Wow……….. You have to try this!
We went to friends for dinner a few days back and as the ingredients to make gluten free puds are not in most people’s larders, I offered to bring one along. The offer was gratefully received, so I set about trying to come up with an idea which would be ‘unexpected’ and memorable. This was to feed a very dear friend of mine and her family (including her parents) who I hadn’t seen for ages, but who I have known since I was eleven. So I wanted to make something a bit special.
As those of you who have kept an eye on my blog will know, I have a bit of an attachment to all things trifle…………… and it is always a great dessert for a big dinner! Instead of the usual trifle in a bowl, I wanted to try another twist on the old favourite, so went for an attempt at ‘trifle cake’.
Trifle by rights, should be a moist mingling mixture of sponge, fruit, custard and cream (with or without a shot of alcohol thrown in). So trifle cake? Has all the essential qualities yes…………… but not quite as you expect it……..
The sponge for this cake is made with ground almonds, so is deliciously moist. It is infused with freeze-dried strawberries for natural flavour, colour and fruitiness. A gorgeous sponge cake, this would be a good base for any teatime treat.
Now for the twist……………..
To make this a trifle cake, the sponge has been drizzled with a delicious fruit coulis made from strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and pomegranate. Not only is it the most beautiful rich, dark purple-red colour, but it has an amazing deep, fruity flavour……………… Not too sweet and slightly tangy, it dances on the taste buds with memories of warm summer days.
The coulis soaks into the sponge as it would in a trifle bowl, making each mouthful oozy with fruitiness. You could drizzle in your favourite liqueur too, but as children were eating this one, I decided it probably wasn’t the best idea!
Next for the custard and cream………………….. Combining both together, I have layered and topped the sponge with a white chocolate custard-cream which adds a soft, light, caramel sweetness perfectly matched for contrast against the fruitiness of the coulis-soaked sponge.
And to finish off?……………. Add a topping of beautiful, vibrant fresh fruit and sprinkle an extra handful of finely chopped white chocolate to add a bit of bite and extra decadence.
And there you have it. Strawberry Trifle Cake with White Chocolate Cream………………. trifle with a twist!
Strawberry Sponge Cake (makes one 9 inch cake)
15g freeze dried strawberry powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
220 ml milk
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
100g unsalted butter – room temperature
300g caster sugar
2 large eggs – room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
100g graound almonds
- Base-line a 9 inch round, deep spring-form cake tin with baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180⁰ C / 350⁰ F / Gas 4.
- In a medium-sized bowl, weigh and mix together the flour, almonds (15g), strawberry powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt, making sure that any lumps are broken down. Set aside.
- Combine the milk and vinegar in a jug. Stir and leave to stand for about 10 minutes.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat to fully combine.
- Using a large spoon or spatula, fold in the remaining almonds (100g).
- Fold in the flour alternately with the milk mixture about a third at a time until all the ingredients are just combined – do not over-mix.
- Pour the batter into the cake tin and smooth the top.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is springy to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring.
- Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring intermittently and crushing the fruit with the back of a spoon.
- Allow to cool
- Puree the fruit mixture in a blender and pass through a sieve to remove the seeds.
- Set aside.
White Chocolate Custard-Cream
- Melt the chocolate in a small glass bowl in the microwave (medium setting) on 30 second bursts, stirring between each. (or place the bowl over a gently simmering saucepan of water, ensuring the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl, stirring frequently)
- Once melted, set the chocolate aside to cool slightly.
- Whip the cream with an electric whisk until it begins to thicken.
- Add the custard and continue to whip until the mixture forms soft peaks.
- Add the chocolate to the whipped cream and gently fold in until completely combined.
Putting it all together
- Using a sharp knife, cut the cake in half horizontally.
- Place one half cut side up on a serving plate and replace the cleaned spring-form cake tin (without the base) round the edge.
- Using a fork, gently poke the cake to make small holes in the surface of the sponge.
- Drizzle fruit coulis onto the surface of the sponge and leave for about half an hour for the liquid to soak in slightly.
- Spread half of the white chocolate cream on top of the cake layer.
- Place the other half of the cake on top of the layer of cream (still inside the cake tin) and repeat processes 3 to 5.
- Decorate with fruit and chopped white chocolate and then carefully undo and remove the cake tin.
- Chill the cake in fridge until ready to eat.