Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No-Fail Dessert and Drink Pairings for the Holidays

Thanks to Duncan Hines for sponsoring my writing. There's no limit to the baking possibilities, so grab your favorite Duncan Hines mix and Comstock or Wilderness fruit fillings and Bake On! www.duncanhines.com.

During the holidays I looooove to partake in all the goodies of the season. In December we usually attend a few parties where appetizers, cocktails and desserts are plentiful. This past weekend, we had our annual get together with my girlfriends and their spouses. Let's just say, I wasn't dieting or curbing anything for this meal! The morning of the party I went on a brutal vertical trail run, and frankly my legs are still sore. We had 2 huge pots of crab, shrimp and scallop cioppino, loaves of fresh bread, with appetizers beforehand and dessert afterward and cocktails/wine throughout. We rotate houses every year, and since it was at my girlfriends house (only 5 minutes away, whew!) my task was to bring dessert. Since I know it can be hard to please everyone, I decided to bring 2 desserts!
How does Mile High Chocolate Cake sound? For chocolate lovers, it did not disappoint! It consisted of Devil's food cake, caramel filling, chocolate mouse and cream cheese chocolate. Absolutely divine. The icing on the outside was a smooth and rich chocolate buttercream. One of my friends had brought a few bottles of her awesome dessert wine, which was a late harvest zinfandel from Paso Robles. On any other night, the dessert wine would have been a sufficient treat but it was a special occasion. It was amazing with the chocolate cake. One of my friend's husband may disagree, as he was on the hunt for a big glass of milk after taking a bite of the cake!

  The second dessert was a fantastically fluffy and creamy tiramisu. I rarely ever have it, but if I do, I always hope it tastes like this. Imagine sponge cake soaked with a rum coffee syrup....I know, it sounds amazing already, right? Then fill it with layers of both coffee and vanilla mascarpone cream, and cover with creamy white chocolate mousse and sweet cocoa powder dusting the top...and you have...heaven. Honestly the best drink to be paired with this type of dessert after dinner is coffee, with a little Kahlua in it for good measure. However, if wine is your poison, a Port or even a Muscat or Sauterne, which are sweet whites will pair with it quite nicely.

What desserts will you be serving for the holidays this year? Or any that you traditionally look forward to? 

Remember to check out Duncan Hines' website www.duncanhines.com to find some great recipes for your holiday get-together! I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective.


  1. My preference for both Thanksgiving and Christmas is pumpkin pie. Though, sometimes Christmas sees an apple tart or something else entirely. Last year, we had GF/CF shortbread cookies and an apple tart made with the left over shortbread cookie dough for the crust. I'm not sure what direction we're heading in for this year, yet.

    That tiramisu looks delish! Hubs & I started a tradition of tiramisu on our anniverseries, while on our honeymoon, over a decade ago. Looks like you picked two great deserts for you and your friends!

  2. Karen, tiramisu on your anniversary is a great tradition! It's delicious, and something special :)I love pumpkin but for some reason after Thanksgiving passes I am kind of over it. I am more in the cranberry mood for Christmas, there is a cranberry-marshmellow salad that we have every year that isn't technically a dessert that kind of is because its sweet.

  3. Oh how I love tiramisu!! It is one of my favorite things to make and eat!

  4. Oooh, these look amazing. Good thing it's early in the morning, or I'd be on a search for chocolate. :) We don't have a traditional dessert, but I'm making a pumpkin cheesecake this year.


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