Now it’s time to decide the final course. With these five simple suggestions, rounding off your dinner party will be both easy and impressive for your guests in equal measure…
When I first fell in love with cookery and entertaining, it was in making desserts and sweets. After all, it was in those dishes that I first involved myself in the kitchen. Helping my grandmother when I was three and onward. Apple pies, ginger biscuits and so on.
Expensive Tastes has no shortage of dessert recipes, some of which may be more complicated than others. When the dinner party season comes around, I try and keep the last course simple – things that can be whipped up in minutes or made well in advance. Either way will be preferable to you if you’re throwing your own dinners.
As such, I have put together a quintet of suggestions for a potential place on your menu.
It doesn’t matter what flavour it is – if you don’t overcomplicate it, any no-bake cheesecake will go down a treat with your guests. I personally enjoy making and serving a White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake at functions, but a classic Vanilla Cheesecake will be just fine – decorated as and how you like.
We love cheesecake so much here at Expensive Tastes, there is even a vegan-friendly one, which you can make with Paulina Marth’s recipe here.
Here’s another one where you just cannot possibly go wrong. Even if you’re appalling at baking by your own admission. Fruit crumbles are among the first desserts I felt I nailed when I was younger. A Red Fruit Crumble, also known as a Sablé aux Fruits Rouges is the dessert I served at my first ever dinner party back in 2011.
Crumbles require so little from you that you can even prepare them in a teacup – DON’T do this if you’re serving it at a dinner party. They’re definitely in the category of dishes that you can make the day before. Serve hot or cold depending on your preference.
For our Apple Crumble recipe, complete with video demonstration, take a look here.
People love making brownies for snacks at home, so I don’t see why it can’t serve as a decent dessert. I see them on restaurant menus all the time. Making them is easy enough — the tricky part comes to knowing how to serve them. In the winter months, warm with some cream or custard; in summer, cold with ice cream.
ICE CREAM SUNDAES
Now we come to something you can put together in minutes before you serve. Well, it would be backward to prepare an ice cream dish hours or days in advance. This is where you can get a bit creative because you can experiment with colour schemes, themes and combinations. Involve marshmallows, raspberries and cherries for Rocky Road; peaches and raspberries for a Peach Melba. Or maybe something as simple as one scoop of chocolate, one of vanilla and one of strawberry for a Neapolitan. Entirely up to you.
FRESH FRUIT PAVLOVA
A dish that always proves colourful and popular with dinner party guests is the pavlova. In the kitchen, you can either prepare them well in advance or just before the dessert course begins. It depends on how organised you’re feeling.
Take my advice, however — don’t try to make your own meringues. It is more stress than it’s worth and the pre-made ones from the supermarket taste just fine. From there on in, it’s just a matter of whipping up some cream and decorating with your favourite fruits. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries etcetera are the more popular and traditional options, but I have seen some kiwi fruit and passionfruit too. Variations include the raspberry pavlova, which often involves white chocolate and shortbread pieces, and the Black Forest Pavlova, which has black cherries and dark chocolate.