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Summery knock-your-socks off dessert recipe needed

We have a staff BBQ in two weeks, and I'm looking for a knock-your-socks off dessert recipe to bring. I need something that travels well and is good at room temperature. I am willing to bake, jell, or anything else!

Ideas? Recipes? Please? Help!

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  1. Don't know how fancy you want to get. Have you ever done the Triple Chocolate Mess using a crock pot? It's easy, can be made at home then transported in the crock pot with whipped cream out of a can or ice cream that's kept frozen in a cooler. Either way, it's molten lava cake that you scoop out using a spoon, then top with your choice of ice cream or whipped cream.
    "Triple Chocolate Mess aka To Die For"

    * 1 package dark chocolate with pudding cake mix
    * 12 oz cream cheese
    * 1 large box instant chocolate pudding
    * 1 large bag bittersweet chocolate chips
    * 3/4 cup oil
    * 4 eggs
    * 1 cup cola of your choice
    1. Generously butter [with softened butter] inside of crockpot.
    2. Mix ingredients together.
    3. Pour into crockpot.
    4. Put lid on and cook on low for about 6 1/2 hours, never taking lid off to check.
    5. When time if up, scoop out, and serve in bowl with ice cream or whipping cream.
    "Gelatin with cream and fruit"

    1 large container frozen whipped topping
    8 oz. cream cheese
    8 oz. sour cream
    8 oz. cottage cheese
    1 large box of favorite flavor dry gelatin mix [orange, strawberry, lime, cherry]
    fruit depending on flavor chosen, marachino cherry's cut up fine if using cherry gelatin, orange supreme segments if using orange, sweetened coconut or crushed pineapple is using lemon or lime.
    Mix all together, put in large bowl, seal with plastic wrap and hours later, it's delicious.

    1. Summer pudding is always a show stopper. The vibrancy of the berries. The juice soaking through the bread. Topped with freshly whipped, vanilla scented cream. Thats a WOW.


      1 Reply
      1. re: foodforus

        I agree, Summer Pudding and it is easy for you!

      2. Tropical fruit flavors speak of summer to me - here's a good cheesecake to make ahead:

        Pina Colada Cheesecake
        Serves 16

        This tropical twist on old-fashioned cheesecake is always a hit.

        For the crust
        1 cup graham cracker crumbs
        ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
        1/3 cup melted butter

        For the filling
        1 ½ pounds cream cheese, softened
        4 eggs
        2/3 cup sugar
        3 tablespoons dark rum
        1 cup sour cream
        ¾ cup cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez)
        2/3 cup well-drained crushed pineapple (about one 19-oz can)

        1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
        2. To make the crust, combine graham cracker crumbs and coconut with melted butter. Press onto the bottom of a 10-inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside to cook while you make the filling.
        3. To make the filling, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating until blended. Mix in rum, sour cream, cream of coconut, and well-drained pineapple.
        4. Spread evenly on prepared crust and bake about 50 to 60 minutes on middle rack of preheated oven, until edges are set and center moves just slightly when you shake the pan.
        5. Run a knife around the inside edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Allow cake to cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or until well chilled. Remove from spring form pan before serving.

        • Garnish the cheesecake with slices of tropical fruit, such as fresh pineapple or mango.
        • Don’t confuse cream of coconut with coconut milk or coconut cream. Used to make drinks such as pina coladas and desserts, cream of coconut is thick, syrupy, heavily sweetened coconut milk. Coco Lopez in one popular brand.

        1. If you search epicurious, you will find a mixed berry tiramisu that is gorgeous and delicious. I make variations with and without alcohol, depending on the crowd - if it would be socially acceptable make it with chambord. Make the tiramisu in a spring form lining the edge of the pan with vertically placed savoiardi biscuits, when you unmold it, it will be gorgeous. But do read the 'reviews' on the recipe because I've found that while I use the generally idea I make a far more traditional tiramisu filling (the one in the recipe has no meringue and is FAR too dense) and I also skip a weird jelly melting step and just use the liquid from frozen berries to dip the savioardi .

          1. I have a pineapple tart that's good. I make it in a big flan pan. You prebake the shell with a filling. Then put the sliced pineapple on. Garnish with a mint leaf or two. It's great at room temp and has been loved whenever I've made it. If you want the recipe, let me know.


              Baked goods seems to fill the bill. You don't say how many servings you need, but a sheet (or half-sheet) pan of fruit-filled bar cookies or a large pan of fruit tart/cobbler should do well held at room temps for a few hours.

              Berries, Rhubarb, Lemon, Cherries, Plums, Peaches alll screem summer to me. You could pick up some ice cream at the last minute to serve alongside.

              Build your own shortcake!
              What could mean summer more than strawberry (or mixed berry for more drama)shortcake? You could slice a homemade sponge cake sheet (or a frozen pound cake, cut into layers) into square shaped portions, and serve with bowls of prepared berries and a big, ice-filled bowl of cans of whipped cream. (Yes, I know it's not the same flavor as home-whipped, but people love using those cans! :


              If your heart is set on something that needs chilling, you could use one of those plastic storage bins, fill half way with ice, nestle your chillable in it, snap on the lid, and travel! Just remember that ice melts, so watch the potential for 'flooded' food if it has to sit a while. Wrapping your chillable in many sections of newspaper is an old-timers way of keeping cold things cold for several hours. Place in an empty ice chest with a tight fitting lid.

              1. Gourmet recently featured a coconut rum cake that turned out great. As I recall, you brush the hot cake with cream of coconut. I used a lovely dark rum in the cake and in the icing. It was finished with shredded coconut all over. Very festive. I do think the really good rum "made it", though, so if alcohol is an issue, this this one another day.

                1. A few years ago, I brought raspberry-topped mini cheesecakes to a summer party. They are made ahead, perfectly easy to eat and look like they came from a bakery. They are pretty easy to make, but do take some time since each little mini cheesecake is topped with a perfect fresh raspberry and small mint leave. Everyone at the party loved them! If you'd like the recipe, perhaps you can fine if on line(a nigella recipe) or let me know and I'll give you my version of it.

                  1. This summer fruit tart recipe from Dorie Greenspan is the perfect summer dessert recipe. We hosted a BBQ this weekend, and our guests absolutely enjoyed this. The components are very simple, but the combination of the buttery crust, sweet fruit and creme fraiche is out of this world! The link is below:


                    1. hope any of these helped with sfumato's dilemma. they all sound like total winners to me, fruit, this time of year, if it's not about chocolate, it's for sure about fruit.

                      1. Like others have wondered, not sure if you'll have refrigeration prior to the BBQ, but CI's Strawberry Cream Cake is, as I did not overstate to my DH the first time I made it, the best thing I've ever baked.... and I love to bake! It's a not-too-soft, moist cake, whipped cream enriched with cream cheese (as if cream needs enrichment?!), and fresh strawberries. Gorgeous, pretty straightforward, light but really wonderful, and guaranteed to disappear so you won't have to worry about temp. for too long. The directions make a three-layer tower of a cake, but you could probably do it in a 9x13 pan or even make a trifle out of the components. Like I said, it's just incredible!
                        I can post the recipe, or it was in a spring CI from last year, I think.

                        2 Replies
                          1. Thank you, everyone, for the recipes and tips!

                            I should have mentioned that we've got about 15-18 people, BUT everyone is bringing something, so the dessert doesn't have to be that large because there are at least 3 other dessert-bringers coming. I can go home and get the dessert before the BBQ, but it's a 30-min drive to the place (director's house) and then it will probably sit through dinner (another 2-3 hours, I expect). I don't want to be the guest who has to hog the fridge space, so we can bring a cooler to help with the temperature.

                            I'd love recipes for those who offered to post IF it's not too much work... links are perfect, too! I will look through everything and see what I can manage! I am tempted to make more than one... everything looks soooooooooo good...

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: sfumato

                              biggish crowds, like staff parties, to me mean simple instead of fancy, so I'd go with a Texas sheetcake for ease of travel, or take advantage of the seasonal fruit and make a fruit crumble. both will withstand travel and room temp/sitting out.

                              1. re: sfumato

                                Sure. Here's the recipe for the Hawaiian Pineapple Tart.

                                Make a tart shell for an 11-inch tart pan. (Use the kind of tart pan with a removable bottom.) For that size shell, use 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp oil, 1 1/2 cups flour and 1 stick unsalted butter cut into cubes.

                                Partly bake the shell and then cool. (If you want more directions for how to make the shell, let me know. Glad to provide.)

                                To make the filling, cream 1 stick unsalted butter at room temp and 1/3 cup sugar until light. Beat in 1 egg and then 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted. Beat in one more egg and then another 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted. Beat until smooth and well blended. Then scrape into the cooled tart shell and put the pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes until the top is golden.

                                Slide the pan onto a rack to cool and prick the filling all over with a fork every 1/2 inch.

                                Let stand until cool.

                                Peel, core and slice 1 pineapple into 1/4 inch slices. Peel over a bowl to catch the juices.

                                No more than 2 hours before serving (yikes I hadn't seen that part), brush some of the juices over the tart filling. Then arrange the pineapple in a flower pattern, overlapping the slices. Work from the outside to the center.

                                In a small saucepan, melt 1/4 cup apricot jam over low heat with 2 tbsp reserved pineapple juice. Stir until smooth. Simmer 1 minute. Strain. Then paint a thin glze over the top and exposed parts of the pineapple.

                                Garnish with a mint leaf or two.

                                Hmmmm. Now that I look at the details, I see that you are supposed to put the pineapple on not more than 2 hours before serving. I know I have done it more than that without ill effect. And have enjoyed the leftovers subsequently for that matter. If you wanted to make it but were worried about that, maybe you could bring the cut pineapple in a tupperware container and put it over the tart shell with the filling once you get there. Then skip the apricot glaze which I have done sometimes because you really don't need it.

                                It is really good.

                                For what it's worth.

                                1. re: karykat

                                  I have this cherry tart recipe. I've already made it twice this summer. Technically I'm not sure if it qualifies as a tart, it's much easier to make than traditional French tarts. It is very summery, travels well and perfect at room temeprature. It can also be made with other fleshy fruits like plums, peaches, apricots.


                                  * 6 large eggs
                                  * 1 cup of sugar
                                  * 2 sticks (8 oz) butter
                                  * 1 cup of flour
                                  * 2 tbs rum (optional)
                                  * 1-1.5 pund cherries pitted
                                  * 1/2 tsp vanilla

                                  Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
                                  With wooden spatula or food processor mix butter and sugar till smooth. (Starting with butter at room temperature makes it easier.) Mix in the yolks of the eggs one by one. Beat the egg whites till stiff. Alternating, little by little mix in the flour and the beaten egg whites. Gently fold them in so the egg white doesn't break completely and the mixture stays light. Finally add the vanilla and the rum. Rub butter on the inside of a baking pan. Coat it with granulated sugar (just as you would with flour). Pour in the batter. Sprinkle the cherries on top. (They will sink more into the batter druing baking.) Bake till top is golden brown and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Let it cool for at room temperature. Dust it with powdered sugar before serving.

                                  The original recipe requires one package of vanilla sugar (Oetker), but it is hard to find in the US, so I replaced it with vanilla.

                              2. Strawberry Mirror Cake! It has a lot of steps, but isn't that difficult. It is very impressive, and amazingly good. You could bring it in the spring form pan and unmold it at the party.


                                1. My favorite summer dessert has been upside-down cherry cake - easy and so good and summery! http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                  Also, this fruit buckle cake is great: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                  I've made the rhubarb bar recipe on this site three times in the last two weeks! http://www.chow.com/recipes/11800

                                  Also, I have yet to make this, but the recipe sounded very intriguing: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...
                                  I was thinking of subbing in a chocolate loaf bread and creme fraiche when I make it.

                                  I love summer fruit desserts, even though I'm a definite choco-holic - it's so great to be able to use these wonderful fresh fruit (especially here in the Pacific Northwest).
                                  Have fun!

                                  1. I saw an amazing looking dessert that Ina Garten did on Barefoot Contessa a week or so ago. It was called Summer pudding w/ rum whipped cream but it wasn't a pudding in the traditional sense - it was more like a trifle.

                                    She stewed strawberries, raspberries and blueberries w/ sugar & Framboise. Then she layered the berries w/ slices of brioche bread in a souffle dish up to the top of the dish. She then waited the top w/ a plate & a can on top and refridgerated it overnight. When ready to serve, she unmolded it on a cake plate, sliced and served w/ dollops of rum whipped cream. Doesn't that just sound so amazing w/ the eggy brioche bread? It was a beautiful purple berry-licious creation!

                                    I think it would transport well in a cooler too. Here's a link:


                                    1. this recipe is going to sound kind of pedestrian... but for office events, I often get a lot of "wows"with this stuff.... (though I don't work with a lot of foodies)... but this fits the effort vs. reward for a work party pretty nicely, IMHO. I'd prefer to save the bending over backward cooking for foodie friends who might appreciate it more... but that is just me.

                                      I make the "easy fresh lemon ice cream" straight from the sunkist website... often for bbq's.... I made it on a whim off the tag from a bag of lemons years ago... it is super easy, doesn't require an ice cream maker (though you can use one)... had no eggs, so you don't have to worry about spoilage as much. it is pretty rich, but still refreshing. it is especially good if you can use meyer lemons (though you have to use less sugar). you can make the little "lemon boats" if you have the time... or make some of those tuile cones or home made sugar cones... whatever you like.