any ideas for a beautiful Christmas dessert...

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by april02, Dec 17, 2001.

  1. april02

    april02

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    ---Hi. I am planning to go to culinary school after high school but my family is sceptical, I need ideas for a surprise christmas dessert to wow them... I'd need it to feed about 10-12 people and no to be too terribly intricate. (it wouldn't be appreciatied) thank you for any input... ---April---
     
  2. momoreg

    momoreg

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    I find trifles to be easy to assemble, versatile in flavor, and not too showy, but always tasty. All you need is some cubed cake, some kind of fruit, and a cream or mousse. Liqueur is an option.
     
  3. april02

    april02

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    ---Thanks for the suggestion. I'm deffinately looking for something that is spectacular, but not really going to take me like, three days to make...thank you... ---april---
     
  4. ziggy

    ziggy

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    Your post brings back memories for me. I made this cake out of Bon Appetit many many years ago for Christmas Eve dinner at Mom's. Her Christmas Eve party was always her big event of the year(sadly she's not well enough to do them anymore). Folks always marked their calendars and looked forward to it. She's a great cook and the food was always a highlight.

    The year I made this cake, it was all anyone was talking about. Her nose is still out of joint after all these years! (and it was the last time she asked me to help with the cooking! :lol)

    You can make this as spectacular as you want in terms of decorating...but the flavor is what is really impressive!

    have a great holiday

    http://www.epicurious.com/run/recipe/view?id=2856
     
  5. chrose

    chrose

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    April remember spectacular should be in the taste more so than the looks. You want to be a Chef? Concentrate more on the flavors than the looks. Far too many times you see something that looks "WOW" and has no taste. You will wow more people with flavor than looks. Visual memories can get lost but a tactile memory such as taste, smell etc rarely leave. Personally I'm doing an old standby this year. Looks? There are none, spectacular? Hardly. Flavor? Enough to carry me for another year. For me it's classic . Crepes Suzette I'll be happy to post you my recipe which is a little different than most but still easy to do.
     
  6. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    Hi April!

    I suggest you adopt momoreg's or chrose's suggestions (ask chrose his recipe for me ok;) )
    YOU will be the spectacular if you prepare an unforgetable taste ofr the family!!

    DEFINETELY do not hesitate to prepare your desert. You will have the fun of your life regardless the result! If it's a good one, your joy will be doubled.

    Let us now what happened.

    BTW I LOVE you avatar. I love frogs as Isa loves cows...


    :)
     
  7. april02

    april02

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    ---Chrose---
    Thank you so much. I would like the recipe, if thats ok. I really appreciate it. It's really important to me to impress my family because they are sceptical that going to culinary school is an "adult" career move. They basically want me to go to four year college and sit behind a desk for the rest of my life...(though that wouldn't be long cause I'd go absolutely insane) thank you again for the help... ---april---
     
  8. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    How about a Buche de Noel? That's what I'm making this year.

    You make a jelly-roll style cake filled with some kind of cream. This year, I'm doing a devil's food cake roll with a cherry bavarian. Then, you ice the cake with either buttercream, whipped cream or ganache. I'd recommend the ganache because it's the most luxurious of the coatings and it's the most fool proof. Then, you cut 2 pieces of it off on the bias and "stick" them to other parts of the "log" to look like tree limbs that have been sawed. You ice the ends of the roll so as not to see the spiral. If you get REALLY ambitious, you can make meringue mushrooms and dust them with cocoa powder to serve around the log.

    I heartily recommend you get The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum (if you don't already have it). She can be kind of anal retentive with instructions but they're great instructions if it's your first time trying a recipe.

    The Chocolate Oblivion Torte from TCB is wonderful as well. If there are any chocoholics in your family, this may be the way to go. Be prepared for a spontaneous orgy though ;) ...LOL. It's intensely chocolate.

    For my birthday one year, my husband made me the Strawberry Maria out of TCB. He made it with chocolate trellis and all. He says he's not a baker but he managed just great with this beautiful showpiece cake.

    I know most people consider Trifle a dessert to use leftover ingredients and odds and ends, but it can be extremely elegant if the ingredients are absolutely top shelf.

    I'd go with the Buche de Noel. I think that'll really wow 'em. Good luck!
     
  9. chrose

    chrose

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    Here's my favorite recipe.

    6 large sugar cubes
    1 larger lemon
    1-2 large juice oranges
    1/2 lb soft unsalted butter
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1/4 cup Grand Marnier or other Orange Liquor for us poorer people
    2 tablespoons dark rum

    One at a time infuse 3 of the sugar cubes with lemon oil by pressing and rubbing them into the surface of the lemon. Turn each cube to coat on all sides.Repeat with the other 3 cubes and the orange. Set the lemon aside for another use and juice the orange. Get 1/2 cup of OJ. Squeze the other if necessary, strain.
    Drop the sugar cubes in the juice and mash and dissolve them. Set aside at room temp.
    Cream the butter with 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl and refrigerate until ready.
    To serve mix the rum and grand marnier. Heat a chafing pan or regular pan and melt the butter/sugar in it. Add the oj and cook until reduced by 1/2. Stir frequently so it doesn't burn. Lay the crepes in one at a time and cover with sauce. Fold into 1/4s and push to the side of the pan. Carefully add the liquors and flame it. Spoon the sauce over the crepes and serve.
     
  10. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    Dear April

    Being behind a desk for the rest of your life is not so bad but desks can always wait.

    Good luck to your dessert and have fun by yourself as you prepare it.
    I was in your shoes at your age, so I can post you by PM some good arguments to persuade your parents ;)
     
  11. april02

    april02

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    ---athenaeus---

    I guess I'm just not right for a desk job... I've had summer jobs where all I did was answer phones and type things for people... It's just not for me... ---april---
     
  12. cape chef

    cape chef

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    hi April,

    I'm with chrose on this one,Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, But fine taste is universal. So keep it simple and make it taste great. One thing about the crepes is you not only share a tactile sence with your family but visual as well if you decide to do it tableside.

    heres a couple that look nice and taste excellent and offer comfort.

    Peanut butter pudding with bananas and brown butter sauce, Served warm it has a sensual mouth feel and deep flavor.

    warm cranberry and walnut tart with cranberry ice cream and caramel,vanilla and lime sauce.
    again heres one that gives your family,texture and tempature,smooth and crunchy. And believe me the scent of vanilla,with the taste of caremal is incredible.

    April,if you like I will post the recipes,
    either way...The best thing to take from this expereance is fun
    cc
     
  13. april02

    april02

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    --- It is as they say coming down to crunch time... thank you all for your suggestions it would be absolutely lovely if anyone was willing to post a specific recipe... i'll have to run out and get ingredients... thank you once again happy holidays ---april---:chef:
     
  14. calicoskies

    calicoskies

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    I just finished making these tonight, the puffs are cooling now. I have several neices/nephews coming over for dinner tomorrow and we are gonna make the filling and glaze and finish them for fun. My 3 sons LOVE these!! Anyhow, these are quite easy to make...just follow the directions exactly and they look SPECTACULAR and taste so rich and decadent, just like eclairs from a bakery. Makes a very impressive dessert. I think a beginner could easily whip these up.

    CREAM PUFFS:
    1 C water
    1 C flour (all purpose)
    1 stick butter
    4 eggs

    Preheat oven to 400.

    In large, heavy saucepan, bring to boil the water and butter. Remove from heat and with a wooden spoon, stir in flour until it forms a well-mixed paste (no lumps of flour). Allow to sit for 3-4min so dough cools a bit. Add your eggs ONE AT A TIME to the pan of dough, fully incorporating each egg before the next is added. You will be stirring hard with that wooden spoon to get the eggs mixed in well. Your batter will go squishy on you when you first add the egg, and it will separate into slimy sections, but keep stirring...it comes together and forms a shiny dough in a few minutes.

    I use a large Airbake cookie sheet, covered with foil and the foil sprayed with Bakers Joy. Drop tablespoons of dough onto the sheet about 2 inches apart. This recipe makes about 12-13 puffs. (I tried to double it once and it didnt work out well, so I just make 2 separate batches back-to-back to get 24 puffs for a crowd)

    Bake in 400 degree oven for 30min, then turn off oven and allow to sit about 10more minutes. Cool before filling.

    FILLING:
    1 pint heavy whipping cream
    2 small boxes instant Vanilla pudding
    2 1/2C milk

    Whip your cream until stiff peaks. In another bowl, mix pudding and milk for 1-2min. Fold together pudding and whipped cream. Split the cooled puffs and pull out any dabs of wet dough inside. I cut the top third off the puff, this allows me to fill them plentifully without the filling squishing out too much. Fill the puffs then replace the tops. Arrange on a platter or a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan covered with foil. Drizzle with chocolate glaze.

    CHOCOLATE GLAZE:
    1/4C unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 stick butter
    1/3C milk
    1tsp vanilla
    approx. 1 box sifted powdered sugar 10x

    Using large, heavy saucepan, bring butter, cocoa and milk to boil. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla and powdered sugar until you get a drizzling consistency. DO NOT add all the powdered sugar at once, as you may not need the entire box. I do 1/2 cupfuls at a time.

    Refrigerate the filled puffs...after 15min you can lightly cover with plastic wrap.
     
  15. chiffonade

    chiffonade

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    Well, I made a Yule Log for Christmas out of The Cake Bible. I however decided to fill it with a cherry bavarian. The recipe called for a much lighter cream because the cake roll was a flourless cake. The cake, after being filled, was too heavy to stack the "stumps" on the "log" so I had to lay the "stumps" on the sides of the cake instead.

    So we actually had a Yule Cactus. Holiday cheer anyone? ;) (It tasted yummy...)

    How did your show-stopper dessert turn out??