New Year’s Eve is usually one of the nights of the year that Will and I love to get together with a few of our close friends and have a grand ol’ time. I feel like all the blogs are always talking about ways to entertain friends, cool places to go to celebrate, etc. This year, since things look a little different for us (me being 36 weeks pregnant and all), we will be staying in for the night. This got me thinking about all the other people out there that may choose to stay in on NYE instead of partying the night away like most folks. You can still bring in the new year and be festive while having a cozy night in! I have gathered a few ideas (and made a couple of recipes) for some NYE inspiration!
MAKE A PALLET ON THE FLOOR IN FRONT OF THE TV
Will and I do this often. We like to set up a little pallet on the floor while watching a movie and it’s the coziest thing ever. I know I may be the only one, but I love watching the ball drop on NYE and all the musical performances that surround it. We will definitely be pulling out all the blankets and pillows to make a comfy pallet to cozy up on.
PLAY SOME GAMES
Fun fact about Will and me - we are both super competitive. There are some games that we have learned we simply cannot play together (for the sake of our marriage), but other games are still fun for us to play as a couple. I find that games also help people get to know each other better. So get out those games and get to playing (on the comfort of your pallet of pillows and blankets course)!
MAKE A FANCY DESSERT
NYE just screams fancy to me, you guys. All the glitz and glam and gold and glitter - New Year’s Eve is fancy schmancy. If you are staying in, you may be in your sweat pants and a t-shirt (just in case you were wondering what my attire will be tomorrow night), but you can still get fancy with what you are eating. I made some mini raspberry chocolate mousse cakes that are the right amount of fancy mixed with allll the deliciousness. I mean it's chocolate on chocolate on chocolate, so there is really no going wrong. It may take some work, but it’s 100% worth it to spice up your night just a bit.
Ok so this point is not one I will be implimenting tomorrow night (see sweat pants and t-shirt comment above), but if you are staying in, it doesn’t mean you can’t get all glammed up. Maybe your hubby will be the only one to see that awesome dress, but that’s totally worth it right? And I promise you he won’t complain. You guys can still dress up fancy and curl up on your little pallet and eat your dessert and drink champagne! Fancy meets cozy!
MAKE A CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL
Who doesn’t like to ring in the new year with a little champagne? Don’t worry, I won't be partaking this year, but I did come up with a super yummy cocktail that goes pretty darn well with the mini cakes (the hubs did the taste testing, so I’m taking his word for it). You definitely need something to clink at the strike of midnight, so make a cocktail - and it will just add to your fanciness!
New Year's Eve is definitely a time for celebration. We made it through another year, guys! Whether you are staying in or going out, I hope your night is filled with lots of cheer and memory-making! Scroll to the bottom for the dessert & cocktail recipes!
MINI RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CAKEs WITH CHOCOLATE GANACHE
*Makes 4, 3-inch mini cakes
- 2 sticks unsalted butter (melt 2 tablespoons)
- 8 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- 8 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large egg whites
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons raspberry extract
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- Lightly coat the insides of 3 9 inch cake pans with melted butter. Sprinkle some flour on the the butter and shake off excess.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place remaining butter and 8 ounces semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with cling wrap. Allow to heat for 10 to 12 minutes. remove from the heat, stir until smooth, and set aside at room temperature.
- Place the egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar a bowl. Beat with electric mixer on high until slightly thickened and lemon-colored, about 4 minutes.
- Whisk the egg whites in a large stainless steel bowl until stiff, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Gently fold the melted chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Add a quarter of the egg whites and stir to incorporate, then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.
- Divide the batter between the prepared pans and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes. You will notice the surface of the cakes will form a crust while in the oven and then collapse a bit when the cakes are removed from the oven - this is normal. Set cakes aside until ready to assemble.
- Heat 1-inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place the semisweet chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. Tightly cover the top with cling wrap and allow to heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth.
- Place heavy cream, sugar, and raspberry extract in a bowl. Whisk with an electric mixer on high until stiff peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. Use a hand whisk to combine 1/4 of the whipped cream into the melted chocolate until smooth and completely incorporated. Add the combined whipped cream and chocolate to the remaining whipped cream and fold together. Let chill while making the ganache.
- Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Place the semisweet chocolate in a medium stainless steel or ceramic mixing bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.
- Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out three circles in your cake.
- Spread some of your filling on top of one of the cake circles and then place another cake circle on top of the filling (I pressed down a little bit to make sure the filling was evenly spread between the two cakes). Spread filling on top of the second cake circle and place the third circle on top, pressing down gently.
- With your ganache, you can either spread it just on the top, or you can pour it so it trickles down the sides as well. Dust your cakes with powdered sugar and top with fresh raspberries.
- Chill your cakes for about 30 minutes and then serve!
RASPBERRY CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL
- 3oz Cava (you can sub champagne, but Cava is sweeter)
- 1oz Triple Sec
- 2 fresh raspberries
- In the bottom of a champagne glass, muddle the two raspberries.
- Add 1 oz of Triple Sec and top with Cava.