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Help pls! Need celebration-worthy chocolate dessert I can make while in-kitchen with celebrants.

We are hosting a celebration of sorts with dear friends tomorrow night. Each is making a small plate to share and the wine will flow. I had the best intentions of making an elaborate gateau for this celebration--chocolate fig cake, the nigella nutella cake...but life intervened and on my baking night (tonight) I instead worked late and couldn't even get to the grocer.

Looking for a really yummy dessert that I can make while hosting. Looks (and is) easy, but tastes great. Some element of chocolate is a must. Nuts and/or fruits good too. I have walnuts and almonds in house. I have nutella and high-quality chocolate. Plenty of frozen fruit (blues, blacks, raspberries) plus fresh apples and pears.

No need to "impress" but just want something wonderful. Oh, and my kitchen aid is out of service, so need to be able to make mostly by hand (I have a good old-fashioned egg beater).

My fallback would be my Aunt Fern's chocolate "crazy cake" with buttercream icing and bitter chocolate glaze, but would love to get the CH perspective.

I am NOT above a great brownie with ice cream.

thanks!!

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  1. There's the Chocolate Souffle Cake that bakes for 2 1/4 hours (Maida Heatter) - either a blessing when you have guests or a problem because it takes your oven... I've never made it but always wanted to try. Same idea but faster: Moelleux Au Chocolat - Gourmet, March 2001.

    1. Buy ice cream. Make hot chocolate sauce, hot caramel, and candied nuts and/or brittle. Make sundaes.

      1. Those chocolate molten lava cakes can be made a bit ahead and keep cold until you want to bake them. I usually use the Joy of Cooking version, and it's simple enough for a novice baker like me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

          My first thought too--

          But if you have a great brownie recipe, I think brownies with ice cream and a choice of toppings would be fine. It's hard to find someone who doesn't love brownies and/or ice cream, and that might be less stressful than trying something new at the last minute.

        2. chocolate fondue? it's interactive, chocolate, easy and you could use the apples and pears

          there are lots of different recipes but one that I often use is melted toblerone bar with melted mars bars. or cocoa + whipping cream

          1. Nigella's gooey chocolate puddings might fit the bill; quick to make, put together all by hand, few ingredients, served warm, and taste great. But one must have whipped cream to accompany the puddings..

            1. mmm, I agree with those who have said ice cream. In fact, I can envision some really lovely ice cream sundaes made with a fudgy chocolate sauce, raspberry purée, and almonds (candied or otherwise). David Lebovitz has a chocolate sauce on his website that I've made before to great reviews. A fruit topping can be as simple as just providing the fruit or puréeing it down and cooking with some sugar, etc. Yum!

              1. I made Nigella's Chcolate Cloud cake for guests one time and they loved it. Simple, yet elegant enough.

                www.saffron215.blogspot.com

                1. Reporting back--it's been cold here in New England so I didn't go for the ice cream sundaes. I made Nigella's cloud cake as suggested above (thanks, mce!) and it was a hit. SOOO easy (especially since I had friends willing to whip the egg whites for me). I made it in two 9 inch layers then "frosted" it with the cointreau-flavored whipped cream. We had a fun night. Thank you for all of the thoughtful suggestions!

                  1. I know the event has passed, but I'm gonna put my two cents in just in case another Hound needs inspiration.

                    I would buy or rent a chocolate fountain. You can lay out various fruit and such and the guests can serve themselves.

                    1. If you really want an easy dessert to do with your guests around you while you are in the kitchen, what about crepes? You can put out nutella, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, and jam.