Christmas Eve Dinner

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Dad's Christmas Cocktails

Roasted Aged Beef Tenderloin
Port Sauce
Roasted Shallots

All-American Peppermint Stick Torte with Hot Fudge Sauce

Christmas Eve is, for me, one of the most magical evenings of the year.  Most of the magic comes from three beautiful little faces that light up with joy, excitement and anticipation of what is to come the next morning.  And being in my home with my husband our three children and our families is the best way to enjoy it. 

For the last couple of years this has been our Christmas Eve menu--the only change being the potatoes.  That depends on my potato and cheese pairing mood:)  From the Rillettes to the salad, this meal is delicious and decadent.  One of my sisters said this is her most favorite meal of the year.  Thanks, D!  But, I don't think our Christmas meal would be complete without this torte.

The All-American Peppermint Stick Torte with Fudge Sauce is the perfect  ending to our meal.  It is fairly easy to make and can be made up to a week ahead.  It is simply a parfait (which is a dessert made from sugar, egg yolks and whipped cream) that is poured into a chocolate wafer crust and frozen.  Top it with whipped cream rosettes, peppermint candies, and serve it with a warm and luscious chocolate fudge sauce--my jaws are cracking.  One bite of this wintry torte and I swear you can hear sleigh bells in the distance.  Hurry my children...off to bed! 

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!
And to rest of my family that I cannot be with tonight...
Hugs and Kisses--Peace and Joy!

All-American Peppermint Stick Torte with Hot Fudge Sauce
serves 12-14

For the Torte
1 9-ounce box of chocolate wafers (I use Nabisco's Famous)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, melted
7 1/2 oz hard peppermint candies, about 45 small round pieces or 14 standard size candy canes
6 extra large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 cups chilled whipping cream

For the Sauce
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Dutch-processed)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup light corn syrup
1 lb (16 oz) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 oz ) unsalted butter
pinch of kosher salt

1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
12 round peppermint candies for garnish

For the Torte

In a food processor, finely grind the chocolate wafers and sugar.  Add the melted butter and blend until the mixture resembles wet sand.  Place the crumbs in a 9 x 2 3/4-inch springform pan.  Press them firmly onto the bottom and up the sides.  Place in the freezer.

Place the candies in a heavy-duty ziploc bag and crush into small pieces using a heavy mallet.  In a medium heat -proof bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar, and water.  Place the bowl over a saucepan of rapidly simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water).  Whisk constantly until a candy thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 170º F, about 6 minutes.  Remove the bowl from over the water and add half the crushed candies, whisking until melted.  Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.  Mix in the remaining crushed candy and peppermint extract.  Cool for 5 more minutes, whisking occasionally.

In a large medium bowl, beat the cold cream to soft peaks.  Fold the cream into the yolk mixture.  Pour the parfait mixture into the frozen crust, smoothing the top.  Cover with aluminum foil (take care not to touch the filling). Freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.  Can be made 1 week in advance.

For the sauce

Place the cocoa in a heavy-based saucepan. Slowly pour in the cream and whisk until smooth. Add the corn syrup, chopped chocolate, butter, and salt. Set the pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to combine. When the chocolate has melted, allow the mixture to come to a boil, reduce the heat and let it boil gently until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Let the sauce cool until it’s just warm (steam should no longer rise from the sauce when it’s stirred).

For serving

In a small bowl, beat the 1/2 cup of cream and sugar until soft peaks.  Spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe rosettes of cream around the top edge of the torte.  Place the peppermint candies between the rosettes.  Slice and serve with the warm sauce.  Enjoy!

Source: Torte adapted form Bon Appétit, Fudge Sauce from Fine Cooking


  1. With "Dad's Christmas Cocktail", tonight we will make a toast to our family's many blessings and thank our very own Galley Gourmet for making our annual Christmas Eve gathering so special.
    Merry Christmas to all!
    D.A.D. in IL

  2. Miss you all :)
    Wish we could have been there to eat this amazing cake! And for the cocktails of course...

  3. This torte is gorgeous & I love the way the peppermints stick out of the whipped cream!

  4. That has to be one of the most beautiful desserts I've ever seen - pure perfection! Your whole menu sounds fantastic - Merry Christmas!!

  5. oh my stars. i need to make this if only for that perfect crust.
    happy cooking indeed! merry christmas!

  6. What a beautiful torte!

  7. That has to be the prettiest cake ever.

  8. In the ingredients, all it says for the amount of water is "1/4." Is this 1/4 cup?


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