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Monday, December 17, 2012

Dessert Club: International

 This is the big one, folks.  I throw exactly one holiday party a year, and it's our November/December Dessert Club.  I look forward to it like crazy.  It's how I kick off my holiday season. 

This year we decided to forego our usual "holiday cookies" theme and go back to one of our all-time favorites: International.  How can you go wrong?  We had six countries represented in nine dishes, and they were die. for.

Chocolate-Cherry Brioche (mine)

Naan-e Berenji (Persian Rice Cookies)

 Triple Layer Berry and Brown Sugar Pavlova  
(so delicious and melt-in-your-mouthy)

Tres Leches Cake

Poppy Seed Cake

Nougat Montelimar

Jamaican-Spiced Upside Down Cake (also mine)

Strawberry Savarin

...and while it was not a requirement to make a holiday dish per se, it is only fitting that our winner of the evening was this...

Bûche de Noël  
 It was beyond amazing, and I'm not even talking about how perfect it looked, from the log-swirled ganache to the meringue mushrooms.  It had an orange marscapone filling inside the most perfect chocolate sponge.  It completely deserved to win on every level.  I got the recipe; I'm trying to decide whether to attempt it myself for Christmas this year.  I certainly wouldn't mind eating it again!

At our holiday party, we also do a gift exchange.  Last year it was kitchen gadgets.  This year it was cool ingredients.  And, you guessed it, what you get is what you have to use for January - that's the theme.  Everything was fabulous, but I think some will be easier to use than others.  We did the exchange white-elephant-style, so there was stealing.  I think the most stolen item was vanilla bean paste, followed closely by coconut sugar.  I ended up with those chocolate bars down front, no complaining from me!  But the most coveted item was definitely toasted hazelnut flour, and it was also the last gift opened, so no one could steal it.  Talk about lucky!

And before everyone left, I handed out their favors - our 2012 Dessert Club ornament.  This is our third Christmas of Dessert Club, and I love hanging our three DC ornaments on our tree.  Look at all that whipped cream!  Merry Christmas!


kat said...

dessert club is the cherry on top of what kills me about not being neighbors anymore! :)

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