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Help! I need a really impressive "non-chocolate" dessert

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hello!

 

I have been invited to a gourmet dinner party by a family friend. There is one problem: I have been assigned to bring a dessert and the hostess has requested that I bring a non chocolate dessert that will "knock her socks off"  I have been invited to these before but have always brought chocolate desserts.

 

Can anyone give me an idea of a unique or difficult/knock-your-socks-off dessert idea that my hostess (who is AMAZING at cooking) will find impressive?

 

I have at my disposal basically every pastry/baking tool out there because the hostess says I can use her kitchen. She's one of those people who watches Food Network religiously and goes to upscale restaurants all the time. 

 

(BTW she assigned me this task because I am taking some baking classes next year at a community college and I love baking) 

 

I am just really bad at coming up with ideas for desserts

 

Thank you so much for your help!

post #2 of 17

lavender scented semifreddo served in a vol-au-vent sprinkled with honey grilled bosc pears and candied almonds, then drizzled with a drambuie sauce

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #3 of 17

sounds great Cheflayne........

 

 

@ DJ,

 

I think it is just great that you want to hone your skills and make a great dessert. Have you ever googled " Plated desserts" or "Dessert Techniques" ? (or something along those lines ?)

 

There are so many winning combinations out there....I don't know if your like me but I really enjoy details that go into plating. There is a site that I came across that has some nice ideas...

 

http://dessertbuzz.com/category/quattro-new-york/

 

Have you ever tried making spun sugar ? Maybe think about a panna cotta (pick a flavor) then decide your coulis , accented fruit then picture what size this will take up on your plate and then pick the right bowl (shape - small med big ) and then spin your sugar, either inside a greased bowl or outside.....if any piece chips, keep it for decorating.....decorate with edible flower or as is...whatever you feel.

 

Pics off net to show technique  and plating.

 

 ....some dishes do not to have to be  complicated just executed well.....just some thoughts...I do believe that whatever you make will be wonderful because you have expressed that desire to do so....Petals.

 

ps. I realize they are using choc in these pics but its the plating that I am focused on.  (plating with colors, assorted flavors and textures )  ) The site I posted is worth looking at.

plating design.jpg

 

631495.jpg


Edited by petalsandcoco - 10/20/11 at 6:53am

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(157 photos)
  
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(157 photos)
  
Reply
post #4 of 17

If your skill levels don't go quite that high, let me suggest crostata ricotta.  Petals has pictures from when she tried my recipe, and which she may be prevailed upon to share.

 

Is tarte tatin too old hat?  As summer fleas and fall advances, there's just something about it...

 

Just a thought, but frozen desserts like semifreddos, ice creams, etc., aren't necessarily the best choice to bring to someone else's house because they have a tendency to melt in transport, and demand freezer space which isn't always available.  Something you can bring in a cooler, or which will hold on the counter-top might be friendlier to the situation.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 10/20/11 at 9:34am
What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #5 of 17

Chef BDL,

 

It would be  my pleasure to show a picture of the cake. I have made your recipe numerous times since then and it has  been a crowd pleaser, as always, thank you.

 

214.JPG

 

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(157 photos)
  
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(157 photos)
  
Reply
post #6 of 17

dj, 

for me, nothing says fall more than warm ooey gooey desserts...although i must admit that crostata di ricotta is one of my alltime favorites....petals, would love to see the pictures of yours..you know, sometimes it's the simple things that are most impressive...especially if they are done well...plus i would do something at a level you are comfortable with...so with all that said, here are a few ideas...i don't know if you need to bring this ready to serve or if you will have access to an oven....also,how many guests? does it matter if it's finger or forkable?

1) some sort of bread pudding.....'medjool date and almond with amaretto zabaglione' i add almond paste for extra oomph and gooeyiness...having it ready to bake and baking it at the

    house would be optimal...just the smell will drive the guests into a frenzy

2) upside down butterscotch apple-sour cream cake... a ginger creme fraiche would be a nice touch

3) some sort of fruit custard crisp...think apple, pears, combo...serve with real vanilla bean ice cream(which you could make)

4) i don't think you can ever go wrong with tiramisu...maybe add a twist...orange zest and some kind of orange liqueur

5) some kind of ginger spice cake....a ginger financier or even a pumpkin financier......cake is always so 'in'...as is good pie....i kind of do a cross between an apple pie and a tarte tatin...it's really high..actually called mile high apple pie...maybe after denver...who knows....hope these get your juices going!...

joey

 


Edited by durangojo - 10/20/11 at 10:11am

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #7 of 17

I just did a peach blueberry crisp: http://chocotuile.blogspot.com/2011/10/peach-blueberry-crisp.html if you want the recipe to that and there's an ice cream recipe here: http://chocotuile.blogspot.com/2011/09/secret-to-ice-cream.html

 

Try a vanilla bean pound cake baked in a cake form, and pipe passionfruit curd or ganache in the middle, then bake... like a molten chocolate lava cake, but with different flavors. Serve with creme fraiche ice cream.

 

Rustic tarts are "in" right now, so maybe a plum crostata paired with ice wine or honey ice cream? Poached pear and frangipan galette and use the poaching syrup to churn a sorbet...

 

Petals, I love your tea set! I have one similar (teapot only) but am looking to get the whole shebang sometime.

 

 

post #8 of 17

Joey,

 

We posted at the same time.....you have just got to try the recipe , it's terrific. I have to admit, I am a huge fan of Tarte Tatin. 

 

At work I paint plates  for desserts....I don't mean to complicate any ideas here.

 

@ Chocotuile : Nice Blog. The desserts look terrific. I see you like truffles.....aren't they great ?. If you ever come across Royal Albert " Old country roses "  coffee pot lid " let me know...I also collect tea cups and saucers.

 

Welcome to Cheftalk , it's a great place.

 

Petals.

 

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(157 photos)
  
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(157 photos)
  
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post #9 of 17

 petals,

wow..your crostata looks fabulous as does all your 'artwork'...i do make the crostata di ricotta and i believe it's the same one as bdl's, at least it seems to be...i don't do the intricate lattice work that you do though...not sure why...mine is more rustic...thanks for the picture...how much does that puppy weigh?

joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #10 of 17

Crostata di ricotta is a sort of rustic dish and doesn't need such great skills, i think.  Even italians do it at home and they can't make much of anything baked. 

 

I think my most wow type non chocolate desert is a strawberry tart, with a sweet brisee crust, cooked blind, with vanilla bavarian cream, then strawberries on top, then redcurrant jelly painted on that. 

 

Or a bavarian cream - i like to do chocolate, vanilla and strawberry - you could do it in layers or find some way to unmold small shapes to put on a dish.  For my own uses, i just spoon it out of a big bowl. 

 

there are some amazing cakes in the cake bible, like one with a caramel cage around it, and another with a chocolate cage (lacy piped chocolate, free standing, and making a fence around the cake. 

 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #11 of 17

Petals, I saw Macy's selling Royal Albert last year and took a double-take. I didn't think it could be mass-produced, as I thought they were made in the UK? The ones at Macy's I saw were made in China! So I'm still foraging for the set. When you mean paint, you mean you actually paint the plates? That's amazing! I did that years ago with a china painting teacher, but I was always amazed at her patience for the art. I'm more about instant gratification (it's horrible, I know!). Yes, truffles are awesome!

post #12 of 17

I would agree with Petals. 

A simple, but well-executed-made-ahead-easily-stowed-and-transported item elegantly plated. 

That easily could steal the entire evening! Less stress for you and the hostess. 

If you have a great recipe for a really moist cake, maybe made into mini Bundt and then beautifully adorned.  Everybody likes cake. 

Some crème en glaze on the plate, fresh seasonal-local berries artfully placed, and that cutie of maybe a lemon Bundt. 

All done ahead at your home and then use the hostess's bounty of I'm sure gorgeous dessert plates.

from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

Reply
post #13 of 17

 

The Royal Doulton Company goes back to the early 1800's. It had its beginnings in London but now alot of the collections like Royal Doulton, Royal Albert and Minton are being manufactured in China. Most of the pieces I have were produced in England but some of the newer pieces like the canister set and vases and butter pats (right term ?) come from China.

Is there a difference ? There sure it, and much of it has to do with the quality , re the pattern and  glaze.

 

When I spoke of painting paints I should of been more specific . I meant that I paint flowers with assorted coulis, chocolate, garnishes etc....basically anything edible. For the most part I paint dessert plates , the odd time I will paint savory .... in my profile there is a painted plate for lamb that I did for work....my boss had special guests coming in that day for lunch, the plates were done in the early morning.

 

Sanford I. Weill once said :

" Details create the big picture."

 

Everyone had some great input here.......but the OP has not returned, I am sure she had found her dessert.

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(157 photos)
  
Reply

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(157 photos)
  
Reply
post #14 of 17

If chocolate is an option that is what I order, so when literally got the giggles after my first bite of zabiglione with fresh blackberries I became an instant fan.   Only tried making it once and it didn't measure up

post #15 of 17

I am sure that have grabbed an idea already but if not one of my go deserts is a lemon berry trifle. it is spectacular in so many ways. amk4

post #16 of 17

Something with dates or figs!!

post #17 of 17

What about a rustic berry tart?

I found this recipe in an LCBO magazine a few years ago. It looks as impressive as it is tasty! I don't have a picture right now but I will be making this next weekend and I will come back and add a photo.

 

Crust:

1/2 cup ground almonds

1 1/2 cups ap flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup ice water

Combine almonds, flours salt & sugar  in a food processor(FP) pulse to mix. Add butter & pulse till small peas form. Add water while FP is running until it comes together. Remove from FP and knead a few times. Put in bowl, covered & refridgerate for 1 hour.

 

Filling:

2 cups blueberries

1 cup raspberries

1 cup black berries

zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp ap flour

1/2 cup sugar

Combine fruit & zest, sprinkle with lemon juice, sugar & flour.  Mix gently.

 

Roll out dough on parchement to approx. 14 inch round. Put filling in middle. Fold the edges over 2-3 of fruit towards center all the way around. Secure with water on folds. Brush pastry with egg wash. Sprinkle with sliced almonds (skin on) and raw rock sugar. Bake 375 for 45 minutes. Cool at least 1 hour before cutting.

 

TartFilling.jpg  TartReadyToBake.jpg BakedTart.jpg


Edited by VillageCakeLady - 11/20/11 at 8:34pm
If you step on people in this life, you're going to come back as a cockroach. ~Willie Davis
http://www.thevillagecakelady.ca
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If you step on people in this life, you're going to come back as a cockroach. ~Willie Davis
http://www.thevillagecakelady.ca
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