Gluten Free Black Forest Trifle Recipe
Have you ever bought something that, at the time, you just had to have, figured you would use it all the time, and just couldn’t live without it, only to have it languish in the back of your cupboard for years, all but forgotten about?
I came across my trifle bowl the other day when on the hunt for something else I stashed in that cupboard and realized I had yet to make a trifle. Ever! In fact I only used the trifle bowl once, to put flowers in it for Thanksgiving. Time to make a trifle I decided.
Since I had never made a trifle I called my dear friend, Australian native, Jude, as she was the closest I could get to a true Brit on short notice. I asked her what the essentials of a good trifle are. She told me day old cake, booze of some sort (fruit juice was mildly passable as a substitute), fruit, pudding, cream and Jello.
Me – “Jello?”
Jude – “Yes, Jello!”
Me – “Really?!?”
Jude – “Yes, really!”
Could I really put a recipe on my blog using Jello? Would I be shunned from other food bloggers? After all, there are already about 127 reasons why I will never be classified as a foodie, would this be number 128?
I Googled the history of trifle and it dates back to the late 1500’s. I kind of doubt that they had Jello back in 1597 but then again, it is hard to argue with Jude. Besides, I recalled that when my maternal grandmother was alive and living in England she used to ask my mother to send her boxes and boxes of Jello gelatin. How did I know what she was doing with them? Maybe she was making trifle. So in honor of two women I love, Jude and my Grandmother, I decided to go ahead and add the Jello.
Since the addition of Jello meant I was already using a convenience food, I decided to just go ahead and make this trifle dead easy. I had some day old cake on hand as I had make my Simply Good Chocolate Cake the day before and then I found out that instant Jello pudding is in fact gluten-free. This was turning into one simple recipe! In fact once the Jello is set, the pudding made and the cream whipped, it is all about assembly really. If you don’t happen to have some day old cake on hand (although this recipe is a really good excuse to try out my Simply Good Chocolate Cake) you could whip up a batch of Pamela’s Brownies or any other quick gluten free cake you like.
I decided to make a sort of pan-European trifle by combining the British concept with German flavors and make a Black Forrest Trifle. Since I was to be feeding this to children and just happened to be out of Kirsch, I used cherry juice strained from the canned tart cherries and sweetened it up with a little maraschino cherry juice to moisten the cake which turned out to be incredible delicious. In fact I could have eaten just the chocolate cake soaked in the cherry juice mixture and been very happy but then my trifle bowl would remain neglected.
This gluten free Black Forrest Trifle couldn’t be simpler, it feeds a crowd and I must say looks pretty spectacular all layered in a trifle bowl. And yes, that darn Jello does add a certain something.
Gluten Free Black Forest Trifle Recipe
1 (8 serving package) box of Black Cherry or Cherry Jello gelatin
2- 11 ounce cans Red Tart Cherries, liquid from 1 can reserved
3 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (from a jar of maraschino cherries)
1 (6 serving package) instant Vanilla Jello Pudding
2 ½ cups milk
1 – 8 inch gluten free chocolate cake or brownies (preferably made the day before)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Cocoa Powder, grated chocolate or chocolate curls* for garnish
Maraschino Cherries for garnish
Prepare the Jello gelatin according to the directions except only use 1 cup of cold water instead of two. Let firm up for at least 4 hours or you can make the day ahead. Cut into about 1 inch squares.
Mix the reserved juice from the can of tart cherries with the maraschino cherry juice.
Prepare the instant Jello pudding per the instructions using 2½ cups of milk instead of three. Let the pudding set up for 5 minutes.
Cut the cake or brownies into about 1 inch square pieces, you do not have to be very precise. Layer half of the cake into the bottom of a trifle bowl or clear glass serving bowl. Spoon some of the cherry juice mixture onto the cake, enough to moisten the cake but not drown it. Layer 1 can of drained tart cherries over the moistened cake making sure the cherries go all the way out to the edges so they show up in the layers. Top with half of the pudding. Top with the cubed Jello then add the remaining pudding, another layer of cake (moisten the same way as the first layer), and the remaining can of drained cherries.
Whip the cream on high speed with the sugar until soft peaks form. Spread over the top of the trifle.
Top with a dusting of cocoa powder, some grated chocolate or chocolate curls and maraschino cherries. Refrigerate for about an hour to let the flavors meld or up to several hours ahead.
*To make chocolate curls, take a bar of chocolate and warm it for about 15 seconds in the microwave. Run a vegetable peeler down the side of the chocolate. If curls do not form then the chocolate is not warm enough, warm a few more seconds. Keep cold until using.
This Gluten Free Black Forest Trifle recipe serves 6
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