It’s that time of year when holiday parties are held and grand meals are prepared in homes around the world. From Master Chef Rudi Sodamin‘s famous Flourless Chocolate Cake to a holiday-inspired Candy Canetini, make the season a little brighter with these festive Holland America Line dessert and drink recipes. If you’re looking for something new to serve or want to add to your traditional menu, our sweet treats will delight even the grouchiest Grinch!
To get you in the baking mood, first take a look at this fun video taken at Culinary Council member and chocolatier Jacques Torres’ chocolate factory when he gave Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford and Chef Rudi a tour. Who’s ready for a taste of one of these giant chocolate Santas?
Now it’s time to get baking!
INDIVIDUAL FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKES by Master Chef Rudi
With a touch of a fork, these cakes burst open to reveal their own molten sauce. The best part is they can be put together in advance and baked while you’re clearing the dishes from the main course.
4 large eggs
6 1/2 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
4 chocolate truffles (such as Lindt’s Lindor truffles), in your favorite flavor
Fresh berries, for serving (optional)
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly butter four 6-ounce individual ramekins or custard cups. Dust the ramekins with flour (or rice flour, to avoid wheat flour completely); tilt to coat and tap out the excess. Separate the eggs and reserve 2 of the egg whites for another use. Set aside the yolks and 2 remaining egg whites.
2. Place the chocolate, butter, and salt in the top of a double boiler over 1 inch of simmering (not boiling) water. Whisk until the chocolate is smooth and no small lumps remain. Remove the pan from the heat; let cool 10 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Beat until the mixture is thick and light, about 2 minutes. With a rubber spatula, scrape the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and gently fold the two together.
4. Place the 2 egg whites in a clean, grease-free mixing bowl. With clean beaters, beat on low speed until frothy. Increase speed to medium and gradually add the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. When the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium high and beat until the whites hold stiff, but not dry, peaks. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture until well combined.
5. Divide about one-quarter of the batter among each ramekin. Add a chocolate truffle to the center of each and cover with the remaining batter. (The recipe can be prepared up to this point up to 4 hours ahead. Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate them until 15 minutes before you plan to bake them.)
6. Bake the cakes for 11 minutes, or until they are puffed but still soft in the center. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cakes cool for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the sides of the cakes to loosen them. Place plates on top of the ramekins and invert the cakes onto the plates. Serve warm, with berries and whipped cream (if using).
CHOCOLATE & RAISIN BREAD PUDDING WITH WHISKEY SAUCE by Master Chef Rudi
1.5 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoons cold water
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons whiskey, such as Jack Daniels, Jameson or Old Bushmills
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons whiskey (for soaking the raisins; optional)
1 pound loaf day-old Italian bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 large eggs
1 quart whole milk
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1.5 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, heat the cream over medium heat until it boils. In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch and water; whisk this mixture into the boiling cream.
2. Return the cream to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring with a heat-proof rubber spatula, for 30 seconds, taking care not to let the mixture burn. Add the sugar and whiskey and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Immediately remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. (Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Rewarm before serving.)
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan to make one. Combine the raisins and whiskey in a small bowl; let sit for at least 15 minutes.
2. Bring a large kettle of water to a boil. Drain the raisins and discard the liquid. Divide the bread, chocolate chips, and drained raisins among the muffin cups (or place in the baking pan).
3. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Whisk to blend thoroughly.
4. Pour the egg mixture over the bread in each of the muffin cups (or in the baking pan) and place the pan in a large roasting pan.
5. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and add enough boiling water to the large pan to reach halfway up the side of the muffin or making pan.
6. Bake the puddings for 30 to 40 minutes (45 minutes to one hour if you make one), or until puffed and just set.
7. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove the muffin (or baking) pan inside it.
8. Let the bread pudding cool until warm and serve, unmolded, with the whiskey sauce or the whipped cream and vanilla ice cream (or serve the single bread pudding in the baking pan with the accompaniments).
1 cup of almonds, toasted and grounded
2 cups of flour, sieved
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 sticks of butter, softened
2/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 lemon, fine zest
2 cups of raspberry preserve
1. In the bowl using the paddle, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy approximately 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract, egg yolks and lemon zest. Beat in the ground nuts. Add the flour, cinnamon and salt just until incorporated. Divide the dough in half and shape into two rectangles about 1/2 inch thick. Wrap the two rectangles of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.
2. Remove one rectangle of dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until its about 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2 to 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut out the dough. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the lined baking sheet. Use a smaller cookie cutter, 3/4 to 1 inch, to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet. You will be sandwiching two cookies together and there will be a small ‘window or cut out’ on the top cookie so you can see the jam underneath.
3. Reroll any scraps and cut out the cookies. Remove the other half of dough from the refrigerator and roll and cut out the rest of the cookies. Bake the cookies at 350 F for 12-14 minutes or until they are very lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
4. While the cookies are cooling, place the raspberry jam in a small saucepan and heat gently until it has thickened slightly and cool down.
5. To assemble cookies: Place the cookies with the cut-outs on a wire rack and lightly dust the tops with the confection sugar.
6. On the surface of the full cookie spread with about a 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of jam. Place the cut-out cookie on top and gently sandwich them together. Using a small spoon, fill the cut-out with a little more jam.
6 cups of flour
1 cup of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of molasses
1/2 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of ginger, ground
1 teaspoon of nutmeg, ground
1 teaspoon of cloves, ground
1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, molasses, brown sugar, milk, egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually stir in the dry ingredients until they are completely absorbed. Divide dough into 3 pieces, pat down to 1 1/2 inch thickness, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 inch apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When the cookies are done, they will look dry but still be soft to the touch. Remove from the baking sheet to cool on wire racks. When cool, the cookies can be frosted with the icing of your choice.
Every good celebration needs a signature cocktail, and these three drinks are the perfect complement to any holiday festivity.
2oz Vanilla Absolut Vodka
.75oz Crème de Cacao White
.5oz Peppermint Schnapps
3 Drops of Cherry Juice
3 drops of Cherry Juice poured in the center
Powdered Candy Cane rimmer glass
1 Candy Cane hung on the rim
Mix Vanilla Absolut Vodka, Crème de Cacao White and Peppermint Schnapps, shake and strain. Garnish with cherry juice and hang one candy cane on the rim of the glass.
1.5 oz Vodka
0.5 oz Monin Passion Fruit Syrup
0.75 oz Cranberry Juice
1 Lemon Wedge
Sprinkles of Coconut Flakes
Sugar Rim (Full)
Mix vodka, Monin passion fruit syrup and cranberry juice, shake and strain. Garnish with lemon wedge, coconut flakes and sugar.
JINGLE BELL JULEP
Fresh mint leaves
1 oz Maker’s Mark Bourbon
0.5 oz Chambord
0.5 oz Tripple Sec
Pour all ingredients in a mixing glass. Fill glass with crushed ice. Shake and pour. Garnish with mint sprig.
What’s on your holiday menu this season? Let us know if you’re going to make any of the above recipes!