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Okay, it is the day before Christmas and you are no closer to making a call on that all-important dessert for the festive table. Grandpa loves a traditional pudding but the kids prefer something more trendy, the in-laws are into trifle, but there is no love lost between you and a green fig. What to do?!

We asked someone who knows all about cooking for family get-togethers, Reinée Brand of Tamatie Straat Cooking School for her suggestion. Not only did she recommend this delicious festive dessert that will no doubt please everyone with a sweet tooth, but she stole our hearts when she incorporated our delightful Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan into the recipe!

Macaroon gooseberry-tart trifle


For Gooseberry-tart filling

  • 1 can gooseberries
  • cold water
  • 70 ml custard powder
  • 4 large tablespoons butter
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • Trifle cake (sponge cake or Swiss roll)
  • Fresh berries, such as raspberries, youngberries, strawberries and blueberries
  • Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan
  • 1 small container cream, whipped firmly

Macaroons –  If you have not yet mastered the macaroon, these little delicacies are way too tricky to attempt when you are already snowed under in the kitchen – get them from your local bakery or cake shop!


Prepare the gooseberry-tart filling:

  1. Drain the gooseberries, but keep the syrup.
  2. Increase the syrup with cold water up to 600 ml.
  3. Mix the custard powder with a bit of the cold syrup mixture to form a paste and keep on the side.
  4. On the stove, heat the syrup mixture to just below boiling point.
  5. Add the custard mixture to the hot syrup and stir continuously (use a stick blender if necessary).
  6. Reduce heat and simmer syrup mixture until slightly thickened and done (pourable custard thickness – not as thick as a regular tart filling).
  7. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and condensed milk.
  8. Add the gooseberries and carefully fold them into the mixture.
  9. Allow to cool slightly.
  10. Pack the trifle in a glass bowl for its festive glory to really shine through!
  11. Start with a layer of trifle cake (sliced)
  12. Sprinkle with the wine
  13. Now cover with a layer of gooseberry-tart filling
  14. Sprinkle mixed berries
  15. Break some of the macaroons over the berries
  16. Now repeat steps 11 to 14 and finish by spooning whipped cream on top
  17. Refrigerate until ready to serve
  18. Just before serving, crumble macaroons over the top layer of cream or create an arrangement of cookies for some extra flair.
  19. Serve with a glass of the 2014 Leopard’s Leap Culinaria Muscat de Frontignan

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