Trifle terrine cake

Selasi Gbormittah serves up a showstopper in the form of this trifle terrine cake recipe. Layers of chestnut cream, chocolate mousse and rum-soaked raisins make a truly decadent dessert for Christmas.

First published in 2017




Rum sauce

  • 100g of raisins
  • 100ml of rum
  • 50ml of water
  • 55g of caster sugar


Syrup for chestnut cream

Chestnut cream

  • 100g of chestnut purée
  • 2 gelatine leaves
  • 10ml of orange liqueur
  • 180ml of double cream, whipped to soft peaks

Chocolate mousse

Mascarpone cream

Cranberry sauce

Chocolate ganache

To decorate


To begin, place the rum and raisins in a bowl and set aside
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 24 x 18cm baking tray
To make the sponge, whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar over a bain marie for 4 minutes until doubled in size. Remove from the heat and using a hand mixer, continue to beat on a medium to high speed for 4–5 minutes. Gradually fold in the flour, orange zest, and butter until incorporated
Pour mixture into the greased tin and bake for 10–12 minutes until it springs back when touched
While the cake is in the oven, finish the rum sauce. Place the sugar, rum and water in pan and reduce on medium heat. Reserve the soaked raisins for later
When the cake is baked, brush with rum sauce and leave to cool for later use
Make the syrup for the chestnut cream by bringing all of the ingredients to the boil for about 10–15 minutes. Once reduced, leave to cool
Soak the gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes
Remove the cinnamon stick and add the chestnut purée to the syrup, warming through gently. Add the soaked gelatine and stir until fully dissolved, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool
Add the liqueur and cream a third at a time, stirring gently. Set aside in the fridge
To make the mousse, begin by melting the chocolate in bain marie. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and set aside
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil until reduced slightly, then slowly pour the sugar syrup over the egg yolks. Continue to whisk until cool to the touch
In a separate bowl, whip the cream and cinnamon then fold the cream into the egg mixture
Carefully fold one third of this mixture into the melted chocolate. Repeat until you have used up the entire mixture, then place the mousse in the fridge
To make the mascarpone cream, simple whip together the cheese, sugar, zest and spice until light and incorporated. Stir through the raisins and place in the fridge
To make the cranberry sauce, add all the ingredients to a heavy-based pan and cook on a medium heat until reduced and set. This should take about 30–45 minutes. Allow to cool
To make the ganache, place a medium-sized pan on medium heat and add the cream. Warm until it reaches boiling point, making sure it doesn’t come to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Stir in the butter and leave to cool completely, and set enough to pipe
To assemble the cake, grease a loaf tin, then line with cling film. Use 1 long strip of baking parchment to line the base and ends of the tin, leaving some sticking up at each end to help you pull the loaf free later. Cut another piece of parchment to line the base and longer sides
Divide the cake into three and trim neatly to size, to fit the loaf tin
Gently tip the whipped mascarpone into the tin. Knock on a worktop gently to level. Use a small palette knife to smooth
Top the cream with the soaked raisins and spread gently. Push the raisins lightly into the cream
Add one layer of trimmed cake and press down gently. Spread the set cranberry sauce onto the cake and refrigerate
Now add chocolate mousse, knock gently on a work top and level. Add the second layer of cake and push down gently
Add a layer of chestnut cream and place in the fridge to set
Spread over a second thin layer of cranberry sauce, followed by some chocolate mousse. Add a final cake layer, pressing down gently
Place in the fridge to set completely for a few hours or overnight depending on when you want to serve this
After a couple of hours, turn the tin upside-down onto your serving plate. Ease the loaf from the tin using the overhanging parchment and gently peel off the cling film and the parchment paper
Using a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice, pipe neat blobs of ganache onto the trifle making sure to cover the entire top side
Crush some ginger biscuits and sprinkle on top of the ganache. Decorate with cinnamon sticks and fresh red currants and dust with icing sugar

Selasi first shot to fame in the 2016 series of The Great British Bake Off, where his cool as a cucumber demeanour and beautiful cakes made him an instant fan favourite.

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