Delicious Easy Dessert Ideas
I love to entertain! There is nothing more gratifying to me than to have my guests thrilled with the effort I put into the experience of us spending time together. I have been catering as a business or a hobby for almost 40 years now. I am always combing through Pinterest or Entertaining cookbooks always looking for some new trend that will delight my guests or clients. It is imperative to me that the food be delicious and from the finest ingredients possible. The second most important thing to me is the presentation. People eat with their eyes; the more attractive food looks the more delicious it will seem to the person receiving the food. In 2010 Smarty Had a Party started offering small disposable serving items which were pricey, but they made such an impact on the event I felt it was essential to use them. Here are a few things I served on a yacht for this prominent CEO and her team, the tiny bowl with the ceviche and the shrimp shooters made a tremendous impact on the guests.
The tiny plastic serving dishes become over the years have become more readily available, most party stores have an entire section, I have found some at Dollar stores not to mention Amazon.com has a large selection. I started using the tiny containers for more than shrimp shooters and deconstructed sushi cups for appetizers, I started using them for dessert shooters. To make dessert shooters I consider classic desserts then work on making them in layers like a trifle, this way you get texture and flavors and visual appeal. For instance, in my banana cream pie shooters I would use crumbled vanilla wafer, banana pudding, sliced bananas and whip cream. Now the sky is the limit on what you can layer into these cups, the individual is only getting about 2 tablespoons of sweets in one cup so in most cases the guest will have at least 2. The fun part for me is to watch the guests at the dessert display, encouraging each other to try a particular flavor. Some of my usual dessert flavors are: Lemon- Blueberry trifle, Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Mouse, Salt Caramel Apple, Peach Melba. I could go on for days, here are a few photos of some of the dessert shooters at various parties I have catered.
I recently did a dinner party for a dear friend’s anniversary. When we were discussing desserts I was struggling, I wanted something very beautiful, offering lots of textures and flavors like my dessert shooters, I had considered individual trifles, when it occurred to me a few years back I had been introduced to “Cake Collars”.https://www.amazon.com/Collars-Buery-Transparent-Chocolate-Decorating/dp/B07HFNDCL1/ref=asc_df_B07HFNDCL1/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309778840036&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5565627686391226122&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012133&hvtargid=pla-582998364655&psc=1They were these clear plastic strips which helped when making cakes with fillings to set up well same a Boston Cream Pie Cake. I ordered a roll of Cake Collars from Amazon for around $8.00. I started working on a dessert using Strawberry shortcake as the theme.
I make strawberry shortcake buy making a homemade strawberry jam so it sits up well then add fresh sliced or diced strawberries once it is cool.(See recipe for Strawberry Jam on the site.) You can easily use the little sponge cakes for strawberry shortcakes or you could use pound cake, angel food cake, even biscuits for that matter. Watch the video to see how I assembled them, you just cut the cake collar slightly longer than the bottom layer then secure with a piece of tape.
Now you start layering, for my creamy center I choose to mix equal portions of whipped cream to Mascarpone cheese. This is the texture in Tiramisu everyone adores. My formula for these fun dessert towers is:
- Cut cake bases
- Wrap cake bases with cake collars and secure with tape(you can do this right on your individual dessert plates or do them on paper doilies.
- Now add fruit, this is where I put ½ inch of berry filling.
- I do a layer of my mascarpone cheese- but this could be pudding, mousse, ready-made cheesecake filling
- Now I slice berries and stand them up to form a decorative wall.
- Add more cake
- Add more berries
- Top with whip cream
- Add shaved white chocolate
Now you chill for at least two hours. Right before serving you remove the cake collar and serve. The desserts will stay vertical. Your guest will be in awe, not only because it is delicious and beautiful!