Trifles have a long history dating back to the late 1500’s. Originally a trifle was a simple custard dessert which has evolved into a spectacular layered affair typically containing day old cake soaked in either some sort of alcohol like sherry or fruit juice, pudding, fruit, jello and cream.
With the use of gluten free convenience foods such as jello and some brands of instant pudding, a trifle is an easy dessert to make for a crowd and has the added advantage of being gorgeous to look at.
This recipe is a pan European affair with the British concept of trifle combined with the German flavors of Black Forrest Cake. When feeding children it is best to forgo the alcohol soaked cake and substitute with a soaking liquid made from the juice of canned cherries combined with some maraschino cherry juice to sweeten it up.
Gluten Free Black Forrest Trifle
1 (8 serving package) box of Black Cherry or Cherry Jello gelatin
2- 11 ounce cans Red Tart Cherries, liquid from 1 can reserved
3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (from a jar or maraschino cherries)
1 (6 serving package) instant Vanilla Jello Pudding
2 ½ cups milk
1 – 8 inch gluten free chocolate cake or brownies (preferably made the day before)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Cocoa Powder, grated chocolate or chocolate curls for garnish
Maraschino Cherries for garnish
Prepare the Jello gelatin according to the directions except only use 1 cup of cold water instead of two. Let firm up for at least 4 hours or you can make the day ahead. Cut into about 1 inch squares.
Mix the reserved juice from the can of tart cherries with the maraschino cherry juice.
Prepare the instant Jello pudding per the instructions using 2½ cups of milk instead of three. Let the pudding set up for 5 minutes.
Cut the cake or brownies into about 1 inch square pieces, you do not have to be very precise. Layer half of the cake into the bottom of a trifle bowl or clear glass serving bowl. Spoon some of the cherry juice mixture onto the cake, enough to moisten the cake but not drown it. Layer 1 can of drained tart cherries over the moistened cake making sure the cherries go all the way out to the edges so they show up in the layers. Top with half of the pudding. Top with the cubed Jello then add the remaining pudding, another layer of cake (moisten the same way as the first layer), and the remaining can of drained cherries.
Whip the cream on high speed with the sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over the top of the trifle.
Top with a dusting of cocoa powder, some grated chocolate or chocolate curls and maraschino cherries. Refrigerate for about an hour to let the flavors meld or up to several hours ahead.
To make chocolate curls, take a bar of chocolate and warm it for about 15 seconds in the microwave. Run a vegetable peeler down the side of the chocolate. If curls do not form then the chocolate is not warn enough, warm a few more seconds. Keep cold until using.
For more gluten free recipes go to Simply…Gluten-free