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ISO: Individual-portioned, easy chocolate dessert for 50.

Needed for a daytime bbq retirement party which will be catered, poolside for a casual crowd. Chocolate desserts were requested from those wishing to "bring something".

I want to present individual servings, ala finger food, so cutting or plating necessary. Something that could be presented in a cup or small container...? Ease of transport a plus.

I thought of truffles, but am looking for something more unusual/unconventional, even if very simple!

Got any chocolate favorites up your sleeve?

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  1. will heat/melting be a factor? you could do individual cheesecakes in muffin tins lined with paper liners...that way they can remain in the tin for ease of transport, and you can just pull them out and arrange on a platter at the event. or do chocolate-dipped cheesecake pops - still easy to display/serve either resting in paper cups or poked upright into a stand or holder.

    for the mini cakes i'd do a chocolate cookie crust with white or semisweet espresso cheesecake filling, garnished with a chocolate curl or a chocolate-covered espresso bean.

    for pops, chocolate espresso cheesecake filling dipped in half white & half milk or semisweet chocolate (or dip in one and drizzle with the other).

    2 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      If you have access to a Trader Joe's and $25 to spend on dessert consider TJ's individual Chocolate Lava Cakes. All you have to do is microwave them for about half a minute and the inside gets all fudgey and goody. They come two in a package, frozen, for around $2.

      1. re: Querencia

        I love TJ's chocolate lava cakes! I served them a New Year's Eve party and they were a hit. No one could believe that they were from a grocery store as they had a fresh baked taste to them (perhaps from the microwave?). Ice cream on top drizzled with fudge is a must!

    2. This couldn't be easier!- chocolate cups. Get small plastic cups and follow any pot de creme or chocolate cup recipe. All you do is throw the ingredients into a blender and pour into individual cups. Refrigerate.
      Bring along a nice can of whipped cream to top at the function. Maybe bring a container of cut strawberries too.
      Rachel Ray's recipe is simple and, in her word-- delish.
      http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/re...
      ps...liquor optional really.

      7 Replies
      1. re: monavano

        Since I'm sure the hostess's fridge will be maxed out, I hope to find a treat that will not need refrigeration during the bbq, before desserts are put out. But the ideas of pops, or pots de creme are on the mark for deliciousness and single serving size.

        The chocolate desserts are the request of the retiring 37-yr FF veteran who worked his way from paramedic to Battalion chief. This is gonna be one heck of a retirement party, with "Jerry's famous" margaritas "fueling" the stories that will be told, at last!

        Chocoholics, keep the ideas coming, please!

        1. re: toodie jane

          Chocolate Ganache cocoction:
          Fill plastic cups with small pieces of chocolate cake or brownies. Top with a layer of bittersweet chocolate ganache. Refrigerate to firm up or freeze. Bring to bbq while still cold and it will soften up room temperature. Serve with either piping of sweetened whipped cream or a bowl on the side. As long as I don't use ultra-pasteurized cream, I never have problem whipping cream hours ahead and kept cold.
          If the whipped cream is an inconvenience, top the bittersweet ganache with layer of white chocolate ganache after the bittersweet chocolate later firms up. Refrigerate or freeze. For more: soak the cake with a liqueur or a spread of seedless raspberry jam.
          I have make this as a sheet layer: cake, bittersweet chocolate ganache, white chocolate ganache. Refrigeratel or freeze; Firm enough to cut into squares and put into cupcake liners while still cold.

          1. re: PBSF

            I was thinking of something just like this after perusing M Stewart's 'Pies and Tarts' book at Costco: using a cookie crumb crust for crunch,, then piped dark chocolate ganache and flavored whipped cream/mascarpone, maybe some of our good local strawberries for garnish. But your cake/brownie base idea is more practical.

            I could use clear plastic cocktail cups, or cupcake liners as you suggest. I wonder where I could get some tiny gelato spoons...?

            Sounds do-able! hardest part will be to make room in the fridge to chill them! (w/o flavor transfer--my fridge is always full of garlicky stuff)

          2. re: toodie jane

            curious about Jerry's famous margaritas!????

              1. re: toodie jane

                please do - with recipe please!! LOL I thought you were making them!

            1. re: toodie jane

              Individual chocolate trifles are easy in little plastic cups. Just chocolate cake, layered with chocolate pudding/mousse, and whipped cream. Shave some choclate curls on top and they look like a million bucks. Stick a little plastic spoon in each one for easy eat and run, or walk as the case may be. I'd also like to send my appreciation to the Battalion chief for his years of service to his community. We all need to express our thanks to the loyal men and woman that are there for us. Have a margarita for me!!!!!

          3. Since you've got an issue with refrigeration, perhaps a Mayan chocolate brownie? You can cut into smaller pieces and serve skewered.

            2 Replies
            1. re: wattacetti

              Mayan brownies are dense enough to skewer? have you a favorite recipe?

              1. re: toodie jane

                I'll ask for the recipe I've had; the skewers were the two-prong bamboo ones.

            2. I'm assuming you want casual for a backyard barbecue over elegant? I like to make fake hostess cupcakes, with a chocolate ganache topping, piped white chocolate swirls (I will sometimes pipe out a letter on each as part of the swirl for the message, make sure the swirls match up when you put them out). It's just a fun thing that everyone remembers from childhood. Another fun dessert is a whoopie pie. You can make it as chocolate-y as you want, wrap each individually so it's easy to serve. You can't get easier for transport and serving than those.

              9 Replies
              1. re: chowser

                winner, winner!! I'm defenseless in the face of whoopie pies!

                As a second choice, I would vote tarted-up brownies. Choc. /peanut butter layers, turtle brownies, salted caramel brownies, cheesecake brownies, etc.

                1. re: chowser

                  Yes, it's a poolside bbq, but not really looking for a nostalgia item. Whoopie Pie? I've never had or seen one. What's their draw? They look like a sandwich cookie with a sugary filling--are they tarted up somehow?

                  Still leaning toward more of a chocolate- rather than cocoa-based product if possible, and the simpler the better.

                  I'm probably (typically) overthinking this--maybe I should just dip bacon strips in chocolate.

                  thanks everyone for chiming in, it's keeping me motivated.

                  1. re: toodie jane

                    i dunno, tj, if "sandwich cookie with a sugary filling" doesn't sound deliciously tarted-up to you already... you may not be a whoopie pie kind of girl! ;-)

                    Seriously, they are more like cakes than cookies, but that's about the only diff from what you describe. I have never made one, only eaten them.

                    1. re: danna

                      I must admit that I've never been fond of sugary cream frostings. Now Swiss buttercream, m-m-m-m.

                      could I use the cookie recipe but do more of a ganache, sort of a sachertorte treatment--do you think that would fly? I love sachertorte with the kirsch, the apricot jam, the intense chocolate...

                      1. re: toodie jane

                        Part of it is that the sugar frosting is a much smaller amount than the cookie/cake and the cookie is more like a cake so think of it like a cupcake, only the ratio of frosting to cake is much lower. And with more top crust since that's on top and bottom. Yeah, actually, it's kind of like cutting the top off of two cup cakes and putting a little filling in the middle.

                        I think it would be really good w/ a sachertorte idea. I'd add a little mousse in the center or something like that to make it lighter.

                        1. re: chowser

                          Yeah, I think you'd need the mousse. I'm not so sure the whole cookie would hold together properly with just ganache. I think I'd make a more traditional cookie rather than the cakey-whoopie pie cookie if I wanted to sandwich ganache and jam (which does sound marvelous...sachercookie)

                          1. re: danna

                            so you're thinking more of a crispy cookie like a ginger snap? Have never had a whoopie pie so don't know what they're like, but from your description it sounds sort of muffin top-ish?

                            can you recommend a suitable chocolate cookie recipe, or do you think I could use a ginger snap recipe, leave out the molasses and sub cocoa pdr for ginger?

                            Making these Sat morning!

                  2. re: chowser

                    chowser, favorite WP cookie recipe?

                    1. re: toodie jane

                      Sorry, I just saw this. Weird that it didn't show up earlier.

                      http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/01/in-...

                  3. For our big BBQ (100+ people), I always make cupcakes. The first year I made them, I made them for the kids. Guess what? No kids got any -- the adults all scarfed them down. Then I started making them for everyone -- half chocolate, half vanilla with half of each type having the opposite frosting. There are never any left. You could do all chocolate with chocolate frosting. If you don't have the time to make 50 cupcakes from scratch, I highly recommend King Arthur Flour's cake chocolate cake mix and frosting. I started using that a couple of years back, and embarrassingly, people were BEGGING me for the recipe. I almost died! Since the icing is not a buttercream, the cupcakes don't need to be refrigerated, and believe me, everyone loves cupcakes!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: roxlet

                      Since I had the catalog right here, I looked it up .. do you mean: chocolate cake mix, 3436, $6.95 and
                      chocolate-fudge frosting mix, 3142, $5.95? Re: frosting: Rich, fluffy chocolate buttercream.

                      You'd said it did not need to be refrigerated since it's not a buttercream. (I'd love to find one that does not need refrigeration.)

                      1. re: walker

                        Yes, those are the ones, and no, they don't need refrigeration. I have made them for our big BBQ in the summer, and they sit on sheet pans in the dining room until dessert time. It's not buttercream, so it doesn't melt. One year, a friend of mine insisted on contributing the cupcakes. She made buttercream frosting and did incredible decorations, but it was a disaster-- the icing was sliding off by dessert time. That's never happened with the KA fudge frosting mix. And when you do the frosting, put it in a pastry bag if you have one, and use a big serrated tip, and everyone will think you're a decorating genius.

                        1. re: roxlet

                          So true, about the genius part. I have also learned that when piping icing on many cupcakes, to leave a tiny bit of the outside of the cake uniced so that when they're all jammed together on a plate, the edges, being uniced, don't get all messy.

                          1. re: somervilleoldtimer

                            +1,000,000. Especially in this weather.