Gluten free chocolate and cherry trifle

Gluten free chocolate and cherry trifle made with my own delicious gluten free brownies.
Gluten free chocolate and cherry trifle made with my own delicious gluten free brownies.

The Great British Bake Off over the past few years has inspired a new generation of bakers. Over the years it has gained huge popularity, 13 amateur bakers each week are set three challenges. The person who has not be able to produce the best baked goods leaves.

Having only aired four episodes this season, viewing figures have not been disappointing for the BBC and I have noticed that more people seem to be watching it than ever before.

Last week the bakers were challenged to make a signature trifle. It could be any flavour they liked, they had to use their imaginations and they had to make their own custard. There were some interesting results and it was some of their recipes and my bake-off friends that have inspired me to make this gluten free version of trifle.

Holding my hands up I have not come up with this recipe by myself. This is a recipe that I have adapted from Saturday Kitchen host, James Martin. My best friend said if you are going to make any sort of trifle you have to try James’s blackforest trifle. Within seconds she emailed me the recipe and told me that I was onto a winner. She promised me that I would not be disappointed and it was easy to assemble and to make, but she did say that it would be time consuming.

Trifle has several elements and if I was going to make this gluten free I was going to have to make a couple of them by hand. I was up for the challenge and I was not going to cut any corners. For the base James uses chocolate brownie – perfect! I happen to make a good gluten free chocolate brownie that would make a great base. They are very fudge like and very chocolaty. It meant that I was not going to be able to assemble this in a matter of minutes, but more like a couple of days.

I promise you that this trifle is worth all the effort and it would be great as desert after a dinner party, or why not try it this Christmas.

Most of the recipe is nice and simple, and if you want to go to the shops and buy the ingredients already made then please feel free to do so, but I promise you that if you make it all by hand it will be worth it.

Having never made a trifle in my life (my mum enjoys pouring half the sherry bottle into her trifle and it put me off eating and ever wanting to make one) I was very impressed with my attempt. I found it easy to assemble and I thought it looked very pretty in the dish.

Each layer worked well together and the sweetness of the cherries was a nice contrast against the rich chocolate brownies and the chocolate custard and then the cream. I only manged to get one serving from the trifle as one of my friends who is a huge trifle fan asked if she could take it home for her family to try. A series of text messages later from her with feedback from her family proved that it’s a dish that puts a smile a people’s faces and that they really enjoyed it.

So, if you are looking for something special to try I would recommend this.

Ingredients for the trifle:
500ml of good ready made gluten free custard (I used the one with vanilla beans in)
100g good quality dark chocolate
1 tin of cherry fruit pie filling
500ml double or whipping cream
Gluten free brownies… The recipe is below and this will make more than enough for your trifle with some left over to enjoy.

Ingredients for the gluten free brownies:
200g good quality dark chocolate
100g good quality milk chocolate
165g caster sugar
275g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant coffee granules
5 eggs
5 tblsp ground almonds

Method for the brownies:
1. You will need to make a double boiler. This is a when you place a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water. In the heat proof bowl put in the butter, sugar, chocolate, coffee and vanilla extract. Leave until melted. You might want to stir it occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl gently whisk the eggs and the ground almonds.
3. Once the chocolate mixture is melted leave to cool for a few minutes and then add the whisked eggs and fold in. You will feel the mixture thicken. Once mixed put into a tin – approx 10 x 12 and about 2 inch deep.
4. Place into the oven for about 60-70 minutes at 200oC or gas mark 5. When you test them the knife should come out clean.

Once my brownies are cooked, I like to leave them in the oven once turned off. This mixture is very gooey once cooled and leaving them in the oven for an extra hour while the oven cools reduces some of the gooeyness, which makes them ideal to use as a base for the trifle.

Method for the trifle:
1. First you will need to make the chocolate custard. Break up the chocolate and put it in a pan with the custard. Heat gently until all the chocolate is melted and mixed in. You will need to cover the top of the custard with cling film to stop it forming a skin. Set aside and leave to cool.
2. Assembling the trifle – cut the brownie up into squares and places at the bottom of the trifle bowl. Start from the outside and work inwards. Make sure that there are no gaps. You might have to cut squares smaller to fill in the gaps. Once you have covered the base with brownies put the cherry filling on top and smooth. Use the whole tin.
3. Ensuring that your custard is cooled, remove the cling film and pour all the custard over the cherry layer. Smooth out and put into the fridge to set. This should take about an hour.
4. Once the custard layer is set, whip up the cream in a mixer or my hand. Mix until the cream holds its peaks. Now put the cream on top of your set custard layer and smooth out. For decoration, grate some dark chocolate over the top and if you have any fresh cherries, place them on top.

This trifle is ready for serving straight away, but if you are not serving until later, place it back into the fridge.

It is a very indulgent pudding that would make the perfect desert after any dinner party or how about a Sunday afternoon treat?

Happy gluten free baking šŸ˜‰

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