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Something old, something new


It's the most refreshing of days; the beginning of a year when everything seems just a bit more possible. I firmly believe that you should start each new year with a gorgeous dessert. And this is one dessert that is only possible in Mumbai, where strawberries show up in winter rather than summer. A combination of the wintery gingerbread with balsamic strawberries, everything blanketed in a white chocolate sauce and capped with a candied ginger slice. This is a trifle that gives trifles a good name.

I made my gingerbread for Christmas. The recipe, which originally came from Smitten Kitchen, is the one I have used for two years running and it never disappoints. The gingerbread cake is non-fussy and good to have around the snacking during the holiday season. It also freezes remarkably well; in fact, I made mine about 10 days back and put part of it in the freezer. So if you already have gingerbread, you need to make your strawberries and white chocolate ganache 3-4 hours in advance, let everything chill and assemble just before serving. If you don't end up eating the triffle immediately, it actually improves with a few hours in the fridge. I made mine in a jar so I put a lid on and packed it for work.

Ingredients
Half the gingerbread cake made with this recipe
1 cup strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
200 grams white chocolate, chopped
1 cup cream (heavy cream is best but I used Amul 25%)
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
candied ginger slices to garnish

In a bowl, mix together strawberries, sugar, vanilla extract and balsamic vinegar. Heat the cream until it is simmering. Turn off the heat, add the chocolate and nutmeg and stir until the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth chocolate ganache. Chill both the strawberries and the ganache in the fridge for 3-4 hours. If you are making gingerbread cake now, also cool it completely.

Cut gingerbread cake into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes. In a glass or a jar, add a layer of gingerbread. Spoon over the strawberries and then add a layer of white chocolate ganache. Repeat the layers and top with a slice of candied ginger.

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