Trifle has been something that has been on my to do list for a while - I have been working out the easiest way to veganise all the different elements for a while. The cake is easy, the cream is easy, the fruit is already vegan. So that leaves jelly and custard. I am currently still experimenting making my own vegan jelly - and have not yet perfected it, so for this trifle I used a packet of vegan jelly which I bought online (I've included a photo later on), the brand I used wasn't really that good - as the jelly set very runny. This is ok for trifle as it's all in there together anyway - but it certainly wasn't a very good substitute for jelly and definitely wouldn't have worked in molds or just to eat straight. I will keep working on my vegan jelly recipe using agar agar and keep you updated! The custard I found difficult until I had an epiphany one night when eating a big bowl of sago - sago is a very similar consistency to custard plus it's beautiful and creamy and actually easier to make than custard.
Fortunately all these trifle thoughts I was having coincided with 2 events: firstly a surprise birthday party I was holding for a friend, and secondly, the Holiday Recipe Club Valentine's Day Blog Hop. For this blog hop our host, Erin, chose the theme ingredients of beef, strawberries and heavy cream. Now, if you've read this blog before then you'll know you're going to be getting a recipe with strawberries - because beef and heavy cream just aren't a party of my vegan diet! However, this trifle is piled with delicious fluffy cream so is quite appropriate in the sense that it is really the closest thing to heavy cream a vegan is ever going to get.
Trifle is actually the perfect party dessert because it's generally huge by nature and also because almost all of it is done the night before. For a totally stress free party you should prepare the cake, sago custard, jelly and cherry mixture the day before and remember to put your coconut cream in the fridge minimum overnight (the more time the better so if you can do this a couple of days in advance then even better - I just keep a couple of cans in the fridge at all times). Then all you need to do is assemble it and whip the coconut cream for the top. You can then put it together a couple of hours before your guests show up and put it back in the fridge and it is totally amazing!
Strawberry and Cherry Sago Trifle
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup margarine
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract (optional)
1 ¼ cups wholemeal plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarb soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp arrowroot
2 x 400ml tins coconut milk (or cream is fine too)
4 cups water
1 ¼ cups sago (tapioca pearls)
½ cup sugar
Fruit & Jelly
1 packet Vegan strawberry jelly
3 punnets strawberries, washed
600g cherries, washed and pitted
1 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 cans coconut cream, chilled in the fridge overnight (minimum- a few days is optimum)
2 tablespoons soft confectioners sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
2. Combine the soy milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside for a few moments to curdle.
3. Add the sugar, canola oil and extracts and mix well (I use a whisk for this).
4. Sift in all other ingredients and mix well to combine.
5. Line a medium sized lightly greased square baking dish with baking paper. Pour in the cake batter.
6. Bake for 20 minutes – or until golden on top and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
7. Set aside to cool completely (you can work on one of the other trifle components while you wait).
8. Once cooled, cut into smaller, more manageable sections and slice in half lengthways.
9. Spread strawberry jam between the 2 halves and stick them back together. Cut into cubes that are about 2cm squared and set aside for later.
The Sago Custard:
1. Heat the water and coconut milk in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer.
2. Add the sugar and the sago. Reduce the heat as low as it goes and allow to simmer gently (with you stirring frequently) for about 30 minutes, or until sago is cooked and the custard is starting to thicken (it will thicken even more on cooling so don’t worry if it is a bit runny).
3. Pour into a bowl or container and allow to cool.
4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (optimum is over night).
Fruit and Jelly:
1. Prepare the jelly to the directions on the packet. Refrigerate overnight.
2. Halve and pit the cherries.
3. Place the cherries with ½ cup water and the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
4. Mix the cornstarch with ½ cup cold water until you have a smooth and watery mixture.
5. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the cherries and simmer for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (best over night).
|The brand of vegan jelly I used - it set pretty runny and I probably wouldn't use it again.|
Coconut Cream Topping:
1. Refrigerate the 2 tins of coconut cream over night.
2. When you open the tin you will notice that the top is a very solid thick cream. Scoop out all of the solid thick cream on top (you can reserve the rest of it to use in another meal – like a curry).
3. Put the thick cream into a bowl and mix well using a hand held electric mixer. Move the beaters up and down to try and get as much air into the cream as possible. Add the sugar and beat until it pretty much resembles thick cream.
1. Wash and trim the strawberries. Cut in half (if they are big strawberries you may need to slice them).
2. Layer the bottom of a large glass bowl with the squares of cake.
3. Cover with the jelly.
4. Press strawberry halves around the outside to make a layer which is visible through the glass (see the pics if you’re not sure what I mean). Sprinkle a few bits in the middle as well.
5. Next, layer half of the sago custard over the top.
6. Next, layer the cherry mixture over the top of that.
7. Spread the rest of the sago mixture over the cherries.
8. Spread a punnet of strawberries over that (or however many strawberries you have left – remembering to keep some aside to decorate the top).
9. Finally, the last layer is the coconut cream topping.
10. Decorate with the remaining strawberries.
11. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
Serves about 15 (with no seconds – so serves about 7-8 people with seconds!).