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» Dessert Party for the Holiday Season

How Did I Do It? > Food & Drink > Dessert Party for the Holiday Season
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During every Christmas and New Years season we all would like to take the time to get together with family and good friends to eat and drink and just visit.

There is nothing more perfect for that type of get together than a dessert party, which is perfect for entertaining in that if permits you to go all out on the details and still save both time and money over what you might expend doing a full course meal.

The ways to host the party can be as diverse as you like, but probably the most effective in drawing people out and the most carefree for guest and host will be the buffet style dessert party.
Plan your menu ahead of time and make it match the number of people and the style of entertaining that you would like to do.

Two or three desserts are plenty for a casual get together of four or five people, but if you plan on a dozen then you might want to plan five or six so there is variety and enough of everything to go around.

cake
cake
Make variety the spice of the table. choose a complementing group, or a constrasting group of different tastes and textures, such as something from the chocolate family, perhaps crispy cookies and creamy creme brulee, as well as sorbet and perhaps cheesecake or tortes that your guests can slice themselves.

If you plan a dressy occasion, be certain that you will serve things such as sorbet or cookies and cream, things which are easily managed so that your guest finery stays clean of drips, while a casual party might be fun to provide chocolate fondue and a make your own sundae bar..

Like the menu, the table setting can be either dressy or casual.
One idea for the settings is to choose one special piece of china, or tray to house something in a dressy way so that it sets the tone for the rest of the party. Whether your guests are dressed casually or in their Sunday best, you want the atmosphere to be one of a special occasion.

Prepare as much of your dessert as you can the day before, such as making the creme brulee and simply crystallizing the sugar in the broiler or with the torch the day of the party.
There are many desserts that you can plan ahead for, such as cakes, pastries and ice cream type desserts that taste better the second day and will permit you time to mingle and join in the laughter with your guests.

A suggestion for a simple dessert buffet as well as recipes follow.

The table settings for this one could be as easy, or as elegant as you like, from paper plates to crystal cake trays, since each of the desserts is a work of art, but also lends itself well to casual dining.

Dessert Menu:
Classic French Crepes
Creme Brulee
Individual Pear Cobblers
Double Chocolate Irish Cream Fudge Cake

Classic French Orange Crepes:

This crepe batter is embellished slightly with either orange zest or orange liquer, such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau, and the batter can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and still be perfect.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 tablestppons of salt
  • 5 eggs beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 tablespoon liquer or concentrated orange juine.
  • 1/4 cup unsalted melted butter

Mix flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and milk and whisk to make a smooth batter, adding the liquer and one tablespoon of the melted butter let the batter come to room temperature and transfer to a measuring cup or add a one ounce ladle.

Heat butter in a 7 inch crepe pan and ladle the crepe mixture into the pan. Cook until the surface bubbles, and turn, cooking another one minutes. Serve with fruit syrup, fresh fruit or anything else that you desire. A lovely way to serve these with will full bowls of fresh fruit on the side to choose what you like and fresh cream whipped high in another bowl for topping.

Individual Pear Tarts

filling

  • 1 and one quarter cups apple cider
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • grated nutmeg to taste
  • 14 large pears, cored and cut in half inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Prepare the crust to the pies, wrap and refrigerate put cider, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into a heavy pan and boil over medium heat til peart are barely tender, about five miuntes.

    Remove and let pears cool in the liquid and then drain off one half cup of the liquid and sprinkle in the corn starch til it begins to dissolve.

    Gently stir the cornstarch mixture back into the pan, preheat oven to 350. Spoon the pear mixture into 12 overproof bowls or cobbler bowls, and dot with butter, then divide the dough between the 12 bowls, rolling out a piece for each, and covering the rim of the bowls as well , wrapping slightly over the edge of the bowl.
    Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Drizzle with heavy cream prior to serving.

    Double chocolate Fudge Irish Cream Cake

    This cake should be served in slivers as it is every bit as rich as it sounds and looks.

    Irish cream cake

  • 1 and one quarter cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup Irish Cream liquer
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Instructions

    Preheat oven to 350 and grease two 8 inch layer cake pans.

    Cream sugar and butter til smoothbeat in eggs.

    Add dry ingredients gradually until mixed thoroughly.

    Divide the batter evenly between pans and bake about 35 minutes til a pick comes out clean.
    While cakes are cooling.

    Take a double boiler and mels 1/4 pound of chocolate, and 1/4 cup of butter and melt over low heat, then sti in 1/4 cup warm wwater, 1/8 tsp salt and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

    Take the heat away when mixture is smooth and not yet boiling and stir in gradually 3 cups of sifted confectioners sugar, til it is a smooth frosting.

    Ice the top only of one cake, and then set the other cake on top of it.

    spread frosting over entire cake including sides now, and garnish with chocolate curls and perhaps some fresh raspberries. Store cake in an airtight container.

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