We all know the feeling. It’s Christmas Day, but rather than enjoying a glass of wine or catching up with family, you’re stuck in the kitchen. It will, of course, all taste delicious – but by the time you sit down to it, you’ll be so exhausted you’ll barely have the strength to pull a cracker!
With a little pre-planning, such chaos can be a ghost of Christmas past. There are plenty of elements that can be prepared days, if not weeks, ahead.
Here are some of our top tips to make sure that you can enjoy the festivities as much as your family and guests this year!
Prepare in advance
Like any event, the key is all in the preparation. Why not have a trial run and see how you can cut corners or replace ingredients or techniques to make it easier for you when you do it for “real”? For example, have you tried Food Thoughts Pure Cacao Melts? They are so quick and easy to use and do not create a mess – perfect for the run up to an event and, what’s more, they do not need to be tempered. Sugar-free and versatile, they’re fun to use and taste delicious – adding that extra chocolatey depth to your bakes and makes.
Plan a well balanced menu
Choose the menu or selection of foods you are going to serve well in advance and try to pair the courses so that they complement each other, avoiding repetition of ingredients. Aiming for well-balanced courses that are not too heavy or too light means that your guests will be well fed but not bloated after their meals.
Don’t forget dessert
Dessert is often the last course that one thinks of, however it is the climax of a meal – the one that guests look forward to and is most likely to leave a lasting impression. So why not try something different, get creative and make a real impact?
Our delicious chocolatey dessert ideas are easy to make, and most can be prepared in advance to take the pressure off you on the day that you are entertaining.
Easy, Prepare in Advance Chocolate Recipes for Christmas
We’ve created a fantastic range of desserts and treats for you to share over Christmas. Our focus has been on easy, prepare in advance recipes – all deliciously chocolatey of course. We have also included some more adventurous options (again that can be prepared in advance) but which will guarantee a WOW, to Showstopper proportions.
Take this showstopper for example. The Festive White Chocolate Parsnip & Carrot Cake can be prepared in advance and decorated with festive goodies and mini ornaments.
What about this Cacao & Chocolate Ginger Christmas Cake? The rich, dark cacao chocolate paired with the warmth of ginger in the cake is topped with a smooth chocolate cheesecake frosting and decorated with chocolate gingerbread biscuits.
This Gluten Free Chocolate Meringue Wreath tastes fantastic and light, making it the perfect ending to a rich Christmas meal. You can prepare the meringue wreath, candied oranges and chocolate decorations in advance and store them individually in airtight containers until the big day. The chocolate cream topping can also be made in advance. Which means, you can comfortable enjoy one more glass of bubbles. Cheers!
Icing can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container. Or, to get way ahead, you can even put this in an icing bag, with a clip on the open end, ready and waiting to be used.
Prepare all chocolate decorations, purees, compotes, fruit and sprinkles and other important finishing touches by popping them all in containers ready for use so that you don’t need to run around finding what you need at the last minute. Have them all ready and waiting in the right place.
All cakes can be made in advance then stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days minimum. This helps to keep them moist, but also ensures that they do not pick up the odours of more pungent ingredients that may be in your fridge. Decorate the day before and return to the fridge until required. You can even make the cake bases and store these in the freezer for up to 3 weeks in advance. Defrost before decorating – it’s good to ice a cool cake so try to get to it before it reaches room temperature!