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At work dessert contest

kiersten Jul 16, 2009 08:35 AM

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. emmaroseeats RE: kiersten Jul 16, 2009 10:32 AM

    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. t
      tiramasue RE: kiersten Jul 16, 2009 10:48 AM

      Pavlova, mmm!


      1 Reply
      1. re: tiramasue
        kiersten RE: tiramasue Jul 16, 2009 02:22 PM

        That won the" Taste" category last year.

      2. sarah galvin RE: kiersten Jul 16, 2009 11:01 AM

        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
          emmaroseeats RE: sarah galvin Jul 16, 2009 11:04 AM

          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. danhole RE: kiersten Jul 16, 2009 11:07 AM

          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.


          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. todao RE: kiersten Jul 16, 2009 12:23 PM

            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. c
              cheesecake17 RE: kiersten Jul 16, 2009 12:34 PM

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

              1. 4
                4Snisl RE: kiersten Jul 16, 2009 01:12 PM

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

                6 Replies
                1. re: 4Snisl
                  kiersten RE: 4Snisl Jul 16, 2009 02:17 PM

                  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
                    4Snisl RE: kiersten Jul 16, 2009 03:20 PM

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


                    (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
                      oakjoan RE: 4Snisl Jul 16, 2009 03:52 PM

                      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.


                      1. re: 4Snisl
                        kiersten RE: 4Snisl Jul 16, 2009 07:59 PM

                        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
                        Quine RE: kiersten Jul 16, 2009 04:03 PM

                        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
                          kiersten RE: Quine Jul 16, 2009 05:27 PM

                          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. mrbigshotno.1 RE: kiersten Jul 16, 2009 05:42 PM

                      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. k
                        kiersten RE: kiersten Jul 16, 2009 08:01 PM

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

                        1. l
                          LoN RE: kiersten Jul 19, 2009 05:29 AM

                          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. chef chicklet RE: kiersten Jul 19, 2009 07:44 AM

                            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. chowser RE: kiersten Jul 19, 2009 10:38 AM

                              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. re: chowser
                                chef chicklet RE: chowser Jul 20, 2009 09:28 AM

                                I love the way you think chowser!

                              2. blue room RE: kiersten Jul 19, 2009 11:20 AM

                                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. sbp RE: kiersten Jul 20, 2009 10:04 AM

                                  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. randyhusted RE: kiersten Jul 20, 2009 10:52 AM

                                    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. j
                                      johnlockedema RE: kiersten Jul 21, 2009 07:56 AM

                                      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. s
                                        superfinespot RE: kiersten Jul 21, 2009 05:20 PM

                                        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/vanilla-raspberry-sundaes-with-spoon-shaped-cookies
                                        cookie dough dip and make your own cookies for dipping: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2007/07...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: superfinespot
                                          kiersten RE: superfinespot Mar 6, 2011 10:49 AM

                                          Great ideas everyone!!! Thank you!!!

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