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desserts for a crowd?

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what are your go-to desserts for a crowd of around 30 guests? i want to avoid the ubiquitous cupcake if possible.

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  1. Orange Zeppole with chocolate sauce
    Apple or Peach Galette
    Chocolate-filled Ravioli with whipped cream and chopped nuts
    Banana and Chocolate Ravioli with Chocolate Rum Sauce

    1. tiramisu is easy to make in mass quantities, and i like that it's no bake, so you don't have to worry about multiple baking times and orchestrating oven use.

      i do also like to make a few loaves of the gramercy tavern gingerbread, then served warm with vanilla ice cream

      this might seem trite, but a consistent winner is something like an ice cream bar with usual and unusual toppings (sprinkles, chocolate chips, fruit, cereals, cone pieces, cookies, fudge, butterscotch, strawberry sauce, etc.)

      6 Replies
      1. re: Emme

        Tiramisu is a good idea, since it can be made in a big dish. Maybe also do an apple crumble in a 9x13, and that could be enough.

        1. re: Emme

          I was going to suggest tiramisu as well. This recipe for tiramisu from Tante Marie's Cooking School is excellent:

          http://www.tantemarie.com/recipes/des...

          1. re: DanaB

            This recipe looks great, I think I will try it. Thanks.

            BTW, whata brand of lady fingers do you use?

            1. re: mcel215

              Most places I shop only carry one brand of lady fingers, but I haven't noticed a difference between brands.

              I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! I think it produces one of the best tiramisus I've ever tasted, including those served in restaurants :-)

              1. re: DanaB

                Well my Stop & Shop has soft lady fingers, and I believe I should get the hardened ones, correct?

                Thanks.

                1. re: mcel215

                  I've made it with both, and both work fine.

        2. Apple cranberry crisp - two large pyrex dishes should do the trick for 30.

          1. Bread Pudding....Either

            with Cranberries and Orange or Banana with a Chocolate Sauce

            1. Trifle!

              6 Replies
              1. re: greedygirl

                I second the trifle, maybe with some caramelized apple layers and a cinnamon bourbon sauce along with the pound or sponge cake layers.

                1. re: lrostron

                  my only issue with trifle is that there are some rude individuals out there... the ones that will scoop out a "serving" of trifle, but pick out the layers they want and leave what they don't. if you're not serving it yourself, it can end up as a soupy mess...

                  1. re: Emme

                    They are very easy to do in individual servings and then you don't need to worry about the selective servers. I usually do it in small glasses.

                    1. re: jsaimd

                      i agree individual servings would eliminate the problem, but that assumes the OP has or is willing to buy 30 glass serving glasses... i can't imagine doing trifle in a disposable cup of some sort.

                2. re: greedygirl

                  yep good idea, another suggestion is a tray of Ina's brownies, you can make ahead and they store very well in the fridge...

                  1. re: geminigirl

                    Plus that recipe for brownies is huge!

                    For a group that size I like doing a selection of things, like a variety of cookies and brownies and chocolate-dipped strawberries.

                    Tiny cheesecakes would work well too (or a few regular-sized ones). Like these: http://areyouhungryyet.blogspot.com/2...

                3. Apple or pear crostadas. Make 2 or 3. They are a snap.

                  1. I feed about 100 on New Year's Day, and I offer a variety of different desserts including a classic cheesecake, a pumpkin pecan cheesecake, and about 5-6 different varieties of cookies, including some chocolate ones or brownies. Some people don't feel they've had dessert unless they've had chocolate, so that's absolutely necessary. I find that for a crowd, it's great to offer different choices...