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Desserts that Travel Well


LizD518
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I have made the dessert for my family's Thanksgiving dinner for the last few years. This year, I am travelling much further to get there - it will be a total of nine hours, broken into a short 2 hour trip and a long 7 hour trip - all the same day.

My question is what would be a good dessert to take. I will be travelling the day before and we eat late, so I'll have time to assemble / finish on Thanksgiving day. Last year was a spice cake with a caramel glaze and the year before was an apple bread pudding with creme anglaise - I'd like to not duplicate those items.

I'm thinking pie will travel best but I'm also thinking a cake, dis-assembled and then frost it on Thanksgiving day. Any other ideas? Any particular pitfalls with my original ideas?

Thanks!

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sticky toffee pudding. bring sauce and unbaked pudding, heat and serve the next day. Lots of receipes out there, Gayle Gand has one from when she worked in the lakes region of England. It's such a cool holiday dessert, I love that stuff!

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For my husband's recent birthday, we ate at a friend's house, but I was responsible for dessert. Due to time constraints, I made a German Chocolate Cake (Cook's Illustrated Recipe) and just held the cake separate from the filling/icing. Worked beautifully. The other thing I've done for a make ahead/take with recipe is profiterroles (sp?). Paate au Choux puffs, split, filled with ice cream (which you can get just down the street from almost anywhere you're going) topped with hot fudge sauce. My fav. hot fudge sauce is 1/2 c. cream and 3 T. butter, brought to a boil. Add 1/3 each brown and white sugars; stir til dissolved. Add 1/2 c. cocoa.

Cream puffs are drop dead easy, hold well as is the hot fudge sauce. And, ice cream is easily available. What's not to like? And, there's something about pate au choux that makes folks think they are special!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I've had great success with cheesecake. Yes, I know that sounds strange, but hear me out. After baking in the springform pan, leave it in the springform pan. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature and then wrap the top with a nice layer of foil and chill completely. Place a nice cardboard square on top of the foil, place in a cooler and cover with lots of ice. You can travel for quite a bit, depending on the ambient temperature of your car. I used to bake pumpkin cheesecakes and then transport them 2-3 hours to their destination with absolutely no ill effects as long as I packed them in ice. Unmold on-site before dessert service and slice appropriately.

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sticky toffee pudding. bring sauce and unbaked pudding, heat and serve the next day. Lots of receipes out there, Gayle Gand has one from when she worked in the lakes region of England. It's such a cool holiday dessert, I love that stuff!

Which of her cookbooks would I find that in. I'm always looking for new sticky toffee pudding recipes.

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What about Dorie Greenspan's Cranberry Upside-downer?

I'm thinking you could keep it in its pan, then unmould it after you arrive. It's best made the day it's made, but I've loved it just as much two or three days later.

Any kind of pound cake is also good. You can unmould it, then once it's cooled, put it back in its pan (after you've cleaned it) to help protect it.

I'd like this ancho chile chocolate cake http://rec.mailarchive.ca/food.cooking/2007-03/2048.html. You could do the glaze the day-of.

I forgot to ask--are you driving or flying? Or both? You don't mention which. The Cranberry Upside-downer would probably be best if you're just driving, but if you're flying, the pound cake would be OK.

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A flourless chocolate cake. My favorite recipes all tell me to make them the day before anyway for best flavor and texture, and they are so dense that they are difficult to disfigure in any way that cannot be quickly disguised with whipped cream and raspberry sauce.

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I second the pound cake recommendation. Especially if you use one that gets soaked in a syrup, like Dorie Greenspan's rum-soaked cake from Baking: from My Home to Yours. You can make it at home, and it'll keep just fine for as long as you need it to. If you aren't so into the rum, I've had great success using whisky instead, particularly one with vanilla-y overtones. I suspect orange juice would also do the trick, if you'd prefer not to use alcohol. You could serve it with fruit, either fresh cut-up fruit or a dried fruit compote that you've made ahead of time.

Or, if you'll have oven access, make cookie dough at home, pack it into a cooler, bring your baking sheets and parchment, and use the interval between dinner and dessert to bake them off. I prefer the cookies after the dough's sat in the fridge for a couple of days, so I always try to make the dough ahead of time, use a disher to scoop out balls of dough, and let them sit in the fridge until I need them. If you're not so into scooping balls of dough, shape the dough into a log, and cut it into slabs and then quarter the slabs, just like the tubes of cookie dough you can buy.

Biscotti also keep reasonably well, as long as you don't shake them so they bash against the sides of the container and break into dust. And biscotti go well with many after-dinner beverages of all temperatures.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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You could always do a pumpkin mousse parfait which is very quick to make and easy to assemble. No muss, no fuss, and all you need is a stand or hand mixer at the other end. Ingredients are easy, and if you want to make it fancy, you could roast some pumpkin and do a fine dice and mix with crystallized ginger to decorate the top. Maybe even add in a layer of chocolate anglais which you could either make ahead and chill for driving (easy to keep in a thermos) or make it on site.

Hope you have a great trip!

Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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If you are flying, do not take a frosted cake. I talked with the TSA a couple years back about taking a cake on a flight and they informed me that the frosting was considered a liquid and therefore not allowed. BUT, if the cake was frozen, it would no longer be considered a liquid and should be perfectly acceptable to take on board. Honestly, that is what they told me.

Dan

"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

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What about Dorie Greenspan's Cranberry Upside-downer?

I'm thinking you could keep it in its pan, then unmould it after you arrive. It's best made the day it's made, but I've loved it just as much two or three days later.

Any kind of pound cake is also good. You can unmould it, then once it's cooled, put it back in its pan (after you've cleaned it) to help protect it.

I'd like this ancho chile chocolate cake http://rec.mailarchive.ca/food.cooking/2007-03/2048.html. You could do the glaze the day-of.

I forgot to ask--are you driving or flying? Or both? You don't mention which. The Cranberry Upside-downer would probably be best if you're just driving, but if you're flying, the pound cake would be OK.

I'm driving the whole way, and I will have a refridgerator in between the short leg of the trip and the long leg.

I like the idea of the cranberry upside-downer. The spice cake I did last year was her applesauce spice bars that were baked in a smaller pan to become thicker and more cakey. They were awesome.

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You could always do a pumpkin mousse parfait which is very quick to make and easy to assemble. No muss, no fuss, and all you need is a stand or hand mixer at the other end. Ingredients are easy, and if you want to make it fancy, you could roast some pumpkin and do a fine dice and mix with crystallized ginger to decorate the top. Maybe even add in a layer of chocolate anglais which you could either make ahead and chill for driving (easy to keep in a thermos) or make it on site.

Hope you have a great trip!

Wow, that sounds delicious!! Good suggestion!

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Chocolates travel well in vaccuum sealed bags. Regarding DanM's point,I have never gotten

my chocolates confiscated on a plane.

But I'll be sure they're frozen next time, just in case.

Edited by ejw50 (log)
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I love profiteroles. Once for Thanksgiving I made them filled with pumpkin ice cream and caramel sauce. Delicious. However, the ice cream was home made so, for your purposes, wouldn't travel well.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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