Dairy Free, Raw, Gluten Free and Vegan

This is a time-honoured seasonal dessert with one of my favourite combinations: deep chocolaty-toned yet celestially light sponge, sharp raspberries and sweet unctuous custard and cream. It is sheer perfection in a spoonable form.

The English Trifle has a long and much considered history. In Elizabethan Britain (the 1st one not the 2nd), a trifle was more of a syllabub with a mix of boozy cream and fruit. In the mid 1800s, cookery writer Mrs Beeton referred to the trifle as an economical way of using up leftover ingredients – bits of sponge cake, fruit, custard or cream – she even costed it out in her book of Household Management in 1861.

English food-writer Jane Grigson, made a case for the best quality pudding wine to be included and then my grandmother always added strawberry jelly and poured it over a bit of Swiss roll or sponge fingers soaked in a little Harvey’s before adding custard.  It seems that each generation makes it their own – and if you venture to any restaurant, I’m sure the chef would provide you with their own take on this much contested dessert.

I wonder what they would make of my entirely raw and plant based version of the English Trifle. I think the proof of the pudding, as the saying goes, is really in the eating, so I will leave that with you and perhaps you could let me know.

If you wanted to, you could add a slosh of Marsala wine over the sponge to keep the spirit of Jane Grigson happy. Whilst the raspberries provide the vivid winter redness, I think substituting them for any kind of dark cherry would elevate this trifle into a black forest version which would be festive and put some 1970s kitsch firmly into the festivities.

This recipe should be enough to feed 4 people, but if you can’t eat it all by yourself during the festive season, then I fear there is no hope.

You can make the sponge part of the trifle in advance and keep it in the freezer for up to three weeks.

If you love the idea of upping your raw food game for the festive season, take a look at these two deliciously raw online mini-courses.

Winter Magic – festive raw mains and meals – eggnog, soups, nut roast roulade with sun-dried tomato pastry and raisin marmalade, Christmas pudding ice cream and black forest gateau… http://deborahdurrant.com/winter-magic-deborah-durrant/



Winter Gathering – festive food for sharing (much of it fermented) and picky bits – fermented tree nut cheese and crackers, elevenses, the cocktail hour, food for the best seat in the house when you’re watching the festive movies – a mint magnum and after 8.30 mint ice cream, ginger cake, fermented tiramisini and salted caramel bars…

5.0 from 1 reviews
Chocolate and Raspberry Trifle
For the chocolate sponge base
  • ½ cup almond pulp (wet left over from making almond milk)
  • ¼ cup ground almonds
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • ¼ cup semi soft dried figs, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1 Medjool date, pitted
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp your favourite raw chocolate bar, grated
For the custard
  • 1 cup ripe mango, diced
  • 3 tbsp coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Seeds of a vanilla pod
For the cream topping
  • ½ cup thai coconut meat
  • ¼ cup cashews, soaked
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp agave or honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
To assemble
  • A handful of fresh raspberries
  • A few squares of your favourite raw chocolate
To make the sponge
  1. In a bowl, mix together the almond pulp, ground almonds, coconut flour and cacao powder.
  2. In a blender, whizz together the drained figs, dates, almond milk, vanilla and lemon juice. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the wet mixture onto the dry mixture in the bowl. Combine well and it will take on a sponge like consistency. Add the grated raw chocolate bar. Mix well.
To make the custard
  1. In a blender, whizz all of the ingredients until smooth.
To make the cream
  1. In a blender, whizz all of the ingredients until smooth.
To assemble
  1. Place the chocolate sponge into the bottom of a large bowl or divide between small bowls if you are making individual portions.
  2. Scatter with fresh raspberries
  3. Pour over the custard and top with cream
  4. Top with fresh raspberries and a grating of your favourite raw chocolate.