For years I’ve been the Christmas trifle maker. I’m not sure why. It’s not a very American dish. But I have always brought trifle to our Australian family Christmas. The last several years I’ve been doing various riffs on this Gingerbread Trifle that Coles posted in their Christmas magazine a few years ago.
The first year I bought a ginger loaf cake and every since, jam rolls be damned, ginger cake is where it’s at! But I can no longer find a store bought version so I’ve had to commit to making my own. At the same time, because the recipe suggests Butterscotch Schnapps, I’ve been using the relatively new butterscotch custard that appears during the Christmas season instead of making my own custard from scratch.
This year’s trifle was still a riff on that gingerbread trifle but with a difference – I wanted this to be a diabetic friendly dessert option. I had a light bulb moment several months ago and asked my mom to mail out some sugar free butterscotch jello pudding to use instead of the store bought custard. Then I thought I’d buy some Aeroplane Port Wine Jelly Lite. I always have frozen blueberries and raspberries in my freezer so there was no prep necessary there. All that was left were the gingerbread components – the cake and the cookies.
And Baking with Less Sugar came to the rescue! I made Keith’s Super-Snappy Gingersnaps as drop cookies and while they were still warm I used cutters to cut out shapes. The only swaps I did in the recipe were to use sugar free maple flavored syrup for the maple syrup and date syrup for the molasses. It worked perfectly! I assembled the trifle as soon as the cookies had cooled and thought by the next day they’d probably be mushy and cakey but they were surprisingly crunchier than the day before!
I also made the Molasses Gingerbread with the same two swaps and I baked it in a square pan instead of round so it would cut into squares for the cake layers. Ended up only needing half the cake for the trifle so there are still leftovers to enjoy.
We had a bit of a shocker with our Christmas pudding and ended up finally getting it cooked at 11pm. New cooktop, new automatic shut offs kept it from boiling properly for most of the arvo/evening. I’m so glad I had this trifle though because everyone was saying how Christmassy it was and that it makes you not even care about Christmas pudding. Guess I’ll remain the trifle maker for another year!