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At work dessert contest

My work place is having thier annual dessert contest .I have participated for the last three years.
Last year I made Lemon cream Cheese Bars.I lost.Anyway here is my dilema,They give you a paper nut cup to put your dessert in.They call it a" Dessert Tasting contest".The two catagories are" Taste" and "Presentation".How do you present in a nut cup?
I was thinking of making Cake Ball's (chocolate).Chocolate wins every year.
Any other ideas?It's a week away and I could use some help!Thank You! Kiersten

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  1. We do these at my office often and someone won with a chocolate dipped peanut butter ball.

    Other thoughts - flourless chocolate cake? tiny chocolate chip cookies with a sprinkling of salt on top and a bit of orange zest in the batter is a go to for me... toasted nuts or raspberries in chocolate?

    Bummer about your lemon cream cheese bars. I love lemon bars.

    Good luck!

      1. re: tiramasue

        That won the" Taste" category last year.

      2. I made a flourless chocolate cake with ancho chile powder and it was to die for. Presentation will be challenging. What have the others done in the past? You could try to make the flourless cake in tiny muffin pans so they are like a two-bite dessert. Garnish with a tiny hot pepper fixed onto the edge of the paper cup with a small dollop of buttercream frosting. Mini muffin inside the paper cup.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sarah galvin

          I cut mine into bite-size squares before dusting with powdered sugar (and usually add a tbs or so of Grand Marnier or almond liquor to the recipe; ancho chili sounds like a must try).

        2. Maybe you could adapt your lemon cream cheese bars into a ball shape. Or you could make that Velveeta Chocolate fudge, that Paula Deen made on Top Chef, which is balls of fudge on a lollipop stick. The recipe doesn't call for much, but as a final presentation she dipped them in white chocolate and rolled into some nuts. Here is a recipe, but there is a you tube video of her segment on the Ellen show where she made them.

          http://ellen.warnerbros.com/showinfo/...

          Actually I think anything on a stick with a little ribbon would be a great presentation - as long as it tasted good, that is ;-)

          1. Wrap your chocolate balls around a maraschino cherry and press a pecan into the top of the ball. Drizzle a bit of cherry syrup that has just a hint of peppermint over all. Serve with mint leaf tucked in alongside.

            1. what about oreo truffles? they're bite size and will fit in the cup perfectly.

              1. Just curious- what's won over the past 3 years?

                6 Replies
                1. re: 4Snisl

                  Chocolate truffles(two yrs in a row) and Pavlova w/fruit ,and chocolate cake with piled high frosting swirl,with a cherry and a piece of candy bar on top.

                  1. re: kiersten

                    hmmmm....I love the website bakerella for dessert presentation ideas. These cupcakes from her combine cupcake and brownie and are awfully cute!

                    http://bakerella.blogspot.com/2009/06...

                    (incidentally, I Googled "nut cup" to make sure I knew what you were talking about, and accidentally found out that it's a nickname for a very important piece of male athletic wear.:)

                    1. re: 4Snisl

                      I'll tell you what I'd do. . . I'd make the Macadamia Nut and Caramel Cheesecake from the August Cookbook of the Month, Ottolenghi. I think it can be found online but you'd have to convert the measurements from Brit to US. It's the most delicious dessert I've ever had. I hope this link leads you to the recipe.

                      http://gastrogeek.wordpress.com/2009/...

                      1. re: 4Snisl

                        Oh My, maybe I should have worded it very small paper cup.That's pretty funny though! The cups measure 2in across and less than an inch and a half deep.I do love bakerella's presentation ideas.But what ever I make I have to make after work and then take them the next day with me to work.Thanks for your help.

                      2. re: kiersten

                        What won for presentation?

                        Definately somwthing like a truffle works as presentation and taste, try new "fashion" taste; caramel and sea salt, chocolate and bacon (with a hint of peanut butter) for example.

                        1. re: Quine

                          Last year was the first year they had presentation.The chunk of cake with the swirl of chocolate frosting with a cherry and candy bar piece won.It was candy land cute.

                    2. Try chocolate macaroons, angel food cake mix, cocoa, coconut & water, thats it. Drizzle them with some simple water icing, It's a winner. Receipe is usually on the box or it's on the Betty Crocker website.

                      1. Thanks for all the help!!! you all have some great ideas! keep em coming> thanks Kiersten

                        1. I know you said "chocolate" is the usual winner, but how about homemade baklava....can be cut into nice size pieces and with all that honey syrup dripping it's a sure thing, no???

                          1. Could you make small eclairs? Fill with a pastry crean then half dipped in a wonderful dark chocolate?

                            The whole nut cup request is frustrating me and I don't even work there!

                            1. What about making mini Hostess cupcakes? You could make a Texas sheetcake, cut into small rounds that fit into the cups, cover with the frosting. When cooled, add melted white chocolate for the swirl.

                              1 Reply
                              1. I love to make treats, used to bring goodies to work before retiring. I had to, just 2 of us @ home! I have recipes for most, if interested.
                                The favorites were:
                                Melting Moments-- 1 inch diameter shortbread mounds, topped with walnut half pressed into fat dab of maple frosting.
                                Peanut Butter Fudge -- *real* fudge, not the quick kind. No chocolate in this--it is Peanut Butter Fudge.
                                Pecan Diamonds-- the recipe says "Pecan toffee candy over a shortbread cookie--irresistible!" It was from a White House chef , in a magazine years ago--I can't remember. It has been a hit at Christmas parties.
                                Another thought--mini Pumpkin Cheesecake, sour cream-apple cheesecake, or coconut cheesecake.
                                Lemon Whippersnappers--Lemon cake mix, Kool Whip-- beef up the lemon with more (real) lemon--absolutely delicious.
                                Cookies that are sugar-butter-ground hazelnut batter, baked briefly then wrapped around a broomstick or wooden spoon, to form a crisp shattery thin tube cookie when cooled.
                                Don't forget Bourbon Balls!!

                                Cookies that are sort of half candy, half cookie are impressive because they can be so pretty.

                                1. I've made molten chocolate cake in mini muffin tins. About the same size as a paper nut cup. You make the regular recipe, but add a tiny ball of ganache (chocolate mixed with equal parts cream) to the center.

                                  You can bake for just a few minutes, freeze, pop out of the tin, and bake and freeze more. You let thaw on a baking sheet (don't need the tins at this point), reheat for about 5 minutes and it should work fine.

                                  Of course, this would work best if your office has an oven.

                                  1. Make some Chocolate Ravioli! It's a lot easier than it sounds and they're a hit every time I make them. Here's the dough recipe, fill with whatever you want; I like a homeade strawberry chutney or chunky jam.
                                    Chocolate Pasta Dough

                                    2 T Cocoa
                                    2 T Hot Water
                                    2 egg-room temp
                                    1.5 c flour
                                    4 T sugar

                                    Mix cocoa and water to make a paste, put all ingredients into mixer with dough hook and combine for about 5 minutes. Kneed by hand and add additional flour if too wet. Chill for 1 hour, roll out and form.

                                    Once filled, chill for 1 hour then boil until they float. Serve hot, cold, or room temp.

                                    1. I entered a similar contest with a pistachio zabaglione semifreddo, done in loaf pan. It was gorgeous and delicious. I lost someone who did a black forest cake out of a box. Never entered again!

                                      1. can you take the cups home the night before? if so and there's no wax in them you can bake cupcakes in the cups or do a no bake cheesecake and put a stick in the top, chocolate layer, and stick a stick in the center for a cheesecake pop.

                                        ina garten's outrageous brownies or a chocolate cake (cut into small bites), top with a scoop of homemade ice cream & caramel, sprinkle peanut nuts, cherry on top?

                                        mini milkshakes and cut straws in half. top with whipped cream and sprinkles or slice of strawberry hanging on the side

                                        chocolate mousse or sundae with cookie spoons :http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/v...
                                        or
                                        cookie dough dip and make your own cookies for dipping: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2007/07...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: superfinespot

                                          Great ideas everyone!!! Thank you!!!