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Mar 1, 2012 04:49 AM

Trio of dessert combination recommendations

I've never done a trio before, but what do you all think of these combinations:

* Orange panna cotta --OR-- orange posset (with a little cardamon shortbread on the side?)
* Chocolate brownie with chocolate ganache frosting
* Strawberry tart (uses marcapone and almonds)

* Lemon posset (with a little cardamon shortbread on the side?)
* Rasberry sorbet OR strawberry sorbet
* Poppyseed cake OR cardamon cake

Please feel free to mix the two up for a different combination, or add something different altogether. The only requirement is that everything can be made hours or a full day before and fairly easy.

My main menu is:
* Appetiser: Individual onion tarts with greens (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe')
* Parmasan-crusted swordfish on a bed of home made linguine (sauce has white wine, lemon, capers, parsley)
* steamed sugarsnaps and asparagus

Everyone here always has such great advise, I'm looking forward to hearing your advice and recommendations!

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  1. I have only done trios of desserts a few times but probably my favorite combination was Almond financiers with wine poached pears and browned butter; bittersweet chocolate terrine with creme anglaise and mixed berries with champagne sabayon (zabaglione). This gives you a cookie/cake loaded with browned butter and a poached fruit with wine to cut the richness. The chocolate terrine to satisfy the chocolate lover and the creme anglaise just because it is so good (omit anglaise if this seems like too much dessert saucing). Finely a good chilled sabayon is just perfect with fresh berries. The financier gets baked in tiny little copper pots which are plated with the poached pears, the terrine is sliced and topped with some of the creme anglais on the same plate and the berry sabayon is served in a glass or cup also placed on the same plate. I use Jeremiah Towers recipe for the sabayon, Emily Lucchetti's creme anglaise and a cobbled together recipe for the financiers which was inspired by a Sara Stegner era dessert served at The Ritz Carleton in Chicago when it still had a fine dining restaurant,

    1. I think your meal is fairly rich (with the tart shells and the pasta) and the second trio works better with that (no brownie or tart). However, I do think a chocolate element would be good. But perhaps instead of a brownie with icing maybe something a little lighter... chocolate mousse or sorbet in place of one of the fruit selections?

      1. I love trios, though don't do them all the time only because of the work involved. all of the options sound great, my only recommendation would be to consider temperatures and textures. I think my most successful trios really combine those elements.

        For that reason, I like the first options.
        Panna cotta - cold and creamy
        Brownie - served warm (a heavy ganache frosting could be overkill if your brownies are already very rich but sounds good)
        Tart - room temp and crunchy crust and almonds

        I also think all those flavors go well together - orange-chocolate; orange-strawberry; almond-chocolate - etc.

        1 Reply
        1. re: thimes

          Many thanks to everyone for your critique and suggestions. Our friends came over last night and I went with the panna cotta, brownie (without icing), and a stack made with shortbread, cream and strawberries. Everyone loved it, but I didn't actually care for the orange panna cotta. It seemed a wee bit bitter to me. Didn't think I caught the orange pithe when I grated the peel, but that's the only reason I can think would account for the bitterness. As I was the only one who thought that, maybe I just don't like orange panna cotta! Oh yeah...I didn't do the onion tart, at Jules' suggestion. Thanks again everyone!