1/4 cup kirsch (clear brandy distilled from cherry juice and pits)
1 (10-inch) homemade or purchased angel food cake, cut into cubes and reserved
2 cans dark sweet cherries, drained
2 cans royal Anne cherries, drained
2 cups heavy cream
3 Tablespoon powdered sugar
Maraschino cherries, for garnish (optional)
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Let's Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups heavy cream, half-and-half and vanilla. Over a medium-high heat bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Remove from heat.
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and the sugar until thick, about 5 minutes. Gradually add 1 cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture and whisk until well incorporated. Return the yolk mixture to the saucepan and cook, over a medium heat, until it forms a custard, about 5 - 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain into a clean bowl set in an ice bath to cool quickly. Add the kirsch and stir to blend.
Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until cool, at least 4 hours (can be prepared 2 days in advance).
Place 1/2 of the cake cubes in the bottom of a 3 - 4 quart trifle bowl. Cover the cake cubes with 1/2 of the creme anglaise and arrange the dark sweet cherries over the creme. Repeat layering with remainder of cake, creme anglaise and Royal Anne cherries. Set aside.
Using a chilled bowl and chilled beaters, whip the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream with the powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread 2/3 of cream over the top of the trifle. Spoon the remaining cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star tube. Pipe rosettes around outside edge of trifle. If desired, garnish with maraschino cherries.
Cover top of trifle with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 - 3 hours before serving.