This Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cherry Trifle is so easy to make, super delicious, and perfect for the festive season!
It was inspired by my Strawberry Trifle recipe, but this one is a slightly more Christmassy version!
I absolutely love the combination of the sweet and slightly boozy cherry jelly, gorgeously rich chocolate custard, and light, fluffy coconut whipped cream.
The bottom layer starts with a tin of cherries in syrup, then all you need to do is add some agar to turn it into a jelly.
Not only is agar vegan-friendly, but it’s also happens to make them much healthier, too! Agar is a natural jelly-like substance that comes from algae that grows in the sea. It was first discovered in Japan in the 17th century, where it is known as kanten. It’s very healthy as it’s around 80% fibre.
You will be able to find agar flakes in most local health stores or Asian supermarkets, if not your local supermarket.
I decided to make a chocolate custard, because chocolate and cherries are such good friends. This custard is super easy to make and delicious enough to be devoured by the spoonful.
My secret for making it taste delicious without the richness of cow’s milk is this unsweetened cashew milk that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with. It’s become my go-to milk for making hot drinks because it becomes deliciously rich and creamy when it’s heated up. So I decided to use it for this custard, and it didn’t let me down!
I then used coconut whipped cream for the topping. If you’re pressed for time, you could use a thick coconut yogurt instead, but I’d really recommend making your own coconut whipped cream because there’s no sour, yogurt-y flavour, and it’s much lighter and fluffier.
I like to add some vanilla bean powder for extra flavour and add some maple syrup to sweeten (you don’t need very much though, as the coconut is already very naturally sweet).
Please make sure to try out this Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cherry Trifle this Christmas season, it definitely won’t disappoint!
For more chocolate treats, check out my:
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Helpful tools to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cherry Trifle:
Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cherry Trifle
For the jelly:
- 400 g (14oz) tin of cherries in syrup
- Splash of sherry, to taste (or sub any other liqueur of choice - ensure vegan-friendly if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon agar (check the packet instructions as the amount needed can vary between brands)
For the chocolate custard:
- 2 heaped tablespoons cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 500 ml (2 cups) unsweetened cashew milk (or sub any other plant-based milk)
- 5 heaped teaspoons cornflour (cornstarch)
For the coconut whipped cream*:
- 400 g (14oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
To decorate (optional):
- 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
For the jelly:
- Place the cherries (and the syrup) in a saucepan and bring to a simmer
- Once simmering, add the agar and mix well
- Pour the jelly mixture into either one large serving bowl or 8 smaller individual ramekins and leave the jelly to cool and set
For the chocolate custard:
- Add all ingredients to a saucepan and mix well, before heating
- Cook on a low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly, until a thick custard has formed
- Making sure that the jelly has set completely, pour the custard mixture on top of the jelly mixture and once again, leave to cool and set
For the coconut whipped cream:
- You’ll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to make this cream!
- Open the tin upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to smoothies)
- Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl with around 3 tablespoons of the water
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract
- Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy
- Ensuring that the custard has cooled down and set completely, pour the coconut whipped cream on top of the trifle
- Sprinkle with cacao nibs to decorate
- Best served after having been kept in the fridge for a few hours
- Keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
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