Showstopper dessert ideas for Christmas

Showstopper dessert ideas for Christmas

This article first appeared on Food24 but has been updated

When you are hosting Christmas for a lot of family and friends, they are likely to ask “what can we bring?” I have a little hierarchy of answers. The lowest rung is usually “perhaps some snacky things for pre-dinner drinks” (probably they can’t go wrong with that), followed by “salad?” (we definitely need a salad but the day won’t be ruined if that salad doesn’t turn up) and the top of the pyramid “can you sort out dessert” (the piece de resistance that can ONLY be given to a trusted lieutenant).

So if you are that trusted person (lucky you!), here are my suggestions for making sure that your dessert is a showstopper.

Make it big!
Consider something tall, imposing and French! Why not try a croquembouche? Instead of a plain whipped cream filling, why not add a splash of whiskey, a pinch of cinnamon and a little brown sugar to make it an “Eggnog Croq”

Make it the bombe
A bombe is an ice cream concoction frozen into a round (or roundish) mould to resemble a cannonball, hence the name! Easy to make and perfect for hot weather.

Make it expensive
… or at least seem expensive. Gild pretty much any dessert of cake with edible gold leaf or edible gold paint, the trend of the season.

Add macarons
Nothing says “fancy” quite like a macaron! Try macaron Christmas trees or wreathes. Or one of these adorable Christmas themes

Make it alight
As a child we would set our Christmas pud alight with flaming brandy and the youngest person (me) would walk around the table trying not to set their eyebrows on fire. Oh how things have changed since the 80’s. A more enticing version of flambe, cherries jubilee.

Make it completely unexpected
Skip the desserts completely, instead consider doing a deluxe cheese board with a good quality port or dessert wine. Keep it bright with lots of fruit.

Now, pep talk time. With great power come great responsibility. If you are the chosen one, don’t mess it up. Christmas depends on you!