It can be very tricky to find the moderate path that teeters between health-conscious and festive disaster! 80/20 rules are way too dictatorial for me – I prefer to find balance in a more intuitive way; using rich ingredients sparingly and keeping little indulgences for occasional treats. So as we head towards Christmas I’ve decided to share some recipes that pay homage to the season with their “naughty” ingredients but used with a little restraint!  As I’m not one for desserts I thought I’d “kick-off” with this new winter trifle which I “tested out” on some friends this weekend – it received “double thumbs up” so here you go …

100g soft Amaretti biscuits, crumbled

60ml toffee vodka

400g cooked, sweet potato

80g dark chocolate (85-90%), chopped

2 tsps. Madagascar vanilla essence

zest & juice of 1 orange

1tbsp. honey

400ml can of coconut, refrigerated

handful of chocolate coated coffee beans

2 fresh figs

This quantity is enough for six tumblers of around 150ml. capacity.

In a medium hot oven, bake 2 large sweet potato for around 45-50 minutes.  Peel the skin away and weigh out 400g of potato flesh.

Next, divide the biscuit crumbs between your six glasses – there should be enough to generously cover the bottom of each glass. Pour a dessertspoon of the vodka over each glass and stir in the crumbs so they all get coated. Very finely slice and quarter one of the figs and scatter the pieces over the crumb layer in each glass.

Place the chocolate in a bowl over a small pan of simmering water until melted.  Add the sweet potato, chocolate, 1 tsp of vanilla essence, orange zest & juice and honey into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.  Divide this mixture between the glasses in a thick layer.

Open the can of coconut cream and carefully scoop out the thick cream, leaving behind the coconut water beneath the cream layer.  Blend the cream with the vanilla essence, beating until smooth and glossy.  Spoon onto the verrines to create the final layer.  Chill for at least 4 hours and then garnish with a fig slices and the chocolate coffee beans just before you are ready to serve.