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A decidedly decadent version of everyone’s favourite South African Christmas dessert, this trifle will have your guests trembling with delight!

Makes 1 large


1 Cup full cream milk

3 Cups cream

1/2 Cup castor sugar

1 Cinnamon sticks

½ Vanilla pod

8 Gelatine leaves

4 Naartjies or mandarins, thinly sliced

8 Slices malva cake


Add the milk, cinnamon sticks and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a light simmer over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and allow the cinnamon to infuse for 10 minutes.

While the cinnamon infuses, place the gelatine sheets in ice cold water to soften for 5 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks from the milk and scrape in the vanilla and mix. Place it back onto the heat and heat slowly until it just begins to bubble. Remove and add the softened gelatine sheets to the warmed milk, squeezing out any excess water before adding. Ensure the gelatine is completely dissolved by stirring very well. Add the cream to the mixture and mix well.

Line the sides of a trifle bowl with naartjie slices. Pour the cream mixture into the bowl and set in the refrigerator overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, top with slices of malva cake and spoon some of the meringue topping (see recipe below) onto the malva slices. Using a blow torch, toast the edges of the meringue and sprinkle over a little cinnamon.

Malva Cake


50g Unsalted butter

100g Castor sugar

1 Tablespoon apricot jam

1 Egg

1 Cup flour

1 Teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

½ Cup milk

Pinch of salt

2 Teaspoons apple cider vinegar


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a medium-sized baking dish. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and light with an electric beater. Add the apricot jam and mix well. Add the egg to the mixture and beat until well combined.

Add the bicarbonate of soda to the milk. Mix the flour and the salt. Add the flour and the milk to the egg mixture in 2 alternating batches. Lastly add the vinegar and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Poke holes using a wooden skewer into the cake and pour over the malva sauce. Allow to cool and then cut into slices.

Malva Sauce


150ml Cream

25g Unsalted butter

100g Brown sugar

½ Vanilla pod, seeds scraped


Combine the sauce ingredients and place in a pot and bring to a boil and then simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sugar has melted.

Meringue topping


4 Egg whites

½ Cup castor sugar

¼ Cup golden syrup

¼ Teaspoon cream of tartar


Make the frosting when you are ready to serve. Place the egg whites in a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until just past soft peak stage. Slowly add the sugar and cream of tartar and continue whisking for 5 minutes until glossy and stiff. Remove from the heat, stream in the golden syrup and whisk until the mixture is no longer warm when touched.

Recipe created by Claire Winstanley of Good Looking and cooking/

“Good Looking and Cooking is about having fun and being silly, simple and free to create dishes that are not only really, really ridiculously good looking but truly delicious.”

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