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White Christmas Trifle Recipe

White Christmas Trifle Recipe

It is still wicked, but now it’s white. A trifle without green and red jelly? No preserved green figs? Can it even be a trifle? Well… Chef Christiaan’s version with pillowy white chocolate mascarpone, pears spiced with warming ginger, cardamom and cinnamon and the delight of delicate ladyfingers is wonderfully white and whimsical – just what your festive table needs!

White Christmas Trifle

Serves 12


Spiced Pears

750 ml Leopard’s Leap Sauvignon Blanc

500 ml pear Juice


12 whole cardamom pods, crushed

1 thumb sized peeled fresh ginger

2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

7 large firm but ripe pears, peeled

White Chocolate Mascarpone Cream

200 g white chocolate

70 ml Triple Sec

60 ml water

1 tsp vanilla essence

250 g mascarpone cheese

250 ml cream, whipped


a packet of ladyfingers (Boudoir Biscuits)

500 ml cream

white chocolate shavings

half a spiced pear, reserved and sliced for garnish


Spiced Pears

Combine first six ingredients in a large pot. Stir over medium to high heat until sugar dissolves. Add pears and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until pears are just tender when pierced with knife, about 35 minutes. Transfer liquid with pears to a large bowl and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a bowl. Boil poaching liquid in a large saucepan, over medium-high heat until slightly thickened and reduced to about three cups, around 15 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large measuring cup. Cool liquid. Cover and chill pears and pear syrup until cold.

White Chocolate Mascarpone Cream

Combine white chocolate, Triple Sec  and water in a double-boiler set over simmering water. Stir until smooth (mixture will be very liquid) and add vanilla essence. Transfer white chocolate mixture to large bowl; gradually add mascarpone, whisking until mixture is smooth. Cool mascarpone until barely lukewarm.

Cover and chill white chocolate cream until set, about 3 hours. Pears and cream can be made 1 to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Using electric mixer, beat one cup of cream until peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. Cover and chill this white chocolate mousse until set, about 3 hours.

Assembling the trifle

Cut pears lengthwise in half and remove cores and stems; cut halves lengthwise into 1 cm thick slices.

Arrange ladyfingers, rounded sides down, in single layer in bottom of a glass trifle bowl, covering bottom completely (using about 15 ladyfingers). Drizzle five tablespoons of pear syrup over ladyfingers.

Spread a third of the white chocolate cream over the ladyfingers. (Make the layer slightly thicker on the outer edges - it looks prettier from outside!)

Starting at outer edges, place pear slices in single layer with curved edges against the sides of the bowl, covering the cream completely. Repeat layering of ladyfingers, syrup, cream, and pears another two times. Cover with a fourth layer of ladyfingers (you might have some left over - just nibble on them). Drizzle five tablespoons of syrup over the top layer of ladyfingers.

You can make the trifle up to this point, a day ahead of serving it. Just cover and refrigerate trifle and keep the remaining pear syrup separately.

Up to 6 hours ahead of serving: Beat two cups of creap cream in large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add 125 ml of pear syrup and beat until stiff peaks form. Working in batches, transfer the cream to a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe rosettes all over the top of the trifle. Sprinkle with crystallized ginger. Garnish with chocolate curls. Keep refrigerated until serving.

Sift powdered sugar over trifle just before serving and add a few more white chocolate shavings.

Make sure to pour delicate glasses of the Leopard's Leap Cuvée Brut Sparkling wine - an elegant and delicious partner to the sophisticated trifle!


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