For as long as I can remember, my British Mother and her Mother prior served trifle for Christmas always with a slightly heavily alcohol-soaked sponge in it!
Of course there are many versions of trifle that can be created, as long as they include three or four layers of sponge cake (soaked in brandy, sherry or something alcohol-free), fruit, jelly, custard and cream.
My trifle-loving Christmas’ came to an abrupt end when I discovered I was a dairy intolerant tween and so there is was; each year I’d salivate over the delicious creamy comforting bowl of trifle year after year and settle for something, well something not as mouthwatering.
It’s only recently that I have revisited trifle as the options in the vegan and dairy-free category of food items has exploded.
Largely inspired by Tilly Pamment’s Raspberry & Peach Celebration Cake created for Central West Mums which impressed so many of my family and friends last year, my trifle is inspired by her creation. Here’s my dairy-free layered trifle recipe for all those out there who share the same love for trifle and cannot experience the traditional one with lashings of dairy all the way through it. However, I must note that my family (who are not dairy-intolerant) had no idea that it excluded the dairy and said that it was the best dessert ever! This I tell you was music to my ears and heaven on a plate and so the tradition begins…
(Serves 8-10) – Any glass trifle bowl will work, though I used a 3-litre one. Start working on this 8 hours ahead of when you want to serve.
Sponge cake base – I am channelling the magnificent Tilly Pamment here who created a Raspberry & Peach Celebration Cake here and honestly I think this recipe for the cake is perfect for trifle too! (you can substitute butter for Nuttelex buttery, buttermilk for soy milk with a squeeze of lemon juice and flour for gluten-free if you prefer too).
Amaretti liqueur (I preferred an alcohol-free style one like Lyres )
Raspberry curd from Tilly’s recipe above as per instructions substituting butter for Nuttelex.
Maple peaches as per Tilly’s recipe above.
Dairy-free vanilla custard (Recipe here)
Dairy-free cream – see note
To decorate: Fresh berries, Persian Fairy Floss in Orange Blossom or some toffee finely dressed across the top.
Prepare the sponge cake and let them cool.
Make the raspberry jelly and pour carefully in the bottom of trifle dish with a few fresh whole raspberries in there and let it set in fridge.
Make the raspberry curd and set aside till it cools.
Brush a tiny amount of Amaretti with a pastry brush on the cakes.
Once the jelly has set, place one of the cakes on top; or you can cut up into small cubes and layer cubes on jelly. Top with half of the raspberry curd cream mixture and place some of the maple peaches with fresh raspberries on top. Then spoon on some of the vanilla custard. Continue by adding the second layer of cake, spoon remaining raspberry curd mixture, peaches, custard and chill until ready to serve.
When you are ready to serve, add fresh whipped dairy-free cream to the top and decorate with fresh raspberries, strawberries and Persian fairy-floss in orange blossom or some fine toffee would look pretty too.
*I recommend making fresh home-made raspberry jelly as there is a big taste difference, however store-bought packet raspberry jelly works fine if you want to skip this part.
For homemade raspberry jelly; I use this recipe from Gourmet Traveller here.
Note – There are lots of dairy free creams now on the market so shop around, try a few first both for texture on how they whip and also taste.