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Gluten-free Cherry Trifle - Recipe
This family-sized dessert has all the classic trifle layers.
Home-made trifle with generous helpings of jelly, fruit & dairy-free custard!
This trifle takes inspiration from those naughty packet trifles some of us might remember from the 1970's, which have a layer of jelly poured over sponges. We chose to make our own, healthier jelly using Cherry Active Concentrate. This fruit concentrate made from Montmorency cherries is packed with antioxidants and has a beautiful, naturally rich dark-red colour. As this juice is quite tart we sweetened it with a little Xylitol. The fruit cocktail mix and gluten-free sponges also help balance out this natural acidity. The jelly was easily thickened with Clearspring Agar Flakes. If you wish, you could swap the fruit cocktail mix with sweet cherries and other seasonal fruits.
We decided to make our own, gluten-free trifle sponges. This would allow us to control the sugar and fat levels, and there would be no unncessary additives or artifical colours. Many of us are familiar with the traditional sponge mix which calls for equal parts of butter, sugar and flour. However, after trying the Doves Farm recipe for gluten-free Butterfly Cakes, we discovered that the 150g of butter/fat was just far too much, and the second time we used just 80g of butter. You can of course substitute with dairy free margarine or coconut butter (oil) as you wish.
For the rest of the trifle:
-250g of Fruit Cocktail mix in fruit juice or your own choice of fruits.
-1 carton of Provamel Organic Soya Custard
- 300ml/300g of 50% fat creme fraiche, Greek Style yoghurt or soya yoghurt.
- Vanilla Extract
- 1-2 dspn of Xylitol, clear honey or maple syrup.
- To Garnish: Dark Chocolate shaved into curls or rough fragments.
- Fresh Cherries or other seasonal berries.
How to Make the Sponges & Trifle Layers
1) Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/ Fan 180°C/ Gas Mark 6
2) Cream the butter and Xylitol together.
3) Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Then gradually beat in the flour, then the milk.
4) Spoon the mixture into a large muffin pan or cup-cake pan.
5) Bake in the middle of the oven for 10-20 minutes or until the sponges have risen, are golden brown on top and a cocktail stick comes out dry when inserted into the deepest part of them.
6) Allow to cool slightly, then turn out onto a cooling rack.
7) Using a sharp knife, cut the sponges in half and spread the raspberry jam onto one side, then sandwich the halves back together. Place into the base of your trifle dish.
8) Spoon your chosen fruit over the sponges. Cover and refridgerate.
9) In a saucepan pour the 500ml of cold water and sprinkle the agar flakes over the surface. Stir once or twice. Bring gently to a simmer. Then stir until the flakes have fully dissolved.
10) Remove the pan from the heat and pour into a heat proof bowl/jug. Allow to cool a little. Add the Cherry Active and your chosen sweetener. Taste and add extra sweetener if necessary. Pour gently over the sponges. Refridgerate once the jelly has cooled. You should find that the jelly will solidify more quickly than using gelatine/shop bought jelly.
11) Just before serving, spoon the Soya Custard over the jelly. Then in a separate bowl mix the creme fraiche, vanilla extract and your chosen sweetener together.
12) Gently spoon the creme fraiche over the custard. Sprinkle with chocolate flakes and garnish the centre with fresh cherries. Then serve. Our dish provided enough helpings for around 8 people. The dish measured 20cm/ 8 inches in diameter across the top.
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