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Zola nene's gingerbread trifle with spiced white chocolate custard

Zola Nene’s gingerbread trifle with spiced white-chocolate custard

We had Zola Nene, the queen of impressive home cooking, over to MK headquarters for a festive feast we will never forget. And she came bearing the best gift of all – dessert! We all tucked into her amazing gingerbread trifle and can guarantee that it will be a Christmas favourite at our tables this year – and for years to come.


For the gingerbread
100g muscovado sugar
125 ml golden syrup
2 tbsp treacle
2 large eggs
250g flour
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
120g butter, melted
125 ml full-cream milk
For the spiced custard
750 ml full-cream milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
100g caster sugar
6 egg yolks
3 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp flour
200g white chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp vanilla essence
To assemble
250 ml whipping cream
150g ginger biscuits
50g white chocolate, shaved

For the gingerbread
1. Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a rectangular baking tin.
2. In one bowl, whisk together the sugar, syrup, treacle and eggs until light and airy.
3. In a second bowl, sift together the flour, ginger and bicarbonate of soda.
4. In a third bowl, mix the melted butter and milk.
5. Add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating, to the egg mixture. Mix well.
6. Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour, until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
7. Once cool, cut the gingerbread into large cubes.
For the spiced custard
1. Heat 625 ml milk, cinnamon and ginger until just starting to simmer.
2. Whisk together the remaining 125 ml milk, sugar, egg yolks, cornflour and flour until smooth.
3. While whisking, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture and return the mixture to the pot. Cook gently until the custard is thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
4. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and vanilla, stirring until melted.
To assemble
1. Arrange the gingerbread cubes in a glass trifle dish.
2. Pour the custard over the gingerbread, then cover with cling film (ensuring it touches the surface of the custard, to prevent a skin forming) and chill until completely cold.
3. Whip cream to soft peaks, then spoon on top of the trifle. Roughly crumble the biscuits and scatter on top of the cream. Finally, top with white chocolate.

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