1/2 cup sugar
Filling and Frosting
3 cups cold heavy cream
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp kirsch (optional)
1 envelope Dr. Oetker Whip It
1½ tsp vanilla extract
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, shaved
Cherry Simple Syrup
1 cup water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup ripe cherries, pitted
2 tsp water
2 tsp cornstarch

Combine cherries with 1/2 cup kirsch and set aside. Bring reserved syrup and sugar to boil and reduce to 1/2 cup. Combine syrup with reserved cherry-kirsch mixture, cover, and set aside. In a well-chilled electric mixing bowl, whisk cream, sugar, kirsch, Whip It, and vanilla extract until it holds soft peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use. Line the bottom of a trifle bowl (about 3 quart) with slices of cake. Brush the cake with some of the cherry syrup. Top with 1/3 of the whipped cream and dot with 1/2 of the cherries. Sprinkle with 1/3 chocolate shavings. Repeat these steps: layer slices of cake, brush the cake with some of the cherry syrup, top with whipped cream and dot with cherries, and sprinkle with chocolate shavings. Add the last layer of cake and brush with syrup. Top with whipped cream and place the 10 reserved cherries along the outer edge of the trifle. Sprinkle the center of the trifle with the rest of the chocolate shavings. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 8 hours before serving.

*If using cherries in water or frozen, use the following recipe to make a syrup. You will not have to bring syrup and sugar to boil if using this.

To prepare Cherry Simple Syrup

In a small saucepan, heat the water, sugar, and cherries until the sugar has completely melted. Using a potato masher, smash the cherries. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Combine cold water with cornstarch and add to syrup. Heat syrup to a simmer for 2 minutes. Reduce more if necessary. Cool syrup. Reserve 1/2-3/4 cup of syrup and add to cherry kirsch mixture.

Allergy Warning: Contains milk and eggs and wheat