At this time of the year our thoughts turn to all things sweet and delicious and this Winter Trifle lemon Cheesecake Mousse, Rhubarb Jelly, Pecan Crumble and Roasted Strawberries certainly is mouthwatering and a beautiful addition to your dinner table. Wow your party guests or just make it as a special dessert for a decadent Saturday night in with just the two of you.

Makes 10 serves in 380 ml glass tumblers.

Cheesecake Mousse

250 grams cream cheese

150 grams sour cream

120 grams sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup lemon juice

400 grams cream (whipped)

5 leaves gelatin (soaked in cold water)

Rhubarb Jelly

1 bunch rhubarb

400 grams raspberries frozen

200 mls water

300 grams sugar

8 leaves gelatin

Pecan Crumble

125 grams, unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup light-brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 cup shredded coconut

Roasted Strawberries

2 punnets of strawberries

50 grams castor sugar


Rhubarb Jelly

Remove green tops from rhubarb and chop into 2cm chunks

Place in a pot with sugar and mix to coat the rhubarb

Heat on medium and cook until just tender

Add frozen raspberries and 200mls of water continue to cook until glossy

Blend in food processor until smooth, pass through sieve

Soak gelatin leaves in cold water until completely soft, drain off water

Add to hot rhubarb puree

Pour rhubarb jelly into glass tumblers

Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Pecan Crumble

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Celsius

Grease 30cm rectangle baking tray and line

Cream butter and sugar until smooth

Add pecans, coconut, oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt

Stir until mixture begins to form large clumps

Transfer mixture to baking tray spread in a single layer

(Clumps should be close together)

Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes

Let cool completely on a wire rack

Using your hands, break into small pieces

Cheesecake Mousse

Place cream cheese into the bowl a stand mixer with paddle attachment and mix until smooth

Add sour cream, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice, mix until combined

Add eggs one at a time, mix until combined

Gently fold whipped cream into the mixture

Pour into piping bag for assembly.

Roasted Strawberries

Toss the strawberry halves with sugar and roast for 6 mins 180 degrees Celsius.


Pipe cheesecake mousse into glass 3cm high

Top with pecan crumble 1cm high

Add one tablespoon strawberry mixture to finish.

Ms Polka Dot says: This looks so fresh and creamy all at the same time – definitely one to add to your dessert skills!

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Image by David Cooke Photography

While the days are grey, it pays to have favourite recipes up your sleeve and what could be better than a classic Pina Colada to celebrate Pina Colada Day on Sunday 9th of July?

Today’s beauty comes from the crew at raw seafood and cocktail bar Hana who are celebrating this magic day with a pina colada party (think all day pina coladas, leis, raw seafood canapes and treats and a fabulous DJ.) Sounds like the perfect cure for Winter blues!

Want to whip up your own Hana Colada? Let’s get down to business.


45ml Jamaican Rum

45ml Aged Rum

45ml freshly juiced pineapple

40ml coconut cream

5ml sugar syrup

15ml freshly juiced lime


Shake and strain over ice.

Garnish with fresh pineapple, fresh coconut, mint and fancy straws

When you’re super busy with work and life and searching for a recipe to contribute to a bridal shower high tea, a DIY dessert bar, or you are considering making your own wedding favours – it can be difficult to decide what is going to work. Ideally, you want to create something that is fairly simple, has easily accessible and cost effective ingredients and can be multiplied easily and shared amongst many. At this point, can I make a suggestion? Caramel slice.  And not any caramel slice, the perfect caramel slice.

In my opinion, there are two essential factors in creating the perfect caramel slice.  The first, the ratio of buttery biscuit base to gooey caramel to crisp dark chocolate.  I’ve done a few experiments, some serious taste testing and I conclude that the ideal ratio is 2:4:1.  To explain, this ratio ensures enough of the base to provide stability, enough of the caramel to be the star of the show, and a thin hint of chocolate to round it out.

The second factor?  The caramel, of course.  No mild-mannered milky sweet caramel will do here.  Oh no.  The perfect Chocolate Caramel Slice will have luxuriously rich caramel that is impossibly silky and chewy.  Slightly salty, slightly sweet and all kinds of lick-the-bowl good.

This recipe is loosely based on a Bill Granger recipe but has been tweaked to ensure the final result demonstrates the essential factors mentioned above.  The recipe is simple, can be made ahead of time and will stay fresh in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month. Do yourself a favour, and give it a try.  I promise you’ll be licking the bowl and doubling the recipe in no time.

You will need

For the base:
150g unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup caster sugar

For the filling:
200g unsalted butter
200g brown sugar
2 x 400g tin of condensed milk
1/3 Cup Golden Syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping:
15g butter
200g dark chocolate

Step One.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Use baking paper to line a 20cm x 30cm baking tin.

Step Two.

Melt 150g of butter. Sift flour and baking powder. Add coconut caster sugar and melted butter and stir well until combined.

Step Three.

Press the mixture firmly into the base of the tin.  Place baking tin in the oven and bake for 10-14 minutes or until lightly golden like the picture above.  Once removed from the oven, press down with a spatula, especially in the corners. This is to ensure a nicely even, crisp biscuit base. Don’t turn the oven off at this point.

Step Four.

Now for the caramel.  Place 200g butter, brown sugar, condensed milk, golden syrup and vanilla extract in a medium size saucepan over a low heat.  Stir to dissolve. Once dissolved, increase temperature and continue to cook and stir until the mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce heat, continue to stir while still simmering for 5 minutes or until colour of mixture changes slightly to a more golden tone.  Remove from heat and pour over prepared biscuit base.

Step Five.

Place baking tray in oven and bake for 10 minutes at 180 degrees celsius.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Step Six.

Once the slice is completely cool it is time to make the chocolate topping.  Using a small saucepan of simmering water, place a heatproof bowl on top and place the chocolate and butter in. Stir until chocolate has melted and is runny and glossy.  Pour over the cooled slice and spread evenly.  Place slice into the refrigerator until completely set.  Using a large, sharp knife, trim the edges of the slice and cut into squares.

Ms Polka Dot says: How can you not love caramel and chocolate – our two favourite flavours in the whole world! And yes the caramel is just the right thickness for that gooey yumminess.

About Jessica: I’m a writer and a lover of words and stories, pretty papers and flowers. I find great satisfaction in creating something beautiful from the simplest of materials. I’m happiest in a home bustling with conversation and music, sitting at a beautifully decorated table surrounded by good friends and delicious food – with a glass of champagne in hand, of course!