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easy but elegant dessert

  • m

A certain new male friend is cooking for me for the first time tonight(but won't tell me what he's making). I'd like to at least contribute the dessert, but since this was a last minute decision, I need something I can make quickly, but I also want to impress, since I haven't cooked for him yet. I'm a capable baker, but most of my recipes that I use to impress take all night. Any ideas for something quick?

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  1. f

    How about an angel food cake with fresh berries and whipped cream?

    1. As per the suggestions on the thread below, you could probably fancy up the Fudge Pie recipe- it's a fast, easy recipe.

      Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      1. Buy some nice ricotta, honey and figs. Slice the figs in half, torch until carmelized on the open side. Serve with a spoonful of ricotta drizzled with honey. You can add some other fruits if you like, or sweeten the ricotta with powdered sugar and flavor with Grand Marnier.

        Or, if you're comfortable tempering chocolate, dip a variety of fruits, both fresh and dried - strawberries, cherrys, dried apricots, little champagne grape in tiny bunches, orange segments and so on. Pile on a tray.

        If you're not comfortable tempering chocolate, make a ganache and serve warm with fruit to dip in.

        If you want to bake, perfect biscuits are always impressive, and they bake up quickly. Shortcake (peach, strawberry, whatever is in season near you) would be good.

        1. Zabaglione over berries. Tiramisu (we often use coffee-soaked Rainier cherries in place of ladyfinger biscuits). Or...

          Poires Belle-Hélène:

          Cut the very bottom off of two pears so they will stand upright. Peel the pears but otherwise leave them intact. Poach the pears in simple syrup for ten minutes. Stand in a dish, put two small scoops of vanilla ice cream (this is the time to break out the fancy stuff), and drizzle with warm chocolate syrup (ditto -- use the good stuff).

          1. Creme burlee? What about a sparkling wine jello w/ berries? I saw that on Food TV a little while back and looked pretty good. Profilteros? Individual fruit tarts? It helps if you know what he likes....

            1. THIS.

              It's the best chocolate dessert I know.

              I'd recommend serving with a small dollop of creme fraiche, not whipped cream. Whipped cream is overkill on this.

              Note the 96% rating.

              Link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Sir Gawain

                Use bittersweet, not semisweet, chocolate.

                Ghirardelli double choc chips work really well, but go as fancy as you want.

              2. How about 3 really great cheese's and some wonderful ripe fresh fruit? Very european and good and something unexpected at the end of the meal.

                1. j
                  JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                  One of my favorites that you can take in all KINDS of directions is one that I whipped up spur-of-the-moment for a dinner party; it couldn't be simpler, and people STILL talk about how good it was. Use a scoop of really good vanilla ice cream (homemade or not), and a scoop of mango sorbet (again, homemade or not). Make a coulis by pureeing with a little lime juice and sugar (and maybe some rum) to taste, and strain out the seeds. If you want to, you can cook it a bit to help clarify the sauce, but I've skipped the cooking and it comes out fine. Drizzle the coulis over the ice creams, top with fresh raspberries and toasted coconut. This would be really good served in ice cream cone bowls (you could likely go to an ice cream parlor that offers them and buy some there if you don't feel like making your own, and I can't say I blame you if you do), or if you want to go whole-hog, make white chocolate bowls by dipping balloons blown up to bowl size in melted chocolate. Set on parchment and chill until set. Prick the balloon next to the neck so the air slowly lets out. For an extra touch, start out by drizzling a thin stream of dark chocolate in a random pattern on the balloon, let set, then do the white chocolate as described. Or you could do cage bowls by just doing the drizzle. The possibilities are endless.

                  Link: http://thecosmicjester.blogspot.com

                  1. Whole Fruit peach sorbet covered with sliced fresh peaches and peach Schnapps. Extreme peachiness.

                    1. Since you don't know what he's cooking for dinner, I would keep it really light. I think the fresh fruit and cheese idea is great. I would also purchase some nice chocolate just to get things rolling. And, if everything works out, there will be plenty of time to work your pastry magic.

                      1. Too late, but one of my favourites is
                        gingernuts (ginger cookies)
                        whipped cream.

                        Dunk the first in the 2nd, smear with cream, make into a roll, cover with cream.

                        Vary the cooky and alcohol.

                        1. Make two desserts so you can feed them to each other. What about the zabaglione and the chocolate pots?

                          1. Do tell, even if it wasn't anything we suggested...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Sir Gawain

                              I loved all the ideas...but being short on time i went with chocolate covered strawberries....dark chocolate, and then drizzled with white chocolate. I've never made them before, but they were super easy and quick. I've copied and saved a bunch of these posts to use for next time, especially for a weekend when I have more time to prepare...and there will be a next time :)

                              Thanks all!