Friday, July 4, 2014


Shortcut Lite Cherry Trifle

No cherries?  No fear!
Comes out great with strawberries, mangoes and pineapple.
As mangoes have so much pulp/juice, squeeze one mango and use over cake.  Omit cooking custard for this unless you want an additional layer of richness.

Over the years my trifle has been adapted for those who don't eat eggs even in desserts.  Using non-dairy whipped cream has made it lighter for those who avoid artery clogging foods.

I usually make this version of trifle with strawberries but this year cherries have flooded the market and are so sweet I wanted to do something special with them.

As I researched recipes on the Internet I found a cake idea I liked here:

Startled by the similarity of this recipe to my original one (great minds think alike), I started building on her idea and assembled my own version.  Meditating on this recipe brought to mind this favorite combo:

1 cup fresh dark cherries, split and pitted (Done while watching TV with towel over my lap as the juice stains.  I personally don't care for canned fruit.)
1 Tbsp cornflour
1-2 tsps lemon juice
1 box chocolate cake mix. (I used a mix as a shortcut.)
1/2 cup almond paste (I got this in a can, SOLO brand in a regular grocery store and was surprised at the good quality of the product.  If you can't get this grind blanched almonds with a little sugar/Splenda to taste).
Almond essence.
6 pkts Splenda/sugar substitue
Non dairy whipped cream/fresh whipped cream.

1. Compote.

Add two cups water to cherries and simmer with Splenda till soft but not mushy.
Strain cherries, return liquid to stove with 1-2 Tbsps cherries.
Dilute cornflour in 1/2 cup water...make sure it is very smooth.
Add to simmering liquid and stir till thickens (1-2 mins).
This should not get too thick; consistency should be like pancake/dosa batter.
If it gets too thick, add some more water.
Add two drops almond essence.
Add lemon juice, stir and set aside.
This is not a thick jam/jelly compote.

2.  Cake

Heat oven to 350 (according to instructions on cake box).
Prepare cake mix.  (I added 3 Tbsps THICK yogurt instead of eggs.)
After batter is ready I added cherries and stirred, making sure cake batter has the right consistency.  (It should as the cherries have some liquid.  If it doesn't have the right consistency, add a little water but don't overdo.)
Pour into greased, floured pan and bake as directed.
Test doneness before removing.  Cool.
(Baking this in a foil pan or glass dish will make it easier to assemble and serve in the same dish.  I made individual servings for Bridge.)

3.  Assembly

Spread almond paste on cake.
Pour compote over it.
Just before serving, add whipped cream. (I've added a little but that's a personal preference.)
Can be served at room temperature or cold.

Tastes good with vanilla ice-cream too.

Optional:  you could add a tablespoon of brandy over the cake if you like the flavor.

My Bridge guests couldn't believe this was a 'lite/diabetic and cholesterol friendly' dessert (depending on how much you eat of course).  As one friend said, "This is SUPER!"

For Strawberry Trifle:  To compote add all strawberries and half a cup strawberry jam (while cooking) and vanilla essence.
Assemble:  Plain cake/compote/whipped cream.

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