While I'm not a fan of cold weather I sure do love December. These are the days that my husband and I are running around trying to get packages wrapped, items shipped out, and the house decorated. After dinner every night my husband makes a fire in the fireplace which is right next to our Christmas tree. We turn on the color wheel for the tree and enjoy the warmth of the fire and the glowing lights. It's such a warm and happy time of year.
We do a lot of entertaining during the holidays as well. Every year in December we have a big holiday party. That usually entails making a ton of appetizers, dips, and desserts along with a selection of Gallo Family Vineyard Wines. It's a busy week for us but it's always worth it once all of our friends arrive and we have an amazing night.
In addition to our annual holiday party we often have friends over for holiday meals. These are usually smaller gatherings with one or two couples and the menu is usually semi-fancy. I try to make beef or seafood and like to decorate the table with a holiday scheme including festive plates, napkins, table runner, and serving dishes. It's always a great time to enjoy with friends.
We like to serve one wine with dinner and another with our desserts. Whenever we have beef for dinner we like to serve it with potatoes and a roasted vegetable. It makes for an easy yet elegant meal perfect for a dinner party. I like to pair beef with Gallo Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon because it pairs well with roasted beef and vegetables.
Now dessert is where I get stuck a lot. Oh I know, I make dessert all the time. That's the problem when it comes to a dinner party. I always want to make something fancy but nothing too over the top. I finally settled on something with chocolate and berries. I think chocolate and berries with red wine is the trifecta of desserts.
I've had mini tart liners for years in my closet and have had no use for them until now. I spread melted chocolate into the cups and put them in the freezer to make chocolate cups. Then I whip up a batch of pastry cream and add a little spicy cinnamon to the mix. Then I top it all off with fresh raspberries and blackberries. These Chocolate Cups Filled with Cinnamon Pastry Cream and Berries are a winning dessert.
Are you wondering which wine I paired this incredible dessert with? I paired it with Gallo Family Vineyards Red Moscato. Red Moscato is such a fun wine because it's sweet and just a little bit bubbly. It's best paired with spicy foods or desserts so the combination of chocolate and cinnamon with the berries is amazing with this wine.
Want to find Gallo Family Vineyards wines in your area? Make sure to check out the store locator.
- 1 c. good quality chocolate
- 1 c. milk
- ½ c. sugar
- 2 T. cornstarch
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 T. butter
- 1 T. vanilla
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 4 oz. raspberries
- 4 oz. blackberries
- To make the chocolate cups place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring well in between each heating, until completely melted.
- Line up 10 mini tart liners (or cupcake liners if you don't have mini tart liners) on a cookie sheet.
- Place a heaping tablespoon of chocolate in a tart liner. Spread it all over the bottom. Gently guide the chocolate about 1 inch up the side of the liner. Try to get it even the entire way around. Add more chocolate if needed. Repeat with other liners.
- Pop the chocolate in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove from freezer and carefully peel off the wrapper. Place the chocolate cups on the cookie sheet. Set aside.
- To make the pastry cream place 3 tablespoons of milk and the cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
- In a small saucepan place the remaining milk, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until boiling. Remove from heat.
- Add the eggs and egg yolks to the milk and cornstarch mixture. Mix well.
- Slowly pour ⅓ of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so it does not curdle.
- Return the remaining hot milk to the stove on medium heat. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the entire egg mixture into the milk mixture. Add the butter.
- Continue to whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. This took me about 3 minutes. Once the mixture starts to thicken remove from heat.
- Quickly stir in the cinnamon and vanilla and remove the cinnamon stick.
- Place the pastry cream in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve spoon the pastry cream into the chocolate cups filling them ¾ of the way full.
- Top with a combination of raspberries and blackberries. Serve chilled.
- Refrigerate any remaining pastry filled cups for up to 3 days.
Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.
Looking for more delicious holiday meals? Check out Gallo Family Vineyards Holiday Traditions and Dishes blog post!
Did you know that Gallo Family Vineyards is committed to helping Meals on Wheels America to improve the health and quality of life for the seniors they serve? For the sixth year in a row, Gallo Family Vineyards invites Americans to help end senior hunger and isolation with our annual Every Cork Counts™ program. They're donating $1 for every cork submitted through their website or snail mail. All Gallo Family fans have to do is snap a picture, or send their corks!
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Desserts and Sweets:
- Caramel Bread Pudding from Cosmopolitan Cornbread
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- Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake Bites from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse from Life Tastes Good
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Plus don’t miss the Seasonal Wine Pairing Tips by Sunday Supper Movement.
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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Gallo Family Vineyards via Sunday Supper, LLC. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Gallo Family Vineyards.