Skip to main content

Jan hendrik van Der Westhuizen recipe: South African Christmas dessert

By November 24, 2023FinGlobal, Newsletter

Jan hendrik van Der Westhuizen recipe: South African Christmas dessert

November 24, 2023


Christmas is a special time of year around the world, with each country having its own unique way of celebrating. In South Africa, one of the most popular holiday desserts is the Christmas trifle. This delicious and decadent treat has become a staple at many South African Christmas dinners. But where did this festive dessert originate? Who first came up with the idea of a trifle and what can you do differently to change up the delicious South African dessert?

South African Christmas Desserts: History and Origin of Trifles

The word “trifle” comes from the French term “trufle,” which means something whimsical or not important. The first recorded use of the word in English was in 1596, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that trifles became a popular dessert. Originally, they were made with layers of sponge cake, custard, and fruit. Over time, different variations of the trifle emerged in different countries. In England, sherry or brandy was added to the recipe, while in America, gelatin and whipped cream were included.

Chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen: Traditional south african christmas dessert

South African-born chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen has gained international recognition for his culinary skills, particularly when it comes to traditional South African dishes. His restaurant, JAN, located in Nice, France, has been awarded a Michelin star since 2016. When asked about his love for cooking, Chef Jan Hendrik often mentions the influence of his grandmother’s cooking, especially her famous trifle recipe. He believes that food has a special way of bringing people together and creating unforgettable memories.

Best Christmas dessert in South Africa: Trifle with a twist

Looking to impress your South African Christmas guests with a Michelin Star-worthy trifle? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with Jan van Der Westhuizen’s unique and mouthwatering trifle recipe. Get ready to indulge in a delightful twist on this classic dessert!

What you need:

To prepare the cornflake milk jelly…

  • 150 grams of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
  • 600 ml of creamy, full-fat milk.
  • 2 Rooibos teabags .
  • 30 milliliters of honey
  • 4 grams (equivalent to 2 sheets) of gelatin leaves.
  • 100 grams of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes

Lemon cream ingredients:

  • Two egg whites.
  • 60 grams of castor sugar
  • 5 milliliters of lemon zest
  • Lemon curd, 50 ml.
  • 300 ml of creamy and indulgent plain double-thick yogurt.

Garnish Ingredients

  • Almond skins
  • Slices of dehydrated orange or lemon
  • Pea shoots

What to do:

  1. Place six glasses on a level tray in the fridge to help set the milk jelly quicker.
  2. In a medium saucepot, simmer the milk and remove from heat. Add cornflakes and teabags and allow to infuse for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bags and strain milk into a clean pot. Slightly heat the mixture again and add the bloomed gelatin sheet, whisking until melted.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in honey until melted. Use a soup ladle or pouring jug to fill a third of the glass with the jelly.
  5. Set in fridge for 1 hour, then sprinkle 100 g cornflakes on top to cover the base. Place back in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  6. In a bowl, whisk egg whites and castor sugar over a double boiler until sugar dissolves. Whisk until stiff peaks form.
  7. Gently fold in zest, lemon curd, and yoghurt. Scoop the mixture on top of the jelly layer and tap the glass to flatten it out.
  8. Place back in the fridge to set before serving.

Desserts for Christmas in South Africa

The South African Christmas trifle may have evolved over time, but its essence remains the same – a deliciously layered dessert perfect for any festive occasion. Whether you follow a traditional recipe or put your own spin on it, the trifle is sure to be a hit at your next holiday gathering. And thanks to chefs like Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, this beloved dessert will continue to be passed down from generation to generation, bringing joy and sweetness to South African Christmas dinners for years to come. So let’s raise our spoons and toast to the history and future of this delectable dessert!

Expert advice for SA ex-pats right here at FinGlobal

Bespoke emigration advice, professional accreditation, and decades of experience are what expats can expect from the FinGlobal team. With a reputation for supporting South African expats with every step of their emigration journey, FinGlobal is a name many trust. From pension advice to forex, retirement annuities, and tax, the FinGlobal team has the experience and quality no-fuss information you need. Contact the team today to turn your emigration dream into a reality.

To discuss your unique needs with our team, simply get in touch with us. Give us a call on +27 28 313 5600 or send us an email at, and we will assist you promptly.

Leave a Reply