Christmas Desserts

by moderndomestic on December 23, 2010

If you are like me, you probably are waking up in a panic realizing that no, you in fact haven’t chosen what you’re going to cook for Christmas dinner. And no, you can’t do the grocery shopping for said dinner until you figure out a menu.

Well, I can’t help you out for mains – although I always enjoy a nice roast chicken (and it’s dead easy). But I do have some dessert recipes that are relatively easy, delicious, and will help you out in a pinch. I also suggest you check out this supremely awesome post from Macheesmo, which highlights a ton of delicious stuff that people are baking and up around the Internets.

Chocolate Nutella Profiteroles

I served these at my birthday party and they were a huge hit. Chocolate and Nutella encased in a crispy pastry shell. What’s not to love?

Double Chocolate Mint Tart

Remember this tart? The one that I completely flipped over when I tripped carrying it to the metro? Well, it’s so delicious it doesn’t even matter what it looks like (and believe me, it did NOT look pretty when it was finally eaten). Chocolate cookie crumb crust filled with a layer of chocolate ganache, topped with a layer of white chocolate mint mousse. It is delicious. Delicious, delicious, delicious.

Julia Child’s Pear Tart

I love this pear tart because it at once rather staid and traditional, and more delicious than most modern, “innovative” desserts. Almond cream, pears poached in a red wine syrup, and a cookie crust are nothing if not classic French pastry. It sounds kind of boring. But it isn’t. The sweet and tart pears are a revelation with the sweet almond cream. There are some classics that are classic for a reason, and this is one of them.

Chocolate Cream Pie

Ahem. The holidays call for chocolate, don’t they? Then indulge in this decadent chocolate cream pie – chocolate crust, filled with dreamy and creamy chocolate pudding, topped with cinnamon spiced whipped cream. Its simple and rich and a rather soulful way to end your Christmas dinner.

Gateau Breton

I know this is an odd one as a choice for a Christmas dessert. After all, the holidays are about excess – we want more flavors, more layers, more sauces, more of everything. But think about it. After a day of eating everything – chocolate from the stocking, a rich Christmas morning brunch, a decadent Christmas dinner – aren’t you a little tired of excess? Don’t you want something straighforwardly delicious? The Gatuea Breton – a French butter cake – is kind of like a richer, cakier shortbread cookie. It’s mostly butter and sugar, with a little bit of flour and vanilla thrown in for good measure. You can serve it with fruit, or ice cream, or you can do what I like to do, and eat a big wedge with a cup of tea. Not, it’s not the trendiest “thing” on dessert menus right now, but it is delicious – and the kind of simple food that your guests are craving by the end of a long day of eating.

What are you making for Christmas day dessert? And are you freaking out about it?

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Merry Christmas (And How to Make A Christmas Tree) | ModernDomestic
December 24, 2010 at 11:46 am

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria (District Chocoholic) December 23, 2010 at 11:24 am

I’m making a chocolate cake filled with mint mousse and covered in ganache – though I have to say, the Gatuea Breton looks like a nice, simple dessert for post-Christmas. I’ll have to get around to trying that one.

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moderndomestic December 23, 2010 at 11:26 am

I love it! What kind of chocolate cake? Devil’s food? Sour cream?

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Victoria (District Chocoholic) December 23, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Plain old butter chocolate – it’s very easy to sculpt with, which is important because the mousse filling is going to be in a Christmas-tree-shaped tunnel. It’s the Nick Malgieri recipe, so I sense it will be a win all the way.

Any decisions on what you’re making yet?

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moderndomestic December 23, 2010 at 11:15 pm

So, I’m spending Christmas day with the boyfriend’s fam, so I think I’ll just bring some cookies. BUT, I’m making a cheesecake for Christmas eve. I wanted to top it with a cranberry ginger topping, but of course stupid Safeway didn’t have cranberries, so now I’m thinking about using the frozen blueberries I have left over from blueberry picking this summer. We’ll see.

I like butter chocolate cake – especially if it has actual chocolate it in, along with cocoa powder. That is so very cute to have a tree-shaped mousse in the middle! So, how do you do that – are you carving each individual layer in the center?

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Victoria (District Chocoholic) December 24, 2010 at 12:08 am

I love Christmas Eve desserts – hmmm…any pears around? Those could go well with ginger. Blueberries sound great, too.

My recipe has unsweetened Scharffen Berger chocolate in it – love me some cocoa butter. To get the Christmas tree in the middle, I’m doing six layers and have a drafting pattern for what to cut out of each layer. The things that happen when engineers bake.

probonogeek December 23, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Sarah and I are trying our hands at a white and dark chocolate bread pudding this year. In addition to my first solo attempt at eggs benedict in the morning, and a number of first dinner preparations (cornish game hens with pancetta!). We will either eat like kings, or everything will be ruined forever.

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moderndomestic December 23, 2010 at 11:16 pm

I’m sure your bread pudding will be divine. I think that bread pudding is a very forgiving dessert – unless you add waaaay too much custard or waaaay too little, it always comes out tasty. And the cornish game hens sound delicious!

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