Suggestions for Dessert Buffet
Suggestions please for an after dinner dessert buffet for a large gathering 100+. Looking forward to an attractive assortment,easy to serve and of course,tasty --Hoping for a table as varied and tempting as an upscale brunch. I was thinking of a selection of French pastries, Italian cookies,and perhaps tarts and small fancy cakes. Thank you in advance for suggestions of items or bakeries.
Dinner will be the middle of January in the San Francisco.
I have been tasting the delightful sweets and creams of the city. Since I wanted a visual as well as tasty offering, I have ordered from :Rulli cookies including meringues
macaroons,biscotti,butter cookie with cherry,chocalate cookie,apricot and coconut. From Delanghe-mini versions of napoleons,eclairs,custard puffs,petit fours, and Princess cake,fruit tart,and cappachino caps. And from Dianda cream puffs. And, yes out of the offerings, I would say the petit four is perhaps the weakest but for looks,color,and interest I thought necessary. Perhaps the petit four isn't that tasty after all. I don't remember one I truly liked. My favorite is the Delanghe napoleon and tart. Thanks again for all the help.
If you can find an old-fashioned Scandanavian bakery, get their Fyrstekake (fear-stuh-kah-kuh -- literally "first cake" -- a/k/a Prince's Cake). This is traditionally the first thing tasted just after midnight on January 1.
It's a rich crust -- eggs and butter with just enough flour to hold it together. A layer goes on the bottom, sides and top (glazed), filled with marzipan and a thin layer of intense raspberry jam.
It's about the size of a small pie, and it doesn't look like much, but it's totally addictive. The crust balances the marzipan, and the raspberry keeps it from being cloying. A work of genius. Once the guests taste it, 100 of them will inhale 10 fyrstekakes instantly, and they'll be fighting over the crumbs.
The only cream puffs place I've heard of is Beard Papa's. They have one at the food court of the new Westfield Center in San Francisco and also at the corner not far from Mission and 4th Streets across from the Sony Metreon. Supposedly all natural. My friends like it, but I haven't tasted it first-hand. I just like the idea of cream puffs, however, for a dessert buffet.
Maybe others have a better recommendation?
Thank you so much for suggestions thus far. Where are the best places to find the creams and fruit tarts,petit fours,and napoleons? Have called Emporio Rulli thanks to Robert L.and will check on tarts at Golden Gate. Also love the idea of cream puffs/profiteroles recommendations please for best site to buy and how to store so fresh tasting.
My own opinion is that cream puffs/profiteroles are really only best the day they are made and don't store well. There is nothing worse than a soggy cream puff. That being said, Patisserie Delanghe makes them ... tho the caveat is that it is not my favorite bakery.
The state of petit fours in SF is pretty dismal too. I can't remember one I really like.
Someone mentioned cannoli and since you are considering Emporio Rulli for cookies ... do NOT get the mini cannoli here ... Rulli does some fabulous cookies ... the mini cannoli don't qualify.
Ok ... the end of the negative stuff. Here's a link to some recs for other Rulli cookies.
Rulli cookies that have had favorable mentions: amaretti, chocolate cookies, apricot cookies. meringues. coconut cookies covered with almonds with a raspberry center, marzipan cookies.
For tarts, I would suggest Bay breads. I LOVE their lemon tart and I THINK they do mini versions.
They also have canneles which might be nice and get a big thumbs up on the board. Their colorful macarons might be nice too.
DeLassio's mini-cupcakes are so beautiful ... little works of art ... and as tasty and creative as they are pretty. The caveat is that because they are small they don't keep well. However, Delassio will deliver, so you could arrange to have them delivered on the day of the event.
I like some items at Citizen Cake very much. Their pate de fruit are just wonderful. They have these lovely chocolate squares called mendiants which are so pretty and delicious and would look lovely on a dessert table. Not everything is wonderful at Citizen Cake, so I'd do a taste test of anything else.
I don't know, some of those tiny XOX truffles here and there on the dessert platter might be nice too.
in mini, individual petit four sizes:
mousses,chocolate and/or fruit based
fruit skewers with dipping sauce
creme brulees or flan
varied flavored cheesecakes
banana or coconut cream tartlets
key lime pies
fancy bread puddings
apple or pear or cherry crumbles
just to name a few...
as anna suggested above, chocolate fountain is a way to go.
or maybe a banana fosters station, crepes suzette or cherries jubilee ( all involves flambe'), fancy, dramatic and impressive to many people...) hope this helps.
For 100+ people, I was thinking the Carême Room at the California Culinary Academy on Polk Street. On Thursdays and Fridays they do a massive buffet, including an extensive dessert buffet. The OP is asking for after dinner, so this is not a perfect solution - I don't think you can pay for just dessert.