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Holiday Desserts

I would really appreciate some of your favorite holiday dessert recipes. In about 6 weeks we will have to start making those desserts again. I am really looking forward to it.

Here is my dark Chocolate ganache recipe. I scoop and hand roll this ganache and then dip it in more dark chocolate.

16 ounces dark chocolate ( I use callebaut 834 semisweet 54% cocoa ≈ 35% cocoa butter. This way I can use it both for the ganache and for the dip.)

7 ounces heavy cream
3.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons liqueur ( I use half ameretto and half Grand Marnier)
4 drops Loran flavor oils ( again half ameretto and half orange liqueur)

1. Melt chocolate in microwave with 30 second bursts on level 8.
2. Heat cream in pot to about 180.
3. Combine cream, corn syrup, and chocolate and stir together until blended.
4. Add liqueur and flavor drops. Stir.
5. Let set until about 80 degrees.
6. Add butter 1 pat at a time
7. Whip
8. allow to set up in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

You can change the flavors all you want with a change in the liqueurs and flavor oils.

If you don't wish to dip these in chocolate (only reason I do is I have a tempering machine), you can roll these in cocoa, coconut, or chopped nuts.

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  1. Hank: thanks, sounds delicious, but how much corn syrup?

    3 Replies
    1. re: pine time

      Oh sorry. I modified my recipe so that I don't use it here. It used to be 1 tablespoon but with semisweet chocolate, it really has no use. If you were using bittersweet chocolate, you would need it.

      You use corn syrup in a ganache to sweeten and to make it shiny.

      I have several other flavors of truffles. I guess I should post those, too.

      1. re: Hank Hanover

        White Chocolate Genache Recipe

        16 oz white chocolate
        3.5 ounces heavy cream
        3 tablespoons unsalted butter
        4 tablespoons Liqueur I use ameretto
        4 drops loran flavor oil (Ameretto)

        1. Melt chocolate in microwave with 30 second bursts on level 8.
        2. Heat cream in pot to about 180.
        3. Combine cream, flavoring, liqueur and chocolate and stir together until blended.
        4. Stir until combined.
        5. Let set until about 80 degrees.
        6. Whip
        7. Allow to set up in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

        White Chocolate Peanut Butter Geanache

        16 ounces White chocolate
        9 ounces Heavy cream
        8 ounces commercial peanut butter

        1. Melt chocolate in microwave with 30 second bursts on level 6.
        2. Heat cream in pot to about 180.
        3. Combine cream and chocolate and stir together until blended.
        4. Stir until combined.
        5. Add peanut butter & stir. Minimize the stirring to prevent separation
        6. Let set until about 80 degrees.
        7. Whip
        8. Allow to set up in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

        1. re: Hank Hanover

          Black Forest Genache
          16 oz dark chocolate (I use Callebaut 815 semisweet) finely chopped
          7 oz heavy cream
          3.5 Tbls unsalted butter, softened
          4 Tbls Liqueur (I use DeKypers cherry brandy)
          8 drops of Loran flavor oils, optional (I use cherry)
          ½ cup dehydrated cherries that have been chopped and rehydrated with the cherry brandy

          Almond Joy Genache
          16 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
          8 oz heavy cream
          3 Tbls unsalted butter, softened
          8 drops of Loran flavor oils, optional (I use half Ameretto & half coconut)
          ½ cup Sweetened coconut
          ½ cup toasted chopped almonds

          Pina Colada Genache
          16 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
          5 Tbls + 1 tsp heavy cream
          3 Tbls unsalted butter, softened
          6 Tbls dark rum
          8 drops of Loran flavor oils, optional (I use pina coloda)
          ½ cup Sweetened coconut
          6 Tbls dehydrated pineapple, chopped and rehydrated in the rum

          1. Melt chocolate in microwave with 30 second bursts on level 8.
          2. Heat cream in pot to about 180.
          3. Combine cream, and chocolate and stir together until blended.
          4. Add liqueur and flavor drops. Stir.
          5. Let set until about 85 degrees.
          6. Add butter 1 pat at a time
          7. Whip
          8. Allow to set up in refrigerator at least 2 hours.

      2. This recipe for gingerbread pumpkin trifle is big hit in my family (and box mix gingerbread has been substituted more than once):

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

        2 Replies
        1. re: Terrie H.

          Oh, Terrie H., you may have created a trifle monster in the Pine household. If it ever cools off here, this is on the menu. Gracias a thousand times over!

          1. re: Terrie H.

            Very interesting idea, and I may try it.

          2. Great idea for a thread. I'm curious about your technique, specifically the advantages you gain using the microwave. I would be scared to scorch the chocolate, though I'm assuming you are stirring after each burst. Typically I would finely chop the chocolate, then pour the heated liquid over it and let it sit a few minutes before slowly whisking to form an emulsion. This produces a lovely traditional result -- what does the pre-melting add? Does it give you a different texture? Always looking to understand more....

            4 Replies
            1. re: maxie

              My Mom always made this cake for Thanksgiving; we love it. Of course, we had Pumpking Pie, too, the one from the label of the can of Libby's Pumpkin.

              Golden Harvest Cake and Frosting

              Cake:
              2 cups sifted flour
              1 1/4 cup sugar
              3 t baking powder
              1 t salt
              1/4 t ginger
              1/2 t mace
              1/2 t allspice
              1/2 t nutmeg
              1/2 t cinnamon
              1/2 cup shortening
              2 eggs plus enough milk to make 3/4 cup
              1/2 cup canned pumpkin
              1/4 cup milk

              Frosting:
              1/2 c margarine
              1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
              1/4 cup milk
              1 3/4 - 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
              1 t vanilla
              1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped and toasted

              Cake: Measure and sift dry ingredients. Add shortening, eggs/milk. Mix 2 minutes on medium speed or 150 strokes by hand per minute. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl frequently. Add pumpkin and 1/4 cup milk. Mix 2 minutes on medium speed or 150 strokes by hand per minute. Pour batter into two round 8” pans. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until done.

              Frosting: Melt margarine and brown sugar together in saucepan. Cook over low heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Cool. Add vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar and stir until of good spreading consistency. Spread between layers and on sides of cake or frost cake entirely. Sprinkle nutmeats on top.

              To toast nutmeats: Spread in a shallow pan and heat in a moderate oven until browned.

                1. re: Hank Hanover

                  To my mind, it taste nothing like a spice cake.

              1. re: maxie

                Pouring scalded milk works just fine. Now if I was just wanting to melt chocolate, I would do it in the microwave every time over a double boiler because it is a big risk getting even a drop of water into melted chocolate. I have never scorched real chocolate. I did scorch Wilton's candy melts once.

                In this case, the pre-melting really doesn't add much.

              2. I think my absolute favorite holiday dessert is still Alton Brown's Free Range Fruitcake.

                http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

                I have to sub apple cider for the rum, and I glaze it with bitter orange marmalade instead of the brandy spritz, but even without the booze, it is delicious. I try to make a few around Thanksgiving, so they're ready to eat by Christmas.

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