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Christmas Trifle

Christmas Trifle Recipe

It simply is not Christmas without a trifle; it makes such a great table centrepiece. The best thing is you can invent your own trifle layers using your favourite sponge or meringue – mix and match fruits, creams, jellies and inclusions – there really are no rules. This trifle is entirely made up of recipes from Chefs Host Christmas.


Christmas Trifle
Serves 12 – 16



Just go for it! I’m using cherries here because they are AMAZING but use whatever you fancy as a fruity substitute.



The best part about this, apart from the taste, is that it can all be made in advance. Knock this out on Chrissy Eve and you’ll be winning.



25 minutes (plus overnight setting and 1-hour chilling on the day)



500g cherries in vanilla syrup
500ml moscato jelly
720g white chocolate + vanilla cream, whipped
2 x chocolate brownie discs, 18cm diameter
75g dark chocolate, melted
360g custard
200g champagne sabayon


  • For the trifle, you will need a 2.5 litre glass bowl with a diameter of 18–20 cm to fit all the layers.


  • Drain the cherries and reserve the syrup. Arrange the cherries in the bottom of the glass bowl. Slowly pour the melted jelly into the bowl to cover the cherries. Place the bowl in the fridge and leave to set overnight.


  • The next day, spoon half of the white chocolate and vanilla cream onto the jelly and spread it out to the edge of the bowl with a spoon. Drizzle half of the reserved cherry syrup over the top of the cream.


  • Place one of the chocolate brownie discs on top of the cream and push it gently into the cream layer to half submerge it. Spoon the remaining white chocolate and vanilla cream onto the chocolate sponge. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the top using a spoon.


  • Place the second chocolate brownie disc on top of the cream and again push it gently into the cream layer to half submerge. Spoon on the custard and spread it out to the edge of the bowl before drizzling the remaining cherry syrup over the top.


  • Spoon the champagne sabayon over the custard, to fill the glass bowl. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour to let everything settle and soak in.


  • Meanwhile, prepare the decorations for the trifle. Make the meringue dots and chocolate shards.


  • When you are ready to serve, remove the trifle from the fridge. Decorate with fresh cherries, drained cherries in syrup, meringue dots, chocolate shards and gold leaf.


Fresh cherries
Cherries in vanilla syrup, extra, drained
Meringue dots
Dark chocolate shards
Edible gold leaf


A spring salad

A spring salad: Recipes

Cold shrimp salads are the perfect accompaniment to spring meals. With prawns, fresh avocado, fresh dill, avocado, green onion and celery, it packs as much nutritional punch as it does deliciousness.


A spring salad



700g raw prawns deveined, in shell
2 sprigs of dill
1 bay leaf
2 tsp salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
About 2 litres water
1 ripe avocado
2 tsp lime juice
1/2 cup diced celery
1/3 cup chopped green onion
3 tbsp minced fresh dill
1/4 cup mayo




Bring water to boil and add 1/2 of the lime juice, bay leaf, dill sprigs, salt and pepper. Mix well and simmer for a few minutes.
Add prawns to the pot and cook until just done, this won’t take long. Strain water and let prawns cool in the strainer until cool enough to handle. Peel prawns and add them to a mixing bowl.
Cut, pit and peel avocado. Dice the avocado meat and add it to the bowl, along with diced celery, green onion, minced dill, lime juice and salt, mixing gently.
Add mayo and mix until all evenly coated. Cool for 30 minutes to an hour and serve.
Store in the refrigerator, in an air-tight container.



A golden elixir

A golden elixir: Recipe

You’ve probably been told at least once or twice to drink a glass of warm milk before bed. Now this advice has been given the Midas touch, with the golden sheen of turmeric.

A golden elixir

Turmeric has gone seriously mainstream this year, based on the powerful medicinal properties of curcumin, which research suggests contains strong anti-inflammatory properties.
A warm, slightly spicy, bold and earthy flavour with a hint of sweetness, it makes the perfect sans alcohol nightcap. So what is this clever bevvy? Popularly known as Golden Milk or Turmeric Tea, it is packed with turmeric; a ‘healing spice’ used to help anything from sore throats, colds, the flu, and stomach aches to wound healing and treatment of abrasions and skin issues.
We sought out the instructions for how to make this golden elixir for yourself.



2 cups milk of choice such as almond, pecan, coconut, or dairy
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp cinnamon powder
A pinch of ground black pepper
A small piece of fresh, peeled ginger root or ¼ tsp ginger powder
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup or to taste



Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth, place into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until just before boiling stage. Serve hot.

The Villas

Feijoa paste: The Villas recipe series

Feijoa season is here and if you know of a pair of healthy and productive feijoa trees, why not make the most of nature’s bounty? Delicious with cold meats and cheeses, it will keep for months once bottled. Makes 800g.

The Villas


    • 10 ripe medium sized feijoas (about 1kg)
    • 3 cooking apples
    • 600mls water
    • 600g sugar


  1. Remove skin from feijoas, roughly chop fruit and weigh: you need 300g of sugar per 500g of fruit. Put feijoa peel, cores and apples into a pan; cover with water. Cook until soft and mushy – about 10 minutes.
  2. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing firmly to get all the liquid from the apple. In a large heavy bottomed pot cook chopped feijoas in this liquid until soft, then mash. Add sugar to feijoa pulp; stir until dissolved.
  3. Cook slowly on the lowest heat, stirring every 2-3 minutes until thick. When it’s ready (about 2 hours) the spoon should start to meet resistance and the mixture come away from the sides.
  4. Pour while hot into straight sided sterilised jars and seal.
earl grey tea truffles

Tea inspired truffles: this recipe for Dilmah earl grey tea truffles is divine

Tea is on the rise and not just to be consumed in the most traditional of ways, with tea ‘bars’ popping up globally, the increasing profile of tea cocktails and now it seems we have an increasing appetite for tea as an ingredient, adding a new dimension of taste, texture and flavour to our foods.

earl grey tea truffles


  • 2/3 cup (160ml) thickened cream
  • 40g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons loose Dilmah Exceptional Elegant Earl Grey tea leaves
  • 170g fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
  • 100g feuilletine
  • Murray River pink salt, to decorate


Combine cream and butter in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Add the Elegant Earl Grey tea leaves and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes to infuse.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour hot cream through a fine sieve over the chocolate, pressing with the back of a spoon to squeeze as much cream as possible through. Stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours or until firm.
Line an oven tray with baking paper. Place the feuilletine in a bowl. Roll a teaspoon of chocolate mixture into balls and roll in the feuilletine to coat. Note, when rolling your truffles, ensure your hands are cool and wear rubber gloves so the truffles don’t melt. Place on the lined tray. Repeat with remaining chocolate mixture. Top truffles with pink salt to serve. Makes 30.

Essential Volume Two: Sweet Treats for Every Occasion

Win with Metropol: Annabel Langbein cookbook Essential Volume Two: Sweet Treats for Every Occasion

In Essential Volume Two: Sweet Treats for Every Occasion, bestselling New Zealand cookbook author Annabel Langbein shares her best-ever versions of just about every sweet recipe you could dream of.

Essential Volume Two: Sweet Treats for Every Occasion

Featuring everything from nostalgic baking classics to modern vegan desserts, this comprehensive compendium is the only book you’ll ever need to bring a little sweetness to your life. To enter to win a copy visit, put in your details and tick the competitions you want to enter. Entries close on Monday 21 May and winners will be notified on Tuesday 22 May.

The Villas braised beef cheeks

Braised beef cheeks in red wine: The Villas recipe series

When cooked slowly, beef cheeks are delicious paired with chunky, forked potato mash or with silky, smooth polenta. Look out for The Villas’ take on this delicious dish on its new dinner menu.

The Villas braised beef cheeks


  • 4 beef cheeks
    3 tbs seasoned flour
    2 stalks celery, 1 carrot, 1 onion, all finely diced
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    2 bay leaves
    1 orange rind
    1 tsp ground cumin
    ½ tsp ground allspice
    1 cup red wine
    2 cups beef stock


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  2. Dust beef cheeks with seasoned flour and brown all sides. Put to side.
  3. Lower heat and cook veges until soft.
  4. Add garlic, bay leaves, rind and spices, cook for one minute.
  5. Place in slow-cooker with beef.
  6. Add red wine to pan, bring to the boil.
  7. Add stock, return to the boil then add to slow-cooker.
  8. Cook on high for 3-3 1/2 hours or low for 8 hrs.
Crispy roasted chickpeas

Crispy roasted chickpeas: liven up your lunchbox with this easy tasty recipe

The humble chickpea is packed full of goodness and when roasted makes a tast snack to munch on while enjoying a beer, or as a healthy lunchbox treat.

Crispy roasted chickpeas


• 2 cans chickpeas
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 to 4 teaspoons spices or finely chopped fresh herbs, like chili powder, curry powder, garam masala, cumin, sweet or smoked paprika, rosemary, thyme, or other favourite spices and herbs


Pre-heat oven to 210C

Strain and rinse chickpeas. Dry the chickpeas well. Lay them on a clean dish towel or paper towels and pat them until they are matte and dry. Remove any loose skins that come off while drying.

Spread them in an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Mix well so they are evenly coated. Don’t add the spices now, add them when fresh from the oven, or they may burn.
Roast 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes. The chickpeas are done when golden and slightly darkened, dry and crispy on the outside, and soft in the middle.
Sprinkle your choice of spices over the chickpeas and mix well to coat evenly. Serve while still warm and crispy or cool and enjoy in salads or as a lunch box snack.

ANZAC Biscuit

A classic cookie comeback: An awesome ANZAC biscuit recipe you have to try

These clever little creations were made famous during World War I, when loving mothers and pining housewives sent care packages of these golden goodies to New Zealand and Australian soldiers.

ANZAC Biscuit

In time for ANZAC Day next month, we’ve given this classic little cookie a 2018 facelift. A chubby version of its predecessor, this frontline favourite has a chewy middle, a decadent coconut texture and the added crunch of macadamia nuts, topped off with a delicious yoghurt drizzle.


1 cup plain flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
125g butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 tablespoon manuka honey (or any other kind)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon boiling water
A handful of crushed macadamia nuts

Yoghurt drizzle

125g white chocolate
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice


Preheat oven to 180c. Grease and line a cookie sheet. Place flour, coconut, oats, sugar and nuts in a bowl and mix well. Place butter, golden syrup and honey in a saucepan over low heat until butter has melted.

Combine bicarbonate of soda and boiling water in a small bowl, add to the butter mixture and stir. Pour over oat mixture and mix all the ingredients together.

Roll tablespoonfuls into balls, place on the cookie sheet and flatten each cookie gently with a fork. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until golden brown. Take care not to overbake which will take away from the chewy centre. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the yoghurt drizzle, seal remaining ingredients in a ziplock bag and sit in a mug or bowl of hot water for 5-10 minutes, until white chocolate is melted. Open ziplock and stir to combine, then seal again and twist bag to push mixture into a point.
Make a tiny puncture in tip of bag with a toothpick or knife and squeeze in a zig-zag pattern over cooled biscuits.