The entire meal was delicious, but the pinnacle of the evening was dessert. When we invited a few friends to join us, I decided that I wanted a really impressive capstone to the evening. I came across a recipe on allrecipes.com for Buche de Noel. It's essentially a flourless chocolate cake baked in a jelly roll pan then rolled around chocolate flavored whipped cream and decorated to look like a log. It was exactly what I was going for: creamy, chocolatey, and visually impressive. I didn't make too many changes to the recipe as written, so I'll just include the link here. Make sure you read the reviews as there are some good tips. You probably won't have much need for this recipe until next December, but definitely file it away in your Christmas memory - it was delicious! I decorated the log with little mushrooms made out of bell-shaped Reese's peanut butter cups stuck onto miniature marshmallows and decorated with little white icing spots. It was very Smurfy and very festive and as pretty to look at as it was tasty to eat.
Happy belated holidays, all!