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Nov 15, 2004 01:00 PM

Done the Yule Log need another wow desssert for Christmas.

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Even though we live in the tropics, we still prepare a traditional Christmas meal, bake cookies, etc. I have been making a Yule Log for the past four years to take to friends for Christmas Eve and while everyone enjoys it, I'm bored. Baking in the tropics also presents it own challenges ~ try making meringue mushrooms in 100% humidity ~ I kept them in a toaster oven till the very last minute. What I need are suggestions for something that represents Christmas, tastes great, doesn't require hard to find ingredients [I do have good chocolate] and can stand some humidity and a room temperature of around 80F. Thanks.

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  1. How about a trifle? Presumably you can refrigerate it until the right moment. They are very Christmassy, ever so lush and delicious and there are so many recipes around you can take your pick--boozy or not, high or low calorie, any fruit you've got, cake or lady fingers, etc. etc.

    1. If you have a freezer Christmas Pudding Ice-Cream is deeelicious, too easy and very Christmas-y. Perfect if you live in the heat. I started making it with leftovers as a different way of using it up, but now I always make enough specifically to have some of that too.

      It's as easy as taking a bought or home-made Christmas Pud, breaking it up and mixing it with vanilla ice-cream and refreezing. Can then either serve in ice-cream bowls with some cream or in cones.

      (I have done a quick google search and there are recipes out there to make it from scratch depending on how much effort you want to put in).


      1. What about croquembouche? You would have to do the caramel and construction within a few hours of service because of the humidity, but it is fun and festive and looks impressive.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Devon

          I was told in Paris in early July that they reserve Gateau St Honoré (a croq-cake of sorts with croqs on top)for the winter months. Basically there was a long line in the shop, I stepped in & couldn't see the cake I wanted (a family favourite when we had a French patisserie in the neighbourhood), so I asked after the cake rather than lining up... everybody in the place turned to me quizzically and shook their heads firmly: no such gateau in the summer heat!

          1. re: julesrules

            With the humidity making the caramel soft, and the heat making the whipped cream melt, a croquembouche or gateau st-honore would not be my choice anywhere tropical. However, if you wanted to serve something in the spirit, you could bake a wreath of cream puff dough, split it in half, dip the top half in tempered chocolate, then fill the bottom half at the last moment with ice cream or semifreddo. Very pretty and festive - can of course be dressed up further with chocolate shavings or nuts. A nice tall croquembouche can be assembled with chocolate instead of caramel as well, though you'll need to fill with something that woud stand up better than whipped cream or pastry cream. Whipped ganache might work - you could use white chocolate for the the filling and dark chocolate for the assembling.

            A big strudel is nice and festive and would certainly stand up in the heat. There are also lots of Eastern European desserts based on yeast doughs filled with poppy seed or nut fillings that are traditional and can be very pretty.

            Pastry cream mixed with buttercream forms a very stable, rather dense cream that could be used to fill something frilly and still stand up in the heat for a little while. I'm thinking of fruit and cream sandwiched between two rounds of puff pastry.

            Of course, baked tarts and cakes handle the heat well. You can always wow 'em with the presentation. Individual cakes can be very impressive - how about those little hedgehogs you always see in European shops? They aren't that hard to make.

        2. How about an impressive 4-layer cake w/ a pillowy, snow-like white icing of shaved coconut?? This sounded so good to me that I did a search myself and came upon this recipe from The flavors and ingredients sound great for your climate, but it needs to be taken from the fridge 2 hrs. before serving. Seems a bit involved, but if you can make a yule log and only have one dish to prepare, then this should be right up your alley...I may try this myself after the holidays.


          1. How about Lane Cake and instead of Bourbon in the filling use good rum? It is a very old southern cake and wonderful.

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