This deliciously boozy trifle ticks all the boxes for Christmas entertaining. The trifle sponge can be substituted with our Hazelnut, Dark Chocolate & Cranberry Cake and you will need 9 slices for this recipe.
Free from Gluten
For the cherries
300g fresh cherries, de-stoned
200mls cherry brandy
100g granulated sugar
For the trifle
90g ground almonds
90g ground hazelnuts
75g light brown sugar
50g dried cranberries
1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp guar or xanthan gum
50g dark chocolate pieces
1 large free-range egg
90 mls whole milk
1 tbsp brandy or hazelnut syrup (optional)
300mls double cream
1. Soak the cherries in advance – a few months ahead of time is perfect to give the cherries time to infuse. Put the cherries, cherry brandy and granulated sugar into a kilner jar, then store in a cool place until ready to use.
You only need about half of these cherries for the recipe but they are delicious used to top ice cream, mixed with other fruits in a crumble etc and keep very well in a cool dark place.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 23cm (9 in) round tin with melted butter, line with silicone paper or parchment, then dust with tapioca flour.
3. For the trifle sponge, put the egg into the bottom of a mixing bowl, then pour over all of the dry ingredients except the chocolate pieces. Take care to layer the baking powder and guar or xanthan gum in the middle of the dry ingredients.
4. Melt the butter in the microwave by heating on full power for about a minute. Pour the melted butter, milk, vanilla and brandy (if using) into a bowl, stir briefly and then pour into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
5. Mix using an electric hand mixer on a high speed until the mix is slightly lighter in colour and a creamy and medium thick consistency. Stir in the dark chocolate pieces.
6. Spoon the cake mixture into the prepared tin. Smooth the surface over evenly with a palette knife. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. Check it at 30 minutes, then cover with baking parchment and bake for a further 8-10 mins until firm and springy to the touch.
7. Leave the cake in the tin to cool down to room temperature. Loosen the cake from the tin using a palette knife, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
8. While the oven is still on, spread the hazelnuts on a tray and roast for 5 minutes until golden brown.
9. Pour the double cream into a bowl and whip using an electric hand whisk until it forms softish peaks. Slice the chocolate hazelnut sponge (or Coppice Cake) into pieces and lay into the bottom of a pretty trifle dish, so that it lines it and goes slightly up the sides,
10. Spoon over 4 – 5 tbsp of the cherry and brandy mixture, enough to soak the sponge. Spoon over the whipped cream and smooth down. Finally sprinkle over the hazelnuts and a handful of the cherries.