I have to make a gourmet desset for a large group of ladies. I need something that presents well but isn't terribly time consuming to make. Any ideas???
A fruit trifle is very pretty and feeds a crowd. Use cubed angel food cake, a mixture of fresh fruit, whipped cream/cool whip/cool whip free depending on your taste & calorie wishes, mini chocolate chips and a liquor such as triple sec or creme de casis (or an orange flavored syrup if you don't want the alcohol. Layer in a trifle dish or large glass bowl:
1. Cubed cake
2. drizzle with liquor
3. choc. chips
5 cool whip
Repeat, trying for 3 layers. Top with a few mini chips and some orange or lemon zest.
Here's a recipe I have made many times and it always gets rave reviews. No one can believe it isn't from a bakery, it looks and tastes that good. It is also extremely easy to make and not terribly time-consuming, although you do need to make it a day in advance. The recipe is from www.epicurious.com, and it's interesting to read all the great reviews this recipe has gotten on that site.
1 9-ounce box chocolate wafer cookies
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap outside of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with double thickness of foil. Spray bottom of pan with vegetable oil spray. Finely grind cookies in processor. Add butter and process until blended. Press mixture onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.
Combine cream and coffee powder in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until coffee powder dissolves. Reduce heat to low. Add chocolate; whisk until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Cool 10 minutes.
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in cornstarch. Add sour cream and vanilla; beat well. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Whisk 1 cup cheese mixture into chocolate mixture. Return chocolate mixture to remaining cheese mixture; whisk until smooth.
Pour batter into crust. Place springform pan in large baking pan. Add enough hot water to baking pan to cone halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake cheesecake until softly set and slightly puffed around edges, about 1 hour. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 45 minutes. Transfer springform pan t rack and cool. Cover; chill cake overnight.
Bring cream to boil in heavy small saucepan. Remove from heat. Add 4 ounces chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Pour glaze over top of cake. Using spatula, smooth glaze evenly over top. Refrigerate until glaze is set, at least 2 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Using knife, cut around sides of pan to loosen cake. Remove pan sides. Cut into wedges and serve.
Serves 10 to 12.
Truffles, Inc., St. Louis MO
I have a recipe for Oreo Cheesecake that's *SUPPOSED* to be the one that Mick's Restaurants in the Atlanta area serves. Whether or not it's the real thing, it was pretty easy to put together (I made it a day ahead) and it was INCREDIBLY gorgeous when I served it. I served it at a family progressive dinner last Christmas. HA! I almost got a marriage proposal out of it.....of course, the young man was 6 years old at the time. ;-) If you're interested, I'll be glad to dig it out and post it.
Here's a dessert that is very easy to make and wows 'em - for some reason, that fact that you took time to arrange the fruit in a pretty pattern seems to earn lots of points ! A couple of notes: This dessert is fine without the sauce; I don't like almond extract, so I leave it out - but the nuts in the crust make it delicious; and you can use any fruit you like - I usually do a combo of strawberries, kiwis, blueberries and raspberries.
RASPBERRY RAZZLE DAZZLE TART
1 package sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup almonds, finely chopped
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3-less fat)
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 (12-ounce) package frozen raspberries, thawed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Kiwi fruit slices (for garnish)
Strawberry slices (for garnish)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 12-inch pizza pan. (I find that the mixes I use will cover a 14-inch pan with no problem. If you don't have a pizza pan, you can also use a 9x13-inch baking pan.)
2. Mix cookie mix according to package directions. Add almonds to mixture. Stir until thoroughly blended. Spread evenly on pan. Bake at 350° for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool completely.
3. Combine cream cheese, confectioners sugar and almond extract in medium bowl. Beat at low speed until smooth. Spread on cooled crust. Refrigerate until chilled.
4. Combine raspberries and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer until berries are soft. Push mixture through sieve. Cool completely.
5. To serve, garnish tart with fresh fruit. Cut into wedges. Spoon raspberry sauce onto plates and place tart wedge on top.
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