Recipe: Paleo Christmas Trifle
In the lead up to Christmas a few readers have asked me for a paleo friendly trifle recipe. Essentially, trifle is a dessert made with different ingredients such as thick custard, fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or jelly and whipped cream, all arranged in layers in a glass dish. It’s a very festive, pretty looking dessert and it’s really quite simple to make.
There are many ways you can make a paleo friendly version of a trifle. The easiest is to use sliced fruit, berries and nuts and layer them with some whipped coconut cream in between (double cream or thick, full fat unsweetened yogurt is great too if dairy is ok for you). Sponge cake and jelly layers are very common so that’s what I went with in this recipe. It does require a few processes and the cake has to be made in advance. However, feel free to just use this as an inspiration to make your own version.Here are some other layer ideas:
Black Forrest trifle – layers of fresh, pitted cherries, melted dark chocolate, whipped coconut cream and nuts. Sponge cake could be added and you could make a cherry juice jelly.
Banana Caramel trifle- layers of sliced banana, whipped coconut, ground hazelnuts or almonds, ‘caramel’ sauce made with cooked dates, coconut oil, almond milk or coconut milk, vanilla and a little salt.
Chocolate Berry Nut trifle - whipped coconut cream with some cacao powder and vanilla, mixed ground nuts, lots of mixed berries and shaved coconut and dark chocolate.
Cooking notes for my mango trifle:
1. The sponge cake is based on almond meal and eggs but you can look for a different recipe that is coconut flour based. Instead of making a sponge cake, process almonds, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts with desiccated coconut and dates into a crumbly mixture and add a few scoops of that as a layer instead of the sponge cake. It’s all about creating different textures.
2.Coconut cream can be replaced by yogurt or double cream or a cashew nut cream (1 cup of raw cashews soaked overnight and then processed with say a banana or some mango or strawberries and a little water and vanilla and honey until smooth and creamy).
3.Jelly and cake have to be made the day before and the trifle should be layered as close to service as possible to keep all ingredients nice and fresh.
- 1-2 cups of diced paleo cake such as my Orange Cake or nut and coconut crumble
For the jelly layer
- 500 ml of orange & passionfruit juice (you can use any 100% juice you like)
- about 4 tsp of gelatine powder
For other layers
- 250 grams of coconut cream (refrigerate overnight)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2-3 mangos
- 1 banana
- Macadamia nuts of flaked almonds
- Berries or pomegranate
- Make the sponge cake or get gluten free orange cake from a cafe or health food store.
- To make the jelly, bring 200ml of juice to the boil. Stir in gelatine, whisking with a fork until dissolved. Add remaining juice, and stir until well combined. Pour jelly mixture in a serving glass dish or individual glasses and set in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours.
- Open coconut cream and scoop out the cream minus the watery liquid, just tip it out. Whip it with an electric blender for 1-2 minutes with vanilla and lemon juice.
- Arrange the layers. Mango sliced on top of jelly, followed by squares of cake, then sliced banana, some nuts, some coconut cream or double cream and berries, nuts and more mango as a garnish. That’s it! Keep in the fridge until service if making ahead of time, but ideally prepare all ingredients and keep them in the fridge until you layer the dish.
Preparation time: 1 hour for preparing all elements
Cooking time: 1 hour for the cake
Number of servings: about 5-6 servings
Check out my Eat Drink Paleo Cookbook – a fantastic addition to any kitchen, filled with exclusive recipes, cooking tips and easy guide to paleo. Also just out, the new Rejuvenate program, which I co-authored with a medical nutritionist Claire Yates – it will teach you how to achieve radiance, wellness and longevity through food and holistic living.