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2 desserts needed for a dinner party

twodales Jul 21, 2011 09:51 AM

Yes, I saw a recent post here for a light dessert request. I didn't really want to piggyback on the original post so here we go!

We have been invited to a dinner party on Saturday for 13 people. I offered to bring something. She said great: how about dessert? I asked the hostesss to give me some ideas as to what would go with her menu. I take it she hasn't planned one yet and probably won't share that info with me in time before I shop.

So, I am thinking something chocolatey and something fruity. Maybe chocolate mousse or flourless chocolate cake and a blueberry pie/peach cobbler/Key Lime chiffon pie? I could also do a fresh strawberry tart? Also thought about serving "Eton Mess" (Broken meringues mixed with whipped cream and strawberries). Any thoughts chowbabies?

I also considered some fresh figs with goat cheese, honey, thyme and pistachios as another option.

  1. Jay F Jul 21, 2011 10:16 AM

    I think it should be chocolate mousse and the fruit dessert that requires the least amount of cooking. Key Lime chiffon pie?

    If you really must make a tart, though, Martha Stewart's Perfect Nut Crust is great when you don't feel like rolling out pastry (you pat it into the pan). I've mostly used this, no matter the time of year, since 1982.


    1. srsone Jul 21, 2011 10:28 AM

      some kind of trifle maybe?
      u could layer any kind of custard/cake/ fresh fruit combos u like....

      and banana pudding is always popular here in the south..
      u could do any kind of variations u like...
      i saw one that uses nutter butter cookies instead of nilla wafers...

      but u could any flavor/fruit/cookie/cake combo with whatever is in season...

      1 Reply
      1. re: srsone
        Floridagirl Jul 21, 2011 01:52 PM

        I made the nutter butter one and people were diving into it before I could get it in the bowls.

      2. b
        betsydiver Jul 21, 2011 10:36 AM

        well, blueberry or peach are both my top two pies..chocolate is always good you might want to highlite the chocolate w/ a little orange additional.

        1. w
          wattacetti Jul 21, 2011 11:04 AM

          Pineapple carpaccio. Mandolin-sliced pineapple macerated in simple syrup, booze, fresh mint, fresh basil. long pepper and Ceylon cinnamon quill.

          You're on your own for the chocolate-y.

          1. chowser Jul 21, 2011 11:20 AM

            Chocolate mousse cake (you could add raspberries to this, too):


            Two layer key lime pie:


            1. smithareeny Jul 21, 2011 11:23 AM

              It's cherry season, how about a clafouti? Easy and a crowd pleaser.

              1. ChefJune Jul 21, 2011 01:27 PM

                I also think Chocolate Mousse would be a great choice, and I'd do a Peach Cobbler for #2. Peaches are just coming into their own here, and cobbler is such an easy dessert.... or you could do a Peach Crumble, either.

                6 Replies
                1. re: ChefJune
                  bushwickgirl Jul 21, 2011 01:40 PM

                  Yup, peaches, blueberries, raspberries or cherries are all available now, maybe a clafouti, so simple to make and wonderful with any berry, not just cherries, or a mixed berry cobbler.

                  For a chocolate option, I second chowser's chocolate mousse cake, linked upthread.

                  I am leaning towards the figs as well, but it depends on what's on dinner menu; you don't want to double up on dairy. A fresh fig tart with an almond frangipane base would be special.

                  1. re: bushwickgirl
                    mamachef Jul 21, 2011 02:30 PM

                    Yep, gotta agree with a chocolate and a fruit. Everybody wins. The frangipane tart sounds amazing...and I think that one would also work with fresh apricots. Oh yeah....
                    If you want to keep it SUPER easy, and totally rich and delicious for the chocolate - I hate to sound like the proverbial record on skip, but a total no-fail is the Nabisco Chocolate Wafer dessert. The only change I make to the recipe proper is to NOT sweeten the whipped cream, which to me lightens it up....and to serve it with a berry coulis. It's a good one for a lot of people and doesn't involve tempering chocolate or heavy baking experience, though it tastes as if it does - though it sounds like ya know what you're up to in the kitchen anyway.
                    Enjoy the party.

                    1. re: mamachef
                      twodales Jul 21, 2011 06:41 PM

                      The apricot idea sounds really great to me right now.
                      I love apricot anything.

                      1. re: mamachef
                        twodales Jul 22, 2011 10:16 AM

                        My Grandma use to make an ice box cake with vanilla wafers and pudding topped with whipped cream.

                        I have to say. I am intrigued by this recipe for the Nabisco choc wafer cake. The recipe I found sounded a bit confusing so I googled images and I can't say I've ever come across this before. It looks interesting too with the black and white.

                        1. re: twodales
                          mamachef Jul 22, 2011 11:10 AM

                          It really is very pretty, and what happens is, the crispy cookies absorb the cream and achieve a cake-like consistency, very smooth and almost mousse-y. The cake your Grandma made sounds very similar. If you're familiar w/ banana pudding? Basically the same thing happens to the cookies, after a day in the fridge. Only minus the bad thing that happens to that same very delicious banana pudding after a day in the fridge, e.g. the chocolate dessert still looks GREAT, not scary at all. :)

                          1. re: mamachef
                            twodales Jul 22, 2011 06:04 PM

                            HA HA HA...yeah I remember the look of the pudding cake a day or two after.....

                  2. q
                    Querencia Jul 21, 2011 06:51 PM

                    I know that this is going to sound ridiculous but I have had amazing success with tapioca pudding. I always think people are going to hate it but it is received with glad cries of joy. I use the Fluffy Tapioca recipe on the Minute Tapioca box, doubling the recipe and increasing the eggs to 3, and I double the vanilla. Serve it nice and cold and have real whipped cream and some kind of fruit to go with it (fresh strawberries and canned pineapple are both good matches). This dessert clearly fits the definition of "nursery pudding" but people seem glad to see it. You can also provide a liqueur to pour over it in which case it is not so nursery.

                    1. John E. Jul 21, 2011 07:37 PM

                      This is going to sound dull, yet ridiculously easy...but how about strawberry shortcake? Strawberrues are still in season, in Minnesota anyway and everybody seems to love strawberry shortcake. I recently made a cake using the Bisquik Velvet Crumb Cake recipie (minus the topping) but since we didn't have any Bisquik I used the America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Country Better than the Box pancake mix that we had in the freezer.



                      I confess that in the past we have bought either an angel food cake or those little yellow sponge cakes (they taste like Twinkies, but not as good ;). they put near the strawberries in the produce section, but not anymore since the above cake is so easy.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: John E.
                        mamachef Jul 21, 2011 07:49 PM

                        John E. and Querencia: Oh please do not apologize for bringing up absolutely delicious classic dessert. Nothing about that can be boring. Oh, and those little yellow sponge cakes? Yep, they're baaaaad. Consider instead the humble poundcake of Ms. Sara Lee's, in your grocery freezer case. Thaw it. Have at it.

                        1. re: mamachef
                          chowser Jul 22, 2011 05:25 AM

                          Or don't even bother thawing.:-)

                          1. re: chowser
                            mamachef Jul 22, 2011 11:12 AM

                            Guilty! God, chowser, when you come and spy on us, you should at least say hello so we could feed you or something!

                            1. re: mamachef
                              chowser Jul 22, 2011 01:53 PM

                              LOL, and I discovered it tastes even better when eaten with fingers.

                      2. twodales Jul 22, 2011 09:54 AM

                        Wow. These suggestions are all so great. Think I'll definitely do the chocolate mousse but now need to decide on the fruity option. Before summer is out, I hope to take up all of these suggestions. Thanks all!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: twodales
                          Jay F Jul 22, 2011 12:28 PM

                          If you have a cupcake bakery in your town, order some unfrosted yellow cupcakes for your strawberry shortcake. You know the rest.

                        2. f
                          ForFoodsSake Jul 22, 2011 01:59 PM

                          This month's issue of bon appetit magazine has a great recipe for blackberry & lime meringue pie -- the cover picture looked so good I had to try it for myself! It was light, refreshing, and delicious, not to mention that it turned out really pretty, too!

                          Here's the recipe:


                          They've also got a recipe for olive oil cake with candied citrus, which sounds interesting, though I haven't tried it myself just yet: http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/badaily/2011/07/olive-oil-cake-with-candied-ci.html

                          If all else fails, I haven't met a recipe on SmittenKitchen (http://smittenkitchen.com/recipes/) that I haven't enjoyed. The blueberry crumb bars are easy and good tasting, without being overly sweet; the chocolate stout cake is good (and most people are amused by the beer cake!).

                          1. f
                            Floridagirl Jul 22, 2011 05:14 PM

                            Having a casual dinner tomorrow and I made cherry yum yum not chowish but everyone loves it

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