I commend everyone who can say ‘no’ to the tempting sugar bombs that are at most holiday gatherings this year. I, for one, tend to give in to temptation during the holidays. After all, in the spirit of giving, isn’t it okay to treat yourself too?
I’ve put together some last minute holiday dessert ideas that would elegantly grace anyone’s table, choices so beautiful, so tasty that saying no to even one bite would be naughty!
For starters, a traditional Yule Log. This recipe is special as it comes from a gentleman I’ve had the pleasure of working with on several occasions—Royal Chef Darren McGrady. Darren was not only chef to the royal family, the House of Windsor, for 15 years, but he was also Princess Diana’s personal chef when she divorced Prince Charles.
Tradition each year with the royal family was a dark chocolate Yule Log. His recipe is wonderfully rich and intensely satisfying…
Tradition in our home every year included my mother’s Italian Cream Cake [above]. It’s chock full of coconut, pecans and buttery goodness–iced with a lush cream cheese frosting. Ooh La La does a similar Italian Cream Cake with buttercream frosting you can find here.
Another seasonal and beautiful creation, a Chestnut Cake with Chocolate Glaze. Uber talented Pastry Chef Catherine Rodriguez at The Houstonian is the author of this recipe. The cake itself isn’t difficult, but does require a specific chestnut paste (check Central Market) as well as a couple of secret chef techniques to pull off.
A show-stopping dessert your guests won’t see coming this year are these Oreo Wine Nutella Cupcakes…YES, there is such a thing! Chocolate cupcakes filled with crushed Oreos and rich Nutella, topped with a red wine frosting. It’s like all of our foodie vices rolled into one!
Chef Carmelo Mauro of Carmelo’s Ristorante in the Energy Corridor recently shared his mini Christmas Cannolis with Goodtaste – filled with candied fruit, powdered sugar and ricotta cheese. They’re even more delicious when served with fresh dates dipped in chocolate!