Christmas Eve used to be a night spent at Eric’s parents’ house. But the past couple of years, Eric has wanted to host Christmas Eve at our house. He always does a magnificent job with planning the menu and creating an amazing meal. This year he asked me to make a dessert, so we went on the hunt for something worthy of our fancypants holiday meal. We decided on Giada’s Zuccotto. On Christmas Eve morning, I got to work on my dessert. I used a premade poundcake, as Giada suggests. After all the baking I’d done the week before, I didn’t want to bake anything else!
Once you cut the slices into triangles, it makes this pretty spiral in the bottom of your bowl.
Once you get your “shell” created, you put in both layers of filling – an outer chocolate layer and an inner almond layer.
Once you’ve put your filling in, you create the base of the dessert by adding a layer of poundcake in another spiral over the top of your bowl. After it sets, when you’re ready to serve, you invert your dessert and it comes out looking like a very intricately created dome that is supposed to be reminiscent of the dome of a Cathedral. A sprinkling of cocoa powder over the top and you are ready to serve.
It’s a pretty impressive looking dessert that doesn’t require a lot of prep. And it tastes so good. The chocolate/almond pairing is wonderful.
Of course, it’s a long while before we get to dessert. We always start out the evening with antipasto and champagne. This year we served bruschetta, two kinds of marinated olives, several kinds of cheese including a Triple Cream, one with truffles, a Dubliner, and of course Provolone.
There was prosciutto and hard salami. And Eric did a wonderful take on caprese salad – he stuffed cherry tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella and a little fresh basil. So delicious!
Of course I always somehow get too busy eating and never get photos of the actual meal. It was amazing, once again. Eric’s menu consisted of seven courses:
Italian Caesar Salad with sundried tomatoes and pine nuts
Pasta with Pistachio Pesto
Tuscan-Style Grilled Tuna Steaks with Garlic-Roasted Asparagus and Zucchine al Forno
Roasted chestnuts, Fenoccio and Figs
And Zuccotto for dessert. Eric’s sister also brought the traditional Pizza Dolce – and we had both!
It was such a delicious dinner, and as usual spanned several hours. I had a lovely time and was so proud of my husband who makes such wonderful meals.