[Christmas] Hostess with the Mostess [or Cheats Chocolate Tart]

Today I’m hoping you guys can offer me some tips and advice, and in exchange I’m sharing THE best prepare ahead chocolate tart for your Christmas spread.

When Pete and I bought our house we had grand plans of family get togethers, now we have the space for everyone to stay over. We immediately invited everyone to have Christmas at ours this year. Then we had a baby. Now we’ve got 9 on Christmas day and 11 on Boxing day and I’m starting to panic! There’ll be Christmas dinner to make, and an evening buffet, then a cooked late lunch on Boxing day and an evening spread again, not to mention nibbles after church on the big day and breakfasts. Of course everyone will help and I’m delegating dishes to various people, but I’m trying to give serious thought to how to make it as easy as possible with made-ahead and simple dishes that mean I won’t spend all day in the kitchen. And that’s where you guys come in! I need your tips and hints on what can be made ahead or great ideas for stress free entertaining! How do you cater for large groups if you have a big family – we don’t, so it’s all new to me!

Now, onto that tart…

Did you watch Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes? It was pretty good viewing and we tried this Cheats Chocolate Tart after seeing it on one of the episodes, for a family party. It’s not a quick make, but it doesn’t take forever and it could be made 2 days in advance. Added to that it looks A-mazing and feeds a crowd (16 at a stretch,) because it’s so rich. And the alcohol gives it that festive edge. ;)

Now, first up with the confessions, I didn’t make this tart, Pete did, but neither of us have ever made pastry and it was still super easy, with no soggy bottom situation! The filling is ridiculously easy too and the simple topping makes it all look far more special and skilful than it actually is to make. Thats a coffee and liquor laced cream on top by the way…

You can check out the recipe here (and a picture of the whole tart… this slice is all that remained of the one we made, which speaks volumes about how good it was!) and the book it’s from – Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes. We’ve since made it again with equal success and it will definitely be featuring in my entertaining plans over Christmas and New Year.

So, please give me your tips on entertaining for a crowd and your Christmas day secrets! And make this tart. You will thank me. I promise.

Love,
Rebecca
xo