Trifle is a thing of beauty. It is boozy cake, layered like a parfait with fruit preserves, custard, whipped cream and nuts. It looks gorgeous and tastes amazing. A trifle is an excellent desert make ahead of time when you need to feed a lot of people. It is a British desert (I’ll say it again….I love british food). There is a lot of room for creativity with trifle. My Aunty Mona used to make a Mexican Trifle that had used home-grown and homemade apricot preserves, toasted almonds and a dusting of dark chocolate shavings on top. I’m not sure why it was called Mexican Trifle (maybe the cake was soaked in Kahlua?) It was soooooo good. For Christmas once, I made a trifle that used cranberry preserves and a ginger chocolate pudding. It was not bad at all. Where I grew up in Canada, colorful jello was frequently a trifle layer. I think that putting jello in your trifle is gross now, but I have to admit not minding it all as child.
I recently bought fresh strawberries and rhubarb at the farmers market. I had intended to make a gluten-free strawberry rhubarb pie. I didn’t feel like following a recipe… I just decided to cook the strawberries and rhubarb down with a bit of sugar and dry ginger powder to make a pie filling. The result was delicious but not at all right for a pie filling. My fiance Chris was content to stand at the counter and eat the compote by the spoonful…but it was not pie filling. I decided that it would be good in trifle, which I have not had the pleasure of eating since I stopped eating gluten about 5 years ago. So here is my recipe for gluten-free strawberry rhubarb trifle!
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB COMPOTE WITH GINGER
- About 10 stalks of rhubarb (rinsed, trimmed and cut into 1 inch lengths)
- About a pound of fresh strawberries (rinsed, trimmed and quartered)
- about 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp ground dry ginger
Put everything in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook uncovered for about 15 minutes, skimming the foam off the surface occasionally. Let it cool to room temperature while you make the cake.
GLUTEN- FREE LEMON/VANILLA CUPCAKES
- 1 cup garbanzo-fava bean flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
- 1/2 Tablespoon plus 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup mild oil
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon extract (or more vanilla extract)
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- Preheat the oven to 325 and grease 12 muffin tins
- Whisk together the garbanzo-fava flour, potato starch, arrowroot starch, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt in a medium bowl.
- In another medium bowl, mix together the oil, agave, applesauce, vanilla extract, lemon extract and grated lemon zest.
- Add the wet to the dry and stir to combine
- Add the hot water and stir the batter until smooth
- Pour 1/3 cup batter in to each muffin tin
- Bake for 22 minutes or until they are golden and springy to the touch
- Let them cool while you make the custard
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Whisk the yolks and sugar together in a medium bowl until slightly thick.
- In a heavy medium saucepan, warm the milk and cream over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk into the eggs and sugar
- Put the eggs, sugar and milk back into the saucepan over low heat.
- Sir the custard with a rubber spatula gently and constantly making sure that you scrape the bottom and sides of the pan.
- As soon as the sauce begins to thicken remove it from the heat and continue to stir it while it finishes cooking for another 2 minutes. When done, the sauce should feel like heavy cream and register 170 degrees on a thermometer.
- Pour the custard into a clean bowl and let it cool while you prepare the cream and fresh fruit, but stir it occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (vanilla would work too)
- Sugar if you like (I do not)
Whip it up! This happens faster if you do it in a cold metal bowl.
- about 1 pound of fresh strawberries, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
- I used 4 Tablespoons of Grand Marnier on each of the two layers of cake. The booze is totally optional and it could be some other kind of booze (brandy is common)
- toast a cup of blanched, sliced almonds in a dry frying pan over low heat until they are golden.
7. Top with the whipped cream and finally the last 1/2 cup of nuts.
8. Let the trifle rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours before serving.