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Timing Christmas Eve Dinner Issues

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I'll be making Christmas Eve dinner for 8 again this year, but there is a small twist. We are proud new parents and also will be travelling Thursday by car for 6 hours leaving in the am.

On Friday I will be able to prepare the appetizers, some sides and finish the beef wellington. However I would like to prepare the lobster bisque, molten chocolate cakes and (maybe) the potato au gratin in advance, all Wednesday evening, a full 2 days prior to consumption.

I think the soup will be fine, but am unsure about the stability of the dessert and gratin. If anyone can help me out and let me know if this is feasible it will save a lot of time!

Thank you.

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  1. Since lava cakes should be served juat-baked, I think you should save that for Friday afternoon.
    Bake the gratin to just-shy of finished, then bring it to room temp on Friday and finish baking it till properly browned. What are your other sides? Maybe some of those are more appropriate for early prep than the cakes and gratin.

    4 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      The cakes are fairly easy so that will wait until Friday. And great idea on the gratin.

      There will also be a 1) Roasted fig & arugula salad 2) Green beans with pancetta 3) Glazed Carrot Ribbons.

      Thank you grey this is helping.

      1. re: jasonleonard

        I think you can do the beans and carrots on Wednesday. You could also roast the figs then.

        1. re: greygarious

          I like the idea of bean and figs on Wednesday. Do you think the carrots (since they're ribbon form) will hold up?

          1. re: jasonleonard

            Sure, as long as you reheat gently (microwave would be best, or covered in a low oven, since you don't want to do a lot of stirring). Even in ribbons, carrots are one of the sturdier vegetables.

    2. The batter for most lava cake recipes can be prepared in advance, refrigerated and then just baked off at serving time.

      2 Replies
      1. re: biondanonima

        Agreed -- I do this all the time and have even given unbaked cakes to friends to have them bake at home. 2 days in the fridge is no problem. You should either bring them to room temp before baking, or tack an extra minute or two to the baking time if you go straight from the fridge.

        1. re: TorontoJo

          Looks like I'm doing the carrots too and it's great to hear about the lava cakes. I was just reading a bit more and it sounds like it is ok and to just add a minute or so to the cooking time.

          Feeling relieved. Thanks everyone!

      2. You'll have no problem making the cake batter and soup a couple of days prior. Personally, I wouldn't make the au gratin more than the day before and I wouldn't cook the carrots until the day of just because they are shaved and will be so thin that I wouldn't want them to turn to mush when reheated. I would prep them prior though.