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Celebratory Chocolate Challenge - chocolate desserts for the holiday table?

We're having an early Christmas dinner with friends this Saturday (chestnut soup, roast goose, red cabbage, potato soufflé, green peas, applesauce, cranberry sauce, rolls...) and they are chocolate maniacs. For me chocolate is just not a Christmas thing. Fruit or nut desserts, yes, chocolate no. Not in the mood to think about chocolate (with my arms up to the elbows in very late fruitcake prep). What kind of blow their socks off dessert could I serve them? Any new finds this year? Any old favorites?

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  1. An old favorite. This is my go-to dessert for chocoholics, triple celebration chocolate cake. Sometimes I make a nutella mousse instead of the chocolate. I use regular acetate from the florist dept at a grocery store for the chocolate on the outside, since I don't want to mail order special paper. And, I've also just covered the whole thing in ganache frosting.

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

    1. Buttertart,

      I have three old favourites to suggest, all of which will knock their socks off:

      1) My favourite cake, recipe posted on CH (search Sinclair's). Dried figs simmered in XO Cognac, hazelnuts, chocolate, butter etc. Glazed with cream, chocolate, and Gianduja. Cynsa made it recently,and it's now her favourite too. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have a picture in the thread.

      2) The chocolate chestnut cake you are supposed to make. I will most likely make it for dessert Christmas Day. If ido, I will use some chestnut flour in the génoise, and some déchets of marrons glacés between the layers. One warning is that it takes a lot of time, but is well worth it.

      3) RLB"s Chocolate Oblivion Truffle Torte, from TCB. it is ridiculously rich as all it contains is chocolate, butter, and eggs. I sometimes also add raspberrypuree (strained). Serve with raspberry purée and whipped cream on the side.

      Let us know what you make.

      1. Black Satin Fudge Cake (easy recipe from Marlene Sorosky) on a pool of Creme Anglaise garnished with fresh raspberries. The recipe first appeared in the May 1987 Chocolatier magazine. I liked it so much I kept the issue just for that recipe.

        3 Replies
        1. re: TrishUntrapped

          I don't know the name of this but melt very good bittersweet chocolate and pour it over mixed nuts and dried cranberries.

        2. A wrinkle: the dessert isn't supposed to be "too" chocolatey, the guy prefers milk. But his wife loves the good stuff so he may just have to put up with it.

          5 Replies
          1. re: buttertart

            I have your wrinkle ironed out in two of my three suggestions; my third suggestion (RLB's cake) is too chocolatey, if that is at all possible.

            The hazelnut cake is very chocolatey, but the glaze does contain gianduja, which is made up from milk chocolate.

            The chestnut cake has meringue and butter in the chocolate filling, such that it looks like milk chocolate.

            Please don't come up with another wrinkle - that it can't be too nutty! If you do, you're on your own, Buttertart dearest.

            1. re: souschef

              Nothing is ever too nutty for nutty me. Thanks my dear souschef!

            2. re: buttertart

              I made this molten chocolate cake recipe from Epicurious for the family one Christmas - as a dark chocolate lover I found it overwhelmingly sweet but my family (milk chocolate lovers all) ADORED it. If I were to make it again I'd replace half the powdered sugar with cocoa powder and serve it with a raspberry or other tangy sauce, but it might please your friend's husband!

              1. re: biondanonima

                Which one was it? Molten is a nice idea.

                1. re: buttertart

                  Oops, forgot to insert the link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                  The cakes had great texture and were super easy to make, just way too sweet for me. People were licking their plates, though.

            3. What about a chocolate pecan pie? Chocolatey, nutty, and totally festive for this time of year.