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HELP! Need good dessert pairing for tonight's Easter Dinner!

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Okay, I am having four friends over for Easter dinner and I need a good, simple dessert suggestion. I am serving a leg of lamb roasted in Middle Eastern spices with carrots and onions and a side of potatoes. I am more of a cooker than a baker, so though I want to try making my own dessert I can't handle anything way to complicated. And it needs to be able to be made in advance, because the oven will have the lamb. HELP ME PLEASE!!! Thank you and happy easter!

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  1. How about a middle eastern spiced creme brulee with some vanilla shortbread cookies? Or, even easier, you could do an exotic fruit salad in wine glasses layered with cinnamon spiced whipped creme.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chocolate chick

      Here is the easiest dessert I know, and make:

      2 apples, peeled, cored, sliced
      1/3 cup raisins, cranberries, dried cherries
      1/2 cup sugar
      1 folded pie crust (I use Pillsbury)
      1/2 stick of butter, half of it melted for brushing on pie crust

      Roll out dough, so seams are sealed.
      Place on pizza pan, or large retangular cookie sheet.
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees
      Place apples, cranberries sugar in bowl, mix well.
      Spoon mixure on center of pie crust.
      Dot pieces of butter on top (just a few).
      Fold up outer pie shell and bring towards center, folding and pressing a little as you go around.
      Bake in center of oven for 20-25 min, until golden brown.
      Serve with good vanilla ice cream.

      1. re: chocolate chick

        I love this idea! I have never tried creme brulee before, but it a favorite of my friends. Any suggestions or hints you can give me? What spices would you recommend?

      2. I like the ideas chocolate chick gave, especially in that you can definitely get around the baking issue by simply not baking your dessert :)

        Another idea I have for you is the recent NYT olive oil chocolate mousse (the recipe is in the boards, search for NYT I think). It's excellent, bake-free, pretty easy as long as you have an electric mixer & done completely ahead of time.

        1. A fresh fruit and cheese plater is another easy and great way to end a satisfying meal with friends.

          1. I considered suggesting the very easy and delicious olive oil chocolate mousse; however, unfortunately, it needs to be refrigerated for 24 hours.

            If you have or can get hold of some ripe, but not overly-ripened, pears, you could peel and poach them in red wine, then chill for a couple of hours. Simple and no oven required. Serve with ice cream.

            Here's another option: a very easy recipe for an orange almond cake.

            2 large oranges (preferably seedless navals)
            6 eggs
            1-1/2 cups ground blanched almonds
            Pinch salt
            1 cup sugar
            1 teaspoon baking powder

            Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

            Butter and flour a deep 9" cake pan.

            Wash oranges. Without peeling, boil them in water to cover until they are soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, cool, and cut into quarters.

            Process oranges into a moderately fine puree in a blender or food processor.

            Beat eggs in a bowl until thick, then add ground almonds, salt, sugar, baking powder, and orange puree. Mix well.

            Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour or longer until firm to the touch.

            Remove from oven and cool.

            Garnish with orange slices dusted with cinnamon and powdered sugar, or berries. Optional: Accompany with whipped cream.

            1. I know this is "cheating" ... but I'm serious when I say this will be the moistest chocolate cake you will ever have. Make it in a bundt pan and sprinkle with confectioners sugar. Your guests will love it.

              Easy Chocolate Chip Cake

              Prep Time: 10 Minutes
              Cook Time: 1 Hour
              Ready In: 1 Hour 10 Minutes

              INGREDIENTS:
              1 package chocolate cake mix (with or without pudding, doesn't matter)
              1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix INSTANT... not the cooked kind
              3/4 cup water
              1/2 cup vegetable oil
              4 eggs, beaten
              1 cup sour cream
              1/2 cup chocolate chips
              Confectioners' sugar for dusting

              DIRECTIONS:
              1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt
              pan.

              2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cake mix, instant pudding. Add
              the water, oil, eggs, and sour cream, mix until well blended. Finally, fold in the
              chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared Bundt pan.

              3. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven. Cake is done when a toothpick
              inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire
              rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar before cutting and serving.

              1. Lemon mascarpone mousse would end the meal on a nice, light note, I think. You need something spunky and energetic after the heaviness of the lamb. I've made this recipe a few times and it's very good:

                16 oz. Mascarpone cheese
                2/3 cup sugar + 1/4 cup sugar for the egg whites
                3 lemons
                zest of 1 lime
                5 eggs, separated

                PREPARATION:
                1. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until they are very pale.

                2. Beat in the mascarpone cheese, the lemon juice and the lime zest until very well combined.

                3. In a clean bowl, with clean beaters, whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt until soft peaks form.

                4. Add the 1/4 cup of sugar into the whites and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

                5. Gently fold the whites into the mascarpone/lemon mixture until no streaks remain.

                6. Divide among 6 ramequins or other decorative bowls and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.

                To serve, serve cold with an additional sprinkle of lime zest and a lemon peel twist.

                from http://frenchfood.about.com/od/desser...

                3 Replies
                1. re: cimui

                  I have decided to make this for Saturday, however as I have thought more about it I see there are a lot of raw eggs involved. Are you sure the directions are complete?

                  1. re: ike31

                    Yes, it's a true mousse w/ raw eggs. It's delicious--light and creamy. You won't regret making it!

                    1. re: ike31

                      If you are anxious about the raw eggs buy "pasturized" eggs which have been (duh) pasturized.

                  2. Brownies with Ice Cream...drizzled with chocolate sauce...here is another...I know...not very gourmet...but very good, is the following...Take two cans of your favorite apple, cherry, or apricot pie filling ( if you can find it, the apricot is especially good)...Spread it in a greased 13x9x2 baking pan, and cover that with 1 box of white or yellow cake mix...Sprinkle some walnuts or almonds on top of that...Cut up one stick of butter and dot evenly on top of it...Cook uncovered at 350 degrees for one hour...Top with ice cream...You could stick it in the oven at a low temp to warm back up while eating dinner...Traditionally, this is called "dump cake"...It is like a cobbler, and quite rich...Will serve at least 8 people...

                    1. this lemon pudding cake, from Gourmet Easter issue a few years back
                      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

                      1. I would suggest one of three things: baklava (very easy and easy to do par avance), tiramisu (no bake), or zabaglione w/ fresh fruit.

                        1. http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recip...
                          Add some dried fruit and spices for more Middle-Eastern flair.