The hubs and I make an effort to set aside time to do our own Christmas. We started this last year, our first married year, in an effort to set some precedence for our families, so they know when to expect us for the holidays. This will come in handy next year when we have Baby Boy with us.
Each Christmas I make us some fancy dinner. I enjoy cooking and to be honest, we have a better experience at home than at restaurants. We started off with a chopped garden salad. The hubs grilled our marinated KC Strip Steaks while I made a peppercorn cream sauce and baked potatoes. I love that he grilled, outside, in December, in Kansas.
The peppercorn cream sauce was based off the pepper sauce we had while in Ireland. They use pepper sauce for everything there, any form of potato, steaks, chicken, bread, etc... Its basically a lot of crushed black pepper, some butter & some heavy whipping cream. We added a bit too much pepper, but it was still very good.
For dessert, I finally made molten chocolate cakes. Between the cover of December Cooking Light & a few Food Network shows, this did not look all that difficult, but definitely decadent. I had intended to make the CL version, but I couldn't find espresso powder at the grocery store. So I made the Chocolate Lava Cake from The Neelys. I cut the recipe in half, since it was just the Hubs and I. I also used 3 oz of semisweet chocolate and 3 oz of 71% cocoa.
Molten Lava Cakes
2 sticks butter, unsalted, plus more for ramekins
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
6 large eggs
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Butter 8 (6-ounce) ramekins and sprinkle each with about 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
In a saucepan combine butter, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg, and chocolate over low heat until melted and smooth; stir frequently. Cool slightly.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, confectioners' sugar, eggs and yolks, vanilla extract and almond extract until creamy. Add melted chocolate to the batter and whisk together.
Pour into prepared ramekins.
Bake cakes until the top is stiff and cracked and the edges are dark, about 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cake with a small paring knife then invert onto plates while warm.
And I am 100% serious when I say this was the easiest dessert I have ever made. Its a great way to impress people too!