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Amy D.

Crowd-pleasing desserts

25 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I couldn't find a thread covering this, but apologies if there is.

 

As I'm planning the food for a family gathering I realise again that we have a few desserts that we often fall back on. Partly because they are easy to prepare, minimal effort for the cook that is busy producing food to feed 20-30, and don't suffer from sitting on the buffet table. But mainly, because these are the crowd pleasing desserts, the one that are enjoyed by young and old alike. They can be altered and elaborated but in reality everyone would be just as satisfied with the dish in its more simple form, perhaps due to the associated memories.

 

some of our crowd pleasers are pavlova, banoffee pie and triffle.

 

https://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/strawberry-pavlova

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/banoffeepie_89031

 

so what about other egulleters, do you have a tradition of easy crowd pleasing desserts?


Edited by Smithy Adjusted title (log)

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For my family, it's lemon icebox pie. I make them two at a time, they need to be made a day in advance, and they take about 40 minutes from start to finish. There may be a simpler dessert, but I'm danged if I know what it is.

 

Lemon Icebox Pie (makes 2 pies)

 

two graham cracker crusts, or your choice of crust

 

3 cans condensed milk

4 eggs

1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

 

Beat eggs, then beat in condensed milk and lemon juice until completely incorporated. Divide filling between two pie shells. Bake in 325F oven for 25 minutes. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate. Top with whipped cream to serve.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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wow that sounds delicious, definitely going to give it ago - can I just check what size the tins are (I'm in the UK so sizes are usually different).

 

another classic for my inlaws is this cheat key lime pie

https://www.carnation.co.uk/Recipes/Recipe.aspx?RecipeId=6 only using gingernuts as a base

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This is terrible, and speaks volumes about my family members.   The best dessert, the one they actually FIGHT over...  Snicker Salad.  

 

8-10 Grannie Smith Apples (or some other hard, tart apple)

8 Snicker bars

2-3 Large tubs of Cool Whip

2-3 bags mini marshmallows. 

 

Dice the apples and Snicker bars. Add marshmallows, and mix.  Add in the thawed Cool Whip.  Mix until its combined. Then step back and watch the magic happen. =)  

I don't know if there are British equivalents for all these items, but I'll throw it out there just in case. 

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-Andrea

 

A 'balanced diet' means chocolate in BOTH hands. :biggrin:

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This recipe is a little Sandra Lee-ish/Paula Deen-ish but people really enjoy it:

"Next-Best-Thing-To-Robert-Redford Pie"

 

You can, of course, use real whipped cream instead of the fake stuff, as well as make your own puddings if you're so inclined. It's made in a 13x9 pan so it isn't really a pie. It tastes very, very good. I'll either grate some dark chocolate on top or use a veggie peeler to make chocolate curls for topping it. My mom used chocolate jimmies once but fair warning...jimmies bleed brown!

Then my sister-in-law riffed off this same dessert by leaving out the two pudding mixes completely and instead uses a layer of sliced strawberries (when in season) mixed with that ubiquitous strawberry glaze you can find in grocery stores (they usually stock it near the strawberries in the produce section). You can top it off with sliced strawberries to make it look pretty. This strawberry version tastes exactly like the strawberry pie you get at Marie Callender's. It's incredibly good.

My s-i-l also made a peach version using diced up canned peaches and the peach glaze you find in the store when they're in season. It was good but not as tasty as the strawberry version.

Sometimes my mom will make both versions, the original and the strawberry, for potlucks. Needless to say, they go quickly.

 

And because I spoke her name :o I will also mention that Paula Deen's "Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding" is insanely good and is easy to make. Again, you can make your own whipped cream and pudding if you're so inclined. But it's super easy to make and people swoon over it. The one suggestion I would make would be to use something like Fruit Fresh on the bananas before putting them into the dessert. If you don't and there are leftovers, the bananas tend to oxidize and turn color.

 

And now I believe I have to go out into my front yard and swing a chicken over my head three times to prevent Paula Deen from manifesting again. ;) xD

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Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

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I have my go-to lemon cheese pie (which also works as my lime cheese pie) and is very much like kayb's Lemon Icebox Pie....or AmyD's cheat key lime pie...or even the Not-Robert-Redford pie.  My point is that on top of these pies I then add a dark chocolate ganache.  Basically 4 oz chocolate, 1/2 cream (heavy or half & half) with a dollop of butter.  Now that IS a crowd pleaser for sure.  

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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Posted (edited)

I just remembered my Margarita pie.  It's an easy one too and talk about pleasing the crowd!  Whipping cream and booze...you can't lose.


Edited by Darienne (log)
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Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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2 hours ago, Amy D. said:

wow that sounds delicious, definitely going to give it ago - can I just check what size the tins are (I'm in the UK so sizes are usually different).

 

another classic for my inlaws is this cheat key lime pie

https://www.carnation.co.uk/Recipes/Recipe.aspx?RecipeId=6 only using gingernuts as a base

I often cheat and use the readymade crusts I get at the grocery store -- I think they're 8-inch, the deep dish kind. If I make my own crust (with almond meal, for the gluten-free child), I use my 9-inch pie plate, not deep dish.

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Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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My go-to is the Nanaimo Bar.  It's a regional treat in my province (BC), consisting of a graham crumb-nut-coconut bottom layer, custard filling, and chocolate top layer.  Minimal cooking, and easily scales up.  For the custard powder, traditionally it's Bird's Custard, although I have seen some American recipes using just icing sugar or vanilla pudding mix. But for us locals, it's Bird's Custard or it's not a Nanaimo Bar!

 

Also Magic Bars/Hello Dolly Bars/Layer Cookies...whatever they're called.  Usually graham layer, topped with nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, whatever you want...sweetened condensed milk poured over top and baked.

 

I'm a big fan of bars for things like potlucks & cook-outs - they're very portable, not messy, and are fine left on the buffet table for a couple hours

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@Chocomom we don't have cool whip but the rest is easily available here. I can imagine why its popular, and now quite fancy making a mini batch to devour by myself!

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@Toliver two appealing dishes, though I've not seen pudding mix over here and while we used to have chocolate pudding pots when I was younger (late 80's/early 90's) I have no idea if the flavour texture profile is the same, so I wonder (and would like to try it at some point) if they the recipes would have the same crowd pleasing effect given that we didn't grow up on those particular flavours. I'm sure they probably would, given the sweet, creamy chocolate combo but it does make me wonder how much is affected by our memory of a dish. For example, in the UK trifle is ubiquitous. It can be made very well from scratch; homemade jam, genose, crème anglais. But most Brits would probably be happy with a semi made version using shop bought sponge/swiss roll and birds custard because that is the flavour profile from our childhood.

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@Darienne really loving the ganache lemon/lime combo

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@Beebs thank you for reminding me of naminio bars , I've been wanting to try them for a while so I will be giving it a go soon.

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@Kayb sorry one of those lost in translation things, I meant how large are the cans of condensed milk? It sound like a lot of milk per eggs, not that its a bad thing as I can happily eat condensed milk off the spoon, just don't want to mess it up

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16 hours ago, Amy D. said:

@Kayb sorry one of those lost in translation things, I meant how large are the cans of condensed milk? It sound like a lot of milk per eggs, not that its a bad thing as I can happily eat condensed milk off the spoon, just don't want to mess it up

 

Tins...cans...(smacking hand to forehead). My apologies! 

 

Just went and looked in the pantry to see. They're 14 ounces. Less, of course, a spoon or two you've eaten  along the way. 

 

The measures are pretty forgiving; for instance, I never worry about medium vs. large eggs, and I have on occasion used up to 3/4 cup lemon juice, for my ex-husband, who liked his pies TART. 

 

They're also good with a fruit compote spooned over for serving.

 


Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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My favorites are cookies. I typically make cookie dough, portion it into appropriate-size balls (and, for peanut butter cookies, crisscross them with a fork), freeze them flat on cookie sheets, and then bag them. For just a few people, I'll bake just a few. For a crowd, I'll bake a few sheets.

 

My MIL will often make a sheet cake, from a box, with frosting from a can. She'll spread the frosting over the cake still in its 9 by 13 inch pan, no muss, no fuss.

 

If you have the right crowd, either a Dirt Cake (don't forget the gummy worms and fake flowers) or a Kitty Litter Cake can be fun, but neither of those does well outside on a hot day.

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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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1 hour ago, kayb said:

 

Tins...cans...(smacking hand to forehead). My apologies! 

 

Just went and looked in the pantry to see. They're 14 ounces. Less, of course, a spoon or two you've eaten  along the way. 

 

Just to butt in here.  Canadian condensed milk comes in a 300ml can.  That's 10.1442 oz to the American cook.  Why?  I don't know.  It has been known to make me quite riled at times, mostly because I can't remember the number of ounces in 300ml and have to work it out each time.  

Of course, this means to make an American recipe which calls for condensed milk, I have to open two cans.   I know.  I know.  It's silly.  But it still makes me angry...:angry:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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4 hours ago, Darienne said:

Just to butt in here.  Canadian condensed milk comes in a 300ml can.  That's 10.1442 oz to the American cook.  Why?  I don't know.  It has been known to make me quite riled at times, mostly because I can't remember the number of ounces in 300ml and have to work it out each time.  

Of course, this means to make an American recipe which calls for condensed milk, I have to open two cans.   I know.  I know.  It's silly.  But it still makes me angry...:angry:

and yet, unusually, in this case our condensed milk comes in the same 14oz cans as the us.

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thank you kayb I will trying the pie out soon.

 

MelissaH I have been freezing cookie dough balls for a few years now, probably an idea I got from egullet, and its just so handy having a stash of tasty snacks for those last minute get togethers, or for easily adding another sweet treat to the table.

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Chocolate marquise with a fruit or herb or booze creme anglaise. Always kills.

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2 hours ago, paulraphael said:

Chocolate marquise with a fruit or herb or booze creme anglaise. Always kills.

Dear Ice Cream Mentor, I would be delighted if you would share your recipe with us.  I could use a new go-to dessert.  Thanks. 


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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18 hours ago, Darienne said:

Dear Ice Cream Mentor, I would be delighted if you would share your recipe with us.  I could use a new go-to dessert.  Thanks. 

please, it sounds amazing

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We have a couple of crowd pleasers at our place, things I fall back on when I want happy guests and quick work.

 

Poor man's pie, one my mom taught me early on. 1 cup each flour, sugar, and milk. Stick of butter, melted.  Teaspoon vanilla. Mix, pour into baking dish. Add a can of either pie filling, frozen berries,or drained, tinned fruit (we prefer peaches).  Bake at 350/180 until done. I double for a 9x13 and serve with cream/custard/ice cream. Great for when you only have pantry staples :)

 

Better than [anything] cake.  Bake a 9x13 chocolate cake--I prefer the Hershey's black magic or chocolate wacky cake. While hot, pour sweetened condensed milk and caramel ice cream topping over the cake.  Sprinkle with crushed candy bars/Oreos/nuts--your preference.  Before serving, top with whipped cream and sprinkle more of your candy.  The guys adore it and it rescues an over baked or dry cake if necessary.

I know there are others, I'll just have to think about it :)

 

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On 4/13/2017 at 3:56 PM, Amy D. said:

please, it sounds amazing

 

This is adapted from Gilles Bajolle's chocolate marquise, which was his signature dessert at Taillevent in Paris in the 1980s and 90s. I make a different version now with a more intense chocolate flavor ... I've eliminated the eggs entirely and use more modern ingredients to get the texture. But this version is more classical, and everyone's always loved it. I'm not including the sauce recipe. It's just a creme anglaise. Bajolle always flavored it with a pistachio paste. I've used different things, but especially fruit / herbs. My favorite is probably peach and basil. My preference is for a lighter creme anglaise (mix of milk and cream, not too many eggs) since the marquise itself is so rich. But you can go in whatever direction you like. 

 

1 Quart

feeds 8 to 10

 

pan that holds 1 quart--anything that's about the right size, wider than it

is tall. Ideally use a 6" round cheesecake or springform pan. Bajolle used a loaf pan.

 

250g / 9oz chocolate:*

    150g  / 5 oz bittersweet 

    100g  /  3 oz unsweetened

125g  / 4-1/2 oz (1 stick plus 1 TB) butter

310g  / 1-1/3 cup heavy cream

6 large egg yolks / 108g

2 large whole eggs** / 100g                            

85g  / 1/4 cup plus 3TB sugar 

25g  /  1/4 cup cocoa, sifted

1.5g / 1/4 tsp salt

(752g)

 

*Use good stuff. My standard for this recipe was 

 100g  /  3.5 oz Valrhona Guanaja  (excellent, dark, bittersweet), 

  50g  /  2 oz Valrhona Manjari  ( brighter bittersweet with more aroma)

  100g  / 3.5 oz /   Valrhona Cacao pur Pate (unsweetened).

I've mostly switched to Cluizel chocolates, like Vila Gracinda and Le Noir Infini. 

 

**Ideally, use pasteurized eggs. You're serving them uncooked.

 

*****

 

-chill pan in fridge while preparing the ingredients

-melt the chololate and butter together in a bowl over hot water. ideally, melt chocolate first, then, with heat very low, stir in butter. when butter is almost melted, remove from heat and allow residual heat to complete the melt. you should have a glass-smooth ganache.

-whip the cream to soft peaks and set it aside, keeping it cold

-beat egg, yolks, sugar, and salt until smooth. do not incorporate enough air to significantly increase volume. Use a stiff whisk, a hand mixer, or the flat beater of a stand mixer on medium speed.

-when chocolate has cooled a bit, beat it with the egg mxture for one minute

-beat in cocoa for 5 minutes by hand, or 3 minutes by machine. goal is smoothness and some thickening, not increased volume. final texture should be like a ganache icing. this is where you earn your dessert if you're not using a mixer.

-fold in cream, gently. make it homogenous, but work it as little as

possible to keep it from deflating

-If it deflates too much, or if there are lumps from unincorporated cocoa, scoop the whole mess into a mixer a whip on high speed with the wire whip. It should fluff up and smooth out. Don't go longer than needed.

-fill pan

-thump it hard on counter to remove air bubbles. cover tightly with plastic

wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours; preferably overnight.

-to remove from cheesecake pan, warm sides with hair dryer or a towel soaked in hot water. set bottom on a sturdy glass or bowl, and push sides down.

-to remove from a solid pan, partially immerse in warm water to loosen it. Wipe of all the water from the outside of the pan, and flip it over onto a plate. if you're lucky, it will come out. if you're like me, you will do a lot of pounding and yelling, and maybe even resort to running a knife around the outside edge (and repairing the damage later--think stucco. yes, I prefer a cheesecake or springform pan)

 

To serve, slice the marquise. a round pan gives wedge shaped slices that i set upright like pieces of cake. I like to ladle the sauce onto the plate first, and set the marquise slice in the middle of this.

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On 4/11/2017 at 0:07 PM, Beebs said:

My go-to is the Nanaimo Bar.  It's a regional treat in my province (BC), consisting of a graham crumb-nut-coconut bottom layer, custard filling, and chocolate top layer.  Minimal cooking, and easily scales up.  For the custard powder, traditionally it's Bird's Custard, although I have seen some American recipes using just icing sugar or vanilla pudding mix. But for us locals, it's Bird's Custard or it's not a Nanaimo Bar!

What's the difference in taste/flavour between vanilla pudding and Bird's custard?

On 4/11/2017 at 0:07 PM, Beebs said:

 

 

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