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Dec 13, 2010 11:59 AM

Dessert indecision

The meal: Christmas Eve dinner.
The main course: roast prime rib
The company: good friends - 8 of us.

I have offered to bring dessert. And I'd like to make it really wonderful. Not just because it should be wonderful but because the hosts will appreciate the effort at elegance and wonderfulness. I have now come up with two possibilities. Vanilla bean panna cotta with fresh berries and balsamic drizzle OR poached pears with bittersweet chocolate sauce and whipped cream or creme fraiche. If the former, I would bring a bottle of ice wine to go with it; if the latter, a nice bottle of port. So help! Which should I make? Or any other ideas? I'm caught in a web of my own inability to decide.

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    1. I'd love to have either! :) But the poached pear is very elegant and I see it less likely than panna cotta. Plus, depending on where you are, fresh berries are not always that fresh... My vote is for the poached pears!

      1 Reply
      1. re: DCLindsey

        As is mine, pears and chocolate are a great underestimated combo and more in keeping with the season than berries are this time of year.

        I saw a recipe today for sauteed pears served with a panna cotta, no chocolate; the slices were sauteed with sweet spices, butter and brown sugar. Perhaps the OP could combine the panna cotta idea with the pears, and a chocolate drizzle.

      2. personally i'd go for the pears because that's one of my absolute favorite desserts. plus, i'll take a glass of port over ice wine any day ;)

        1. Both!

          Honestly, they both sound divine and I don't think you could go wrong either way. Maybe the poached pears as they travel better than panna cotta?

          1. Poached pears --it's elegant and it's much more seasonal. I'd save the panna cotta and berries for your summer get together.:-) And, creme fraiche would be perfect with that.