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Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle

The holidays have officially arrived, and I’m in the mood for something both naughty and nice!

Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle

It is also time for another Project Food Blog ChallengeThank you, thank you, thank you all so much for helping me get this far!  I never imagined I would be participating in Challenge 8, and I am humbled and utterly amazed by your continued support and encouragement!  So, I dedicate this recipe to you. For this round the challenge is as follows:

Create a sweet or savory baked good featuring one or more of the following seasonal ingredients: Pumpkin. Whether you’re a devotee of French patisserie or you’ve got a healthy spin on baking, show us your best baked good and tell us what inspired you to create it.

Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle

Healthy spin on baking … I think not!  Tis’ the season for giving generously, indulging with abandon, and spreading good cheer, and I can do all three of those things with my Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle.  This recipe combines three of my holiday loves – cake, custard, and candy.  I will be frank with you when I say my shenanigans tend to take a decidedly evil turn toward the end of the year.  With that in mind, I see no reason not to take all three of my most beloved treats and combine then into one dessert.  So, that is what I did.  One bite was all it took to prove it was the right thing to do.

Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle

As stated above, the challenge is to create a baked item that features pumpkin, so let me tell you how I accomplished my mission.  First, there is pumpkin in the custard.  It features my own fresh pumpkin puree and is spiked with some dark rum and cinnamon to add some seasonal warmth.  It is reminiscent of pumpkin pie, but smoother and much more delicate.  My pumpkin puree also found its way into the chocolate gingerbread cake.  Pumpkin puree is wonderful in chocolate or spiced cakes to keep them tender and moist.  There is no pumpkin in my sticky toffee sauce, but the oozing caramel adds to the overall voluptuousness of the trifle.  Topped with a cloud of fluffy whipped cream it is a symphony of sin, but it tastes so nice no one will resist.

Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle        Serves 8-10

For the chocolate gingerbread:
1 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup golden syrup
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup hot water

For the pumpkin custard:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 tablespoon butter

For the sticky toffee sauce:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup, or corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cream

For the whipped cream:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 350 F and spray a 9″ x 13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle

In a large bowl cream together them sugar, butter, and pumpkin until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.  Add the molasses, golden syrup, vanilla, and fresh ginger and whisk to combine.

Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and spices.  Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture alternately with the hot water, starting and ending with the flour.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center, and the edges are starting to come away from the sides of the pan.  Cool completely in the pan then cut into 1″ cubes.

Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle

While the cake cools prepare the custard.  In a medium pot whisk together the milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture just comes to the boil.  Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla, butter, and rum.  Pour the custard through a fine strainer into a bowl and press cling film directly on the surface of the custard.  Chill for at least one hour.

While the cake and custard cool prepare the sticky toffee sauce.

Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle

In a 2-quart sauce pan over medium heat combine the brown sugar, butter, and golden syrup.  Cook until it comes to a boil, about 5 minutes.  Carefully add the vanilla and cook for one minute more.  Remove the pot from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream.  Cool the sauce until it is just warm.

Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle

To assemble the trifle begin by whipping the cream. In a large bowl combine the cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar.  Whip until the mixture forms soft peaks.  In a large trifle bowl, or in smaller individual bowls, add a layer of cake (you will use 1/3 to 1/2 the cake), drizzle over half the toffee sauce, and spread over half the pumpkin custard.  Repeat and top with whipped cream.  Chill the assembled trifle for at least four hours, or overnight.

Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle

Spread some holiday cheer … enjoy!

Chocolate Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle

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60 Responses to “Gingerbread, Pumpkin, and Sticky Toffee Trifle”

  1. Ben says:

    I’m all for living healthily, but that last photo makes me perfectly happy to die early–as long as I am permitted to indulge in this sticky, toffee-laden madness.

  2. Lori Lynn says:

    Oh it looks so festive! Great entry, good luck!

  3. What a delicious looking dessert! That last photo makes me feel as if I’m in the middle of taking a big gooey bite :)

  4. This is incredible!! I’m sorry I didn’t comment before (though I did remember to vote)… I’ve been dreadfully behind on blog reading. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that this is on my must-make list and it looks fantastic.

  5. Alta says:

    Wow, this looks good! I totally would go for something like this at the end of my dinner tonight!

  6. jen says:

    My mom requested a pumpkin dessert for her bday. I always surprise her with something new and hopefully decadent for her bday and I spent hours trolling the web before settling on yoyr recipe. It has not disappointed! Though I subbed a box mix gingerbread cake (I know, and I’m sorry, but there are limits to what I can do in a day with 2 toddlers under foot right now, and to my mind trifle is really all about the creamy stuff – the cake almost disappears, though I’m sure your cake would’ve been grand) and felt compelled to add chocolate toffee bits in the middle and on top, this was a divine and pillowy delight of a dessert. So many recipes I found did just the cake pudding and cream, no caramel. But you and i both knew they were crazy to leave it out and boy were we right. The sauce put it over the top. Thank you.


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