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  • Cranberry Curd:
  • 12 oz cranberries
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter

  • Chocolate Gingerbread Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp clove powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • Whipped topping:
  • 2 (8-oz) mascarpone cream, at room temperature
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled
  • 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cognac or orange liqueur
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar

  • Sugared Cranberries:
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water

  • Sugared Rosemary:
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 cup granulated sugar in flat tray/plate
  • 1 cup water in a flat tray/plate

  • Add-ons:
  • ⅓ cup cognac or orange liqueur


Sugared Cranberries: In a small saucepan, on medium heat, add in the sugar and water. Mix and let the sugar dissolve about 4 to 5 minutes. Switch off the gas, do not let the mixture boil. Add in the cranberries, and let it cool overnight or for 4 hours in a bowl. Now drain out the simple syrup, OR you can store it to flavor it with herbs/spices for a cocktail. In a flat plate, add the ½ cup of granulated sugar. Add in the cranberries and roll them gently to cover all of them with the sugar. Do not overmix. Let it dry for a day. Store in an air tight container with a piece of bread to absorb any moisture.

Sugared Rosemary: Dip the rosemary first in the flat plate of water, sprinkle out excess. Then dip the rosemary in the flat plate of sugar to coat all sides. Let it rest on a baking tray with parchment paper. Do the same for the remaining sprigs and let dry for an hour.

Cranberry Curd(can be made 2 to 3 days in advance): In a medium saucepan, on medium heat, add in the cranberries, sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Let it cook for 10 minutes, covered. After about 5 minutes of cooking, use a masher to mash all the cranberries. Switch off the gas after 10 minutes of cooking. The mixture should look jammy. Strain it through a sieve to remove all the skin and have a smooth sauce.

Whisk the eggs and the yolk in a medium bowl, until frothy and well blended. Add in ¼ cup of the cranberry sauce, and mix in the eggs to temper. Add another ¼ cup of the sauce and mix. Now add all of the cranberry-egg mixture into the remainder of the cranberry mixture and blend well. Add in the butter. Put the saucepan back on the stove on medium heat and let it cook for 5 minutes, OR until the curd sticks to the sides of the back of the wooden spoon, when you run your finger through the back of the spoon. This is when you know the cranberry curd is done. Remove it in a medium bowl. Cover it with a plastic wrap, touching the surface so that it does not form a thick layer on the top. Cool it in the fridge for about 6 hours minimum before using it.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cake: Preheat oven to 325°F

In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, dark cocoa, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, baking soda. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add in the butter and brown sugar in the bowl and mix for about 2 minutes. Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix the sour cream and molasses together till well blended. Add in the eggs one at a time, running the stand mixer with each egg addition till well incorporated. Add in the vanilla extract and blend. Add the flour mixture and molasses mixture alternating between the two, until it is well blended in the mixer.

In a half baking sheet, spray it with non-stick spray and add a parchment paper on the top. Pour the batter into the tray and even it out. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the middle of the cake is set. Test with a toothpick and it should come out clean. Let the cake cool completely for an hour. Cut it into 1½- x 1½-inch squares.

Whipped Topping: In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the room temperature mascarpone cheese with the orange zest. With the whisk attachment, whisk the mascarpone for 40 seconds until well whipped. Add in the heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, cognac and whisk for 1 ½ minutes at least and make sure the cream is whipped until fluffy. Do NOT over-whip or it will clump.

Assembly: In a 9-inch trifle bowl, tightly layer the squares into the bottom of the bowl. Brush the cake with cognac generously. Now layer half of the cranberry curd on top of the cake, make sure you layer it neatly. Now add in half of the whipped topping and layer it neatly. Repeat the process starting from the cake. End with the whipped topping. Cover how you like with the sugared cranberries and sugared rosemary as decoration.

Chill in the fridge for 2 hours. The trifle can be made a day ahead. It tastes even better the next day.

by Amisha Gurbani, Jam Lab

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