Christmas

Christmas desserts guaranteed to tempt any palate.

It’s that time of year again. Time to prepare a feast of Christmas delights. Here is a couple of decadent, let’s-diet-in-the-new-year Christmas desserts that will make your taste-buds sing tra-la-la.

Christmas desserts

Caffé latte panna cotta with espresso syrup

Panna cotta – cooked cream in Italian – is a mixture of cream, sugar and vanilla, with gelatin to make it set. It’s easy to prepare and elegant to look at, but best prepared a day ahead. This dessert is the ideal way to end your Christmas dinner. Impress your work colleagues with an extra special panna cotta, the crème de la crème of Christmas desserts.

Ingredients

Panna cotta:

  • 2 ½ gelatin leaves*
  • 100ml strong black coffee 
  • 300ml double cream
  • 100ml full-cream milk
  • 80g Demerara sugar (can be substituted with light brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Espresso syrup:

  • 100ml strong black coffee
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kahlúa 

Method

First, soak the gelatin leaves in about 2 cups of cold water for 5-10 minutes. Combine the cream, milk, and coffee in a bowl and pour a quarter of the mixture into a medium saucepan. Place on a low heat and add the sugar. Bring just to the boil until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat. Squeeze out the gelatin leaves and add them to the heated mixture. Stir until the leaves have dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Pour the warm liquid through a sieve into the remaining cream, milk and coffee mixture. Add the Vanilla.

Decant the mixture into four serving glasses and chill in the refrigerator for four hours, or ideally overnight, until set.

To make the espresso syrup simmer the coffee and the caster sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the coffee has thickened. Then stir in the Kahlúa and cool. Pour over the Panna Cottas just before serving. 

For an added treat you could make a hazelnut brittle or chocolate-covered espresso beans or crumbled chocolate biscotti. You could also add fruit.

*If using powdered gelatin, use the same weight as you would sheet gelatin. With sheet gelatin, you’ll remove the gelatin from the water unlike with powdered gelatin. 

Add it to the hot cream mixture, as the heat activates the gelatin.

There are many variations to this dessert.


Christmas desserts

Black forest cheesecake bombs 

Choosing Christmas desserts to make the whole family happy can be challenging. You’ve got grandma and grandpa, the cousins, aunts and uncles etc. Here is one of the most captivating Christmas desserts that will delight old and young, and everyone in between. An added bonus is that you can keep them safely stored in the freezer for up to a month – unless of course, you have a household member who sniffs them out beforehand.

Ingredients

  • 175g digestive biscuits 
  • 50g melted butter 
  • 300g cream cheese 
  • 200g mascarpone 
  • 300ml double cream 
  • 2 tbsp kirsch  
  • 400g of good quality dark milk chocolate melted and cooled
  • Oil to grease the ramekins (make sure it’s flavorless)
  • 24 halved cherries in kirsch 
  • 100g dark chocolate 
  • 100g white chocolate

Method

Crumb the biscuits in a food processor and add to the melted butter. Set aside.

Next, beat the cream cheese and mascarpone until smooth. Whip the double cream with the kirsch very gently, and fold into the cheese mix.  Fold in the melted chocolate.

Grease 8 ramekins, line them with clingfilm and divide the cheese mixture between them. Leave about a finger’s width at the top of each. Push cherries into each bomb and then press a thin layer of the biscuit mix on top of each. Cover and freeze for roughly 3 hours. They should come out firm.

Melt the remaining chocolate in separate bowls and let it cool off slightly. Turn the frozen bombs out and remove the clingfilm. Drip dark and white chocolate over them and then freeze them again. Remove from the freezer 20 minutes before serving.


These Christmas desserts will make your Christmas meal merrier. Let your dessert be the cherry on top of a wonderful Christmas celebration with the people that you love.

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