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Dessert for 30 - Help please

I need to provide dessert for 30 hungry graduating seniors and faculty. It will need to be transported by car and should be somewhat celebratory. I am considering a large carrot cake with cream cheese icing, but figured you folks could be helpful with alternative suggestions. Unfortunately, we are still in the last gasp of spring snow here in MN, so ice cream desserts may be out for the time being and fruits are not yet fresh. What would you do if you wanted to impress your students without too much work?

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    1. For 30, you want something the size of a sheet pan. You could do a chocolate ganache based "mousse cake". (I use ganache because mousse with whipped cream is too loose for slicing easily).

      Make a base of brownie mix. Then top with chocolate ganache (equal parts melted chocolate, scalding cream, a bit of butter, and some corn syrup). Refrigerate till firm. Then top that with a mixture of cream cheese whipped with peanut butter, vanilla and confectioners sugar.

      4 Replies
      1. re: sbp

        just be aware that 1 in 30 could have a peanut allergy

        1. re: Cynsa

          True - the top layer could be anything. Coconut frosting, maybe

          1. re: sbp

            Or coffee whipped cream (stablilize it with some softened gelatin)

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. I second the sheet pan suggestions.

            You could also make Nigella Lawson's Brownies, her recipe makes a huge amount.
            You could also make blondies and top them with ganache [Smitten kitchen has a peanut butter ganache blondie recipe].

            Anyway, for sheet size bar cookies, you could try looking in Magnolia Bakery Cookbook- I have not made any of the bars yet because the recipes are for a sheet pan and it doesn't fit in my oven, but there are many options there.

            Good luck!

            1. Tres Leche cake, served in plastic cups. I've baked this and transported it in the plastic cups to serve at a large group picnic. Serve with frozen berries.

              When you say 'celebratory' - is this a centerpiece to display? then, decorate the sheet cake with fresh flowers

              Is a 'dessert buffet' too much work to transport and set up?

              Arrange pretty boxes filled with an assortment of candies/nuts/sweets/chocolates/dried fruit/tiny cookies.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cynsa

                You can easily do a tres-leches sheet cake, and just have either 'cups' or rimmed disposable plates for service. When I make one, if I moisten the layers properly, it is very moist, but not falling apart runny, and can certainly be cut like any other cake into squares.

                For those who have not had this - it is a wonderful and DELICIOUS cake!!!!!