Author Topic: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.  (Read 4396 times)

2ndTimer

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Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« on: October 06, 2014, 12:08:23 PM »
Hi MMMers:

We normally do holidays at my in-laws and have gotten into the habit of bringing the desert.  In times past we would go to Cash and Carry and buy a fancy cheesecake for $20.  Would like to get out of that habit.

I recently picked up a silicon bundt cake pan at a yard sale so would be especially interested in any tried and true recipes involving that and a cake mix. 

merula

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2014, 12:39:36 PM »
The thing about bundt pans is that you actually don't need anything special to make the cake look fancy. I've made a very simple depression-era cake (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/crazy-cake/), topped with some poured icing and chopped nuts and it looks super fancy.

I'm not really a fan of boxed cake mixes, but you could try any flavor with the method above. Maybe top with festive sprinkles if you're into that sort of thing?

If you're not set on either bundt or cake mix, my favorite "fancy" holiday cake is here: http://doriegreenspan.com/2009/11/thanksgiving-on-parade-time-for-cranberries.html. It's relatively easy, maybe a 3 on a 1-10 scale.

(I've never used currant jelly, just whatever red jelly I had on hand - strawberry, raspberry, etc. - or left it off if I was out or didn't have time.)

MayDay

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2014, 12:42:17 PM »
I enjoy making cheesecake.

I also make various traditional pies. Chocolate pecan is probably the favorite.

bogart

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2014, 12:53:39 PM »
This is the world's simplest chocolate mousse, and tasty as all get out.  No good in a bundt pan, admittedly.

Melt a 12-oz bag of semi sweet chocolate chips in a boiler.  At the same time, whip a pint of cream.  When the chocolate is melted and the cream whipped, mix the two together.  Add 2 tablespoons of cheap rum, or the booze of your choice (I tend to use whatever we have handy; Bailey's, Kahlua, and Amaretto work fine, including the not-name-brand versions) and a 1/4 cup of coffee (the beverage, not the grounds!  Leftover is fine.).  Mix all together, allow to set for 4 + hours in the fridge, in whatever container you want to serve from.

You can pour it in a graham cracker pie crust and call it a pie, or serve from a bowl or in little bowls as a mousse.  It responds well to being topped with (or having mixed in) strawberries, mandarin orange slices (from a can, juice drained), plain whipped cream, or chocolate shavings or chips.

OSUBearCub

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2014, 01:52:18 PM »
I would make a Tunnel of Fudge cake.  It's classic, easy, and crazy delicious.  If you go full-hog and do the glaze, it becomes super fancy too.

http://www.beantownbaker.com/2014/02/tunnel-of-fudge-cake.html

4alpacas

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2014, 02:12:06 PM »
I would make a Tunnel of Fudge cake.  It's classic, easy, and crazy delicious.  If you go full-hog and do the glaze, it becomes super fancy too.

http://www.beantownbaker.com/2014/02/tunnel-of-fudge-cake.html
Can I vote for this?  And request an invitation to dinner.


KS

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2014, 02:40:07 PM »
I would make a Tunnel of Fudge cake.  It's classic, easy, and crazy delicious.  If you go full-hog and do the glaze, it becomes super fancy too.

http://www.beantownbaker.com/2014/02/tunnel-of-fudge-cake.html
Can I vote for this?  And request an invitation to dinner.

I want to come too! :) Or if you are looking to do something chocolate-y but wanted to start from a boxed mix, this is a long-time favorite in my family:

1 chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup Kahlua
1/2 cup water
3 eggs
1 4 serving box instant chocolate pudding
8 oz sour cream
8 oz chocolate chips (1 cup)
 
Mix everything but chocolate chips together and beat for at least 3 min.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Bake in greased bundt pan at 350 for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean*.  (Will make 30 cupcakes -- bake these 15-20 min.)
 
*unless you hit a gooey chocolate chip!

I've been meaning to try this same recipe with other flavor combinations (for the cake mix/pudding/liquor/stir-in) since it makes such a rich and moist cake and I bet others would work well, but being a chocoholic I always gravitate to the original recipe

Elisabeth

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2014, 11:06:53 AM »
Buche de Noel. It's a French Christmas cake. You can google a recipe. I use one from a newspaper circa 1995. It takes a little time but you don't even need a fancy cake pan - just a jelly roll baking sheet. It looks great if you decorate it like a branch, tastes awesome, and will impress any guests far more than the cheesecake.

tracylayton

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2014, 11:17:01 AM »
I make a rum cake with a cake mix in a Bundt pan, that looks pretty and tastes great. The only problem is that kids usually don't like it, but I'll post the recipe, if you think you'd like it.

2ndTimer

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2014, 01:14:02 PM »
I make a rum cake with a cake mix in a Bundt pan, that looks pretty and tastes great. The only problem is that kids usually don't like it, but I'll post the recipe, if you think you'd like it.

Please do.  There won't be anybody there under 16 so it probably has a good chance of being popular.

CommonCents

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2014, 01:19:40 PM »
Creme puffs.  Much easier to make than you'd expect.  (I called my mom up the first time I made them to complain she never told us it was THAT easy - she laughed and told me that she told us it was easy because she called her mom to complain too the first time.)  I'll post the recipe if you want it.

4alpacas

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2014, 01:30:36 PM »
Creme puffs.  Much easier to make than you'd expect.  (I called my mom up the first time I made them to complain she never told us it was THAT easy - she laughed and told me that she told us it was easy because she called her mom to complain too the first time.)  I'll post the recipe if you want it.
I would love the recipe! 

meadow lark

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2014, 01:31:38 PM »
Mmm!  I love Buche de Noel!  And Rum cake.  And everything else mentioned.
My crazy easy Christmas dessert is Pumpkin Spice cake with cranberries.

Mix 1 lb can pumpkin with a boxed spice cake mix, then gently stir in 1 cup of fresh (uncooked) whole cranberries.  Bake as directed on the cake mix.  Frost with cream cheese frosting.  Decorate top with whole cranberries and/or walnuts.

The whole cranberries are an intense, sharp explosion of taste that contrasts well with the dense, sweet pumpkin cake.  They also taste good in pumpkin muffins.  It doesn't work as well with dried cranberries because they are coated in sugar and aren't as tangy.

CommonCents

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2014, 01:40:25 PM »
Creme puffs.  Much easier to make than you'd expect.  (I called my mom up the first time I made them to complain she never told us it was THAT easy - she laughed and told me that she told us it was easy because she called her mom to complain too the first time.)  I'll post the recipe if you want it.
I would love the recipe!

Cream Puffs / Éclairs*
Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis,  Minnesota
 
Instant vanilla cream pudding
milk
1 cup water
½ cup butter or margarine (1 stick)
1 cup flour
4 eggs
 
1.     Make instant vanilla cream pudding by following directions on the box.  Refrigerate. 
2.     Heat water and butter to rolling boil.  Stir in flour.  Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball. 
3.     Remove from heat.  Beat in eggs, all at one time.  Continue beating until smooth. 
4.     Drop dough by scant ¼ cup full 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.(see eclairs & swans) 
5.     Bake 400° oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed and golden.
6.     Cool, cut off tops, pull out any filaments of soft dough. 
7.     Fill puffs with vanilla cream pudding, replace tops, and dust with confectioner sugar or chocolate icing. 
8.     Refrigerate until serving time.

Puffs: shape dough into round drops
Eclairs: shape dough into “finger” 4 inches long.
Swans: make cream puffs and heads by putting dough in icing tube and make “S” shape.  After baking cut top 1/3 off cream puff, remove filaments, fill with ice cream or whipped cream, inserting “head - S’  Cut top 1/3 in half and insert in filling for wings.
 
Chocolate Icing for cream puffs
1 oz unsweetened Chocolate
1 teaspoon butter
1  cup confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons hot water
 
Melt Chocolate and butter over low heat or in microwave.  Remove from heat; stir in confectioner’s sugar and add hot water.  Beat until smooth, the spread over filled eclairs. Refrigerate until serving time.

I brought them into work once, and convinved them I was a mad baker wizard as a result.

4alpacas

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2014, 01:42:11 PM »
Creme puffs.  Much easier to make than you'd expect.  (I called my mom up the first time I made them to complain she never told us it was THAT easy - she laughed and told me that she told us it was easy because she called her mom to complain too the first time.)  I'll post the recipe if you want it.
I would love the recipe!

Cream Puffs / Éclairs*
Betty Crocker’s Cookbook, General Mills, Inc., Minneapolis,  Minnesota
 
Instant vanilla cream pudding
milk
1 cup water
½ cup butter or margarine (1 stick)
1 cup flour
4 eggs
 
1.     Make instant vanilla cream pudding by following directions on the box.  Refrigerate. 
2.     Heat water and butter to rolling boil.  Stir in flour.  Stir vigorously over low heat about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball. 
3.     Remove from heat.  Beat in eggs, all at one time.  Continue beating until smooth. 
4.     Drop dough by scant ¼ cup full 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.(see eclairs & swans) 
5.     Bake 400° oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until puffed and golden.
6.     Cool, cut off tops, pull out any filaments of soft dough. 
7.     Fill puffs with vanilla cream pudding, replace tops, and dust with confectioner sugar or chocolate icing. 
8.     Refrigerate until serving time.

Puffs: shape dough into round drops
Eclairs: shape dough into “finger” 4 inches long.
Swans: make cream puffs and heads by putting dough in icing tube and make “S” shape.  After baking cut top 1/3 off cream puff, remove filaments, fill with ice cream or whipped cream, inserting “head - S’  Cut top 1/3 in half and insert in filling for wings.
 
Chocolate Icing for cream puffs
1 oz unsweetened Chocolate
1 teaspoon butter
1  cup confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons hot water
 
Melt Chocolate and butter over low heat or in microwave.  Remove from heat; stir in confectioner’s sugar and add hot water.  Beat until smooth, the spread over filled eclairs. Refrigerate until serving time.

I brought them into work once, and convinved them I was a mad baker wizard as a result.
OMG!  It looks so easy!  :)  Thank for posting!

CommonCents

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2014, 01:54:53 PM »
It really is :)  The only "trick" (and it's not much at that) is to be careful taking out the filaments, that you don't accidentally take too much on the bottom.  You need it to be able to hold the pudding.  Also, watch the chocolate so you don't overheat it.

I cook a whole more now than I did when I first made these, and even then I found it super easy.  (This from a person who did start a kitchen fire once, and constantly called mom to know how much a pinch/dash etc was.)

tracylayton

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Re: Looking for a Good Homemade Fancy Holiday Desert.
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2014, 01:55:16 PM »
Easy Rum Cake

Yellow cake mix with pudding in the mix
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. rum
3 eggs
Prepare cake pan by spraying with nonstick spray. Sprinkle 1/2 c. of chopped pecans on bottom of pan.
Mix above ingredients together and bake according to the package directions for type of pan. Leave in the pan for 10 minutes then add the following mixture and let it soak in. Over low heat, melt 1 stick of butter, 1 c. sugar, and 1/4 c. water. After removing from the heat, add another 1/4 to 1/2 c. of rum to this mixture. Pour it over the cake and let it soak in for at least 10 min. Cake will be very juicy and moist. I have also used this recipe and put it in miniature loaf pans...wrapped them up individually with a bow and gave them as Christmas gifts to coworkers or friends.