Thursday, 6 March 2014

Chocolate, rosewater & berry trifle

“The word "trifle" comes from the old French term "trufle," and literally means something whimsical or of little consequence”. Isn’t that so French! How could a trifle be of little consequence? Try telling that to your dessert hungry friends as you serve the last spoonful of trifle!

If you’re a sweet tooth like me, dessert is everything. It’s the perfect end to a meal, the icing on the cake if you will indulge me in a little pun! Not every night but
occasionally a little something sweet is needed and definitely when I have guests for dinner or lunch!

 I’m always exploring and creating new desserts to add to my repetoire and I have a thing about re-creating old classics into vegan friendly dishes. I guess I’m still trying to prove to the non-trusting folk that vegan food isn’t boring if you know how to cook and have a bit of imagination!

Classic trifles consist of a fruity component, some sort of custard, cream and jelly and a drizzle of alcohol (where I came from anyway!) and some sort of sponge cake. So I love twisting it and turning these ol’ classics into something a little different, something unusual. Trifle has endless variations to play with. You can alter the flavor of the sponge, the custard, the fruits of course and the different alcohols if you so desire.

I went out on a limb with the recipe – quite different from the old classic. But I think it all works, it all comes together with a rich chocolaty, berry rosewatery kind of a way and with the softness of the coconut custard to tone it all down.

This recipe is in the local Byron Bay – A food journey through the region by Nelly le Comte & Remy Tancred. We are on page 108!

It’s a great Summer dessert but of course can be eaten all year round. You can interchange the Summer fruits for whatever combination is in season, and whatever you think will work with the chocolate sponge.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the length of this recipes, you just make a small sponge cake, make a custard in 5 minutes and add some fruits & shaved chocolate. Keep it simple in the mind and you won’t be sorry!

I hope you enjoy…

Makes 6 tumbler glasses
Gluten free, vegan chocolate sponge cake

1 cups almond meal
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 cups G/F self raising flour
1.5 cups coconut sugar
150ml macadamia oil
400ml ½ water and ½ soya milk – or milk of your choice
6 tsp gluten free baking powder
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla paste
1 tsp salt

Mixed together all the dry ingredients.

Make a well in the centre and place in it the vanilla paste, macadamia oil & balsamic

vinegar. Hand mix these ingredients into the flour.

Then add the milk/water combination slowly as you gently beat the liquids

into a batter.

Pour into a lined flat tray about an inch or so deep. Be careful not to over fill, leave some room for the sponge cake to rise!

Bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes or until the chocolate sponge has risen and you can stick a skewer into the centre and it comes out clean. Only do this if you know the cake is pretty much cooked. I often test the side first because if they are not cooked, neither will the centre be either.

Remove and cool on a cake wire rack

Chocolate Rosewater sauce

½ cup agave
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup H2O
2 tsp vanilla
2-4 tbs rosewater (as much as you like the taste)

Whisk the above ingredients into a thin-ish paste. As it sits, it will thicken.

For best results make the night before whenever possible and chill.

Coconut lime custard

1 litre Coconut cream
2x Lime zest & juice of one
¼ cup light agave syrup
2 tsp vanilla
½ tsp Good salt
2 tbs Arrow root powder (thickener)
1tsp Agar agar (setting agent)

Bring the coconut cream to a gentle boil (just under boiling) then add lime zest & juice, agave, vanilla, salt and stir.

Then mix agar agar & arrow root powder together in a mug, add a little water and mix into a running paste.

Stir in the agar agar mix slowly so it dissipates evenly.  Continue to stir and dissolve the agar agar (it’s a white seaweed) for about 3 minutes.

Place in the fridge to cool and set.

Fruit layers

1 punnet (100gm) blueberries
1 punnet (150gm) strawberries, sliced into quarters

Add a few berries per layer and lots on the top!


½ cup macadamia nut, roughly chopped
70% organic dark chocolate, shaved

I like to put a little sprinkle of each of these between each layer as well as lots on the top!

Assembling the trifle

Place a little drizzle of chocolate rosewater sauce on the bottom of the glass, then a little coconut custard.

Break off some cake and place that in the glass then more custard and chocolate and some of the berries.

Repeat until you reach the final layer. I like to finish with lots of berries, chocolate shavings and macadamia nuts on the top.

Can be made the day before but I like to eat them on the day I ha

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