The perfect Coeliac friendly Christmas dessert


  • sponge:
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 130 g castor sugar
  • 130 g fine polenta flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • jam:
  • 200 ml raspberry jam
  • 200 ml sweet sherry (approx)
  • fruit layer:
  • 500 g tin mandarin oranges (drained)
  • 5 cox’s orange pippin apples (peeled and cut into segments)
  • 300 ml cider
  • 300 ml mandarin juice
  • cinnamon stick
  • star anise
  • nugget of ginger (peeled)
  • 5 cloves
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • vanilla pod
  • leaves of gelatine soaked in cold water
  • custard:
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 300 ml whole milk
  • 300 ml cream
  • seeds from the above vanilla pod
  • crème chantilly:
  • 300 ml cream
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • vanilla


  • Sponge:
  • Whisk the eggs and sugar until it doubles in volume. (figure of eight).
  • Sift the flour and xanthan gum. Add the zest and juice to the egg mixture and then fold in the flour mixture, gingerly!
  • Pour into a greaseproof lined sponge tin and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 Celsius for 15mins. Allow to cool.
  • Jam:
  • Soften some gluten free raspberry jam, cut the sponge in half, length ways, spread the jam evenly on one half of the sponge and place the other on top.
  • Cut the sandwich into cubes and fill the bottom of your glass or trifle bowl.
  • Fruit Layer:
  • Place the mandarin segments on top of the sponge cubes. In a pot add the juice, cider, spice, sugar and vanilla.
  • Bring to the boil and add the apple, bring back to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cook until the apple is soft.
  • Drain the apple and allow to cool, when cool adds to the trifle bowl.
  • Strain the poaching juice, and return to the heat.
  • Drain the gelatine and add to the warm juice, stir until the gelatine is completely dissolved, allow to cool and when cold but not set pour over the sponge and fruit and set in the fridge.
  • Custard:
  • Place the vanilla, cream and milk in a pot and bring to the boil.
  • In a basin mix the sugar and yolks.
  • Pour half the liquid over the egg mixture and whisk thoroughly.
  • Return this mixture to the remainder of the liquid in the pot and whisk again thoroughly.
  • Return to the heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the custard thickens.
  • DO NOT BOIL as the custard will split! Pass through a fine strainer.
  • When cold pour over the jelly mixture and again set in the fridge.
  • Crème Chantilly:
  • Whisk together until the cream becomes thick and light. Cover the trifle and garnish with grated chocolate.

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