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Desserts for upcoming BBQ - in need of your opinions!

Hi Hounds! I've got a menu for an upcoming BBQ all written up, but I'm not sure about the dessert section. Our friends love cakes & cookies (who doesn't?!), but they love fresh fruit too, especially in the summer. Here's what I have so far:
Fruit salad (watermelon, grapes, peaches, kiwi, strawberries??)
Pineapple upside-down cake or tres leches cake???
Egg creams
Fudge brownies

Any opinions/ideas would be great. I'm trying to reach the fruit-aholics and the choco-holics here. Also - any ideas on how to bring these desserts to over-the-top delicious?

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  1. I haven't tried it yet, and it would probably require cleaning the grill after you've bbq-ed your meats, but have you tried grilled pineapple? Grilled pineapple sounds like it could be a "goody". Here's two links ...

    (one) - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/396432?

    (two) - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/397391?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cheese Boy

      I just got back from Colorado and they had grilled bananas at a bbq cookoff. I love pineapple upside-down cake so I think that would be real treat. Also, boston cream pie for the choco-holics and those of who love the cream filling. I like the fruit salad idea for anyone who is trying to be somewhat healthy. You can combine blueberries and nectarine with just a touch of honey for something different.

    2. Brownies with sliced strawberries on the side and some whipped cream for topping. Goes great together and would satisfy all....and strawberries are in season

      1. Speaking of brownies, I have a recipe that appeared in our newspaper last summer that calls for chipotle chilies. I'll post the link if I can find it--might work well with BBQ.

        You might try Paula Deen's Gooey Butter Cake, too. Unhealthy. Addictive.

        Here's a link to the Gooey recipe:


        1 Reply
        1. re: mamaciita

          Ina Garten's chocolate dipped strawberries are wonderful.

          And Nigella's watermelon, feta salad is amazingly different.

        2. I noticed this recipe for a grilled peach upside down cake in the latest issue of Rachael Ray. If you can deal with the time commitment, it might be a fun spin on BBQ dessert!

          At my last BBQ I made Paula Deen's Red Velvet Cupcakes (see the thread on cupcakes), banana pudding, cookies and a watermelon and cantaloupe salad with a mint/basil prep.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ashes

            I make a non-grilled peach upside down cake that is fantastic - I highly recommend. It's from Cooking Light:

          2. Definitely do a fruit salad! It isn't really a summer barbecue without some sort of fresh fruit, if you ask me. Mangoes are in season and oh so good right now. A simple mango, banana, and strawberry salad with a tiny bit of sugar and a squeeze of lime on top would be an awesome dessert.

            If you do something chocolately, I would make sure it is something really light. Chocolate egg creams would be a fantastic choice -- especially if you can get kosher U-Bet syrup where you are. That would sate the chocoholics but without being overly rich or stealing all the attention from the fruit.

            As for pineapple upside-down cake - that is one of my favorites for the 4th of July; I don't know why, it just tastes like summer to me. I have made the cake with lemon extract and zest in the past, for an extra bright flavor. But, my very favorite variation is to add poppy seeds and almond extract to the batter.

            1 Reply
            1. re: coreyander

              Poppy seeds and almond extract are two things I have sitting around and it sounds like a very happy marriage of flavors. I think I'll try it. Pineapple upside-down cake is delish with almost *any* batter. A unique variation. .. ; )

            2. how about pavlova: a nice light meringue topped with whipped cream and whatever fresh fruit you like, berries and kiwi are always delicious..you could even top it off with a drizzle of chocolate sauce to go over the top. the combo of crisp meringue with luscious whipped cream and fresh fruit is amazing.

              1. If you're into fruit and it's a BBQ the obvious choice is cobbler. Plus you can make it ahead so you don't have to spend your whole party cooking.

                1. I'll probably be bashed for fooling around w/ tres leches cake (and it is so good in its basic form...) but how about a tres leches cake w/ coconut and then adding grilled pineapples on top? You'd combine your pineapple upside down cake w/ tres leches cake.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chowser

                    I have some local strawberries and was thinking how good a fit it would be -- tres leches cake topped with strawberries (sliced, macerated in a bit of sugar so it juices up like for strawberry shortcake). Kind of a Latin take on strawberries and cream.

                  2. Dip the strawberries in dark chocolate.
                    Also, dip banana chunks in dark chocolate and roll in crushed peanuts.

                    1. how about his recipe for banana coffee tart, cooked in a cast iron pan. Sounds very special. http://www.chow.com/recipes/10821

                      1. Thanks so much, guys! If anyone could help me bring this shindig to the next level, I knew you all could! Molto grazie!! :o)

                        1. For our BBQ we went with pies, all different types. People went crazy for them. It wasn't too much of a hassle because I made all the pastry at once and was able to bake off a couple at a time. Also sliced up a watermelon for a just fruit option.