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Jun 20, 2011 11:37 AM

Cuban Dessert

I am going to host a Cuban dinner for 35 people this week based on the recipes Epicurious just featured.

I'm not a big fan of the dessert they chose (sorbet) given the number of people I am cooking for and my limited freezer space.

Can anyone suggest something I can make that is easy, I can make the night before and easy to serve? With that many people I think I might be slightly crazed by the time I have served dinner. Or maybe I am worrying too much...

I was thinking that since Cubans love coffee I could make my favourite brownie recipe into a mocha brownie. I could serve it on a plate for any takers or serve it up individually with ice cream and a drizzle of Kahlua.

any other suggestions?

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  1. Run some apple slices and chunks of kiwi through the food processor. Mix it with about 20% pineapple juice, lemon (or lime) juice and sugar to taste. Serve atop a good quality "Vanilla bean" ice cream.

    1. Cubans love their flan, and it can definitely be made the night before. An even easier dessert would be cream cheese with a guava compote spooned over it, which is also very popular.

      4 Replies
      1. re: inaplasticcup

        Let me first say that we had wonderful food almost everywhere in Cuba. Home cooked, delicious. Desserts usually consisted of fruit - which was fine with us. One exception. My husband made the mistake of ordering this rather odd dessert - like you said: cheese and guava - after a pretty awful dinner at a fairly grim hotel. I attach the photo here. I rarely take food photos but this one begged to go into the album.

        I say stick with fruit or, at most, flan.

        1. re: Nyleve

          LOL. I can see why you would not want to do that one over, Nyleve. The version I've had many times is just a slab of cream cheese with whole guava compote. Almost like cheesecake, but not quite.

        2. re: inaplasticcup

          Queso crema con guayaba was my first thought as well. I had a Cuban roommate in college whose family loved to entertain, and I loved spending time helping with parties large and small. Carr's Water Biscuits are a good textural contrast and are easy to find if your not in a place where live.
          Another thought would be to do small guava tartlets using a cream cheese dough and a tsp of guava paste. Bake to lightly brown and stabilize pastry. Can do ahead.

          Guava paste, either canned or in an oblong box, can be cut into shapes and makes a nice contrast to the cream cheese. This looks nothing like the scary thing Nyleve shows above!

          1. re: marthasway

            I love the guava tartlets idea. In fact, I think I might steal it myself.

            bout 3 years ago I had to do Cuban-themed heavy hors d'oeuvres for maybe 100 people. As I remember, the two dessert offerings were bowls of mixed fruit and coconut flan baked in large sheet pans,then cut into squares. The flan baked up just fine as long as I kept an eye on the doneness. Not all of it unmolded cleanly, but the parts left in the pan made for a great cook's treat. It was made 2 or 3 days ahead of time and kept just fine in the fridge. The recipe I used was adapted from this one


            There are some other good dessert suggestions on the site. I generally have been happy with all of their recipes that I've made.

          1. re: DonShirer

            fried plantains are a side dish to accompany the meal.

          2. Cuban-American here ... flan is about as fancy as we get re dessert, next would be guava jelly and cheese or guava pastries, for Christmas and New Year's we usually have an assortment of turron.

            We don't really do dessert.

            1 Reply
            1. re: redfish62

              @ redfish....I can't remember the last time I had turron...but you have me craving some right now.

            2. I grew up with many Cuban immigrant neighbors. Dessert, though seldom served, was generally guava shells and cream cheese or a simple array of fresh fruit.

              If you prefer something else you might want to consider tembleque. I'm not sure if it is made in Cuba, but it is very popular in Puerto Rico. Easy to make it ahead of time.