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Make ahead desserts for 400 revisited


CanadianBakin'
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Briefly, DH's school asked me to make desserts for 2 concert & dessert evenings with 200 at each evening. I already do quite a bit of baking for them but not on this scale. Most of it has to be prepped ahead but can be assembled the evening of.

They had asked for cakes but after having a think I suggested individual desserts. I was thinking it might be easier for storing and would look more upscale. I was thinking about Pavlova and cream puffs that could be frozen until the event and then finished on site. Maybe a Napoleon kind of concoction. They had asked for chocolate cake. I was thinking I could make up sheet cakes cut into squares ahead, then layer them with piped buttercream and drizzle the top with ganache.

Do you have any other suggestions?

Which fillings could I prepare a day or two ahead, pipe onto or into a dessert the evening of, and then have sit at room temp for an hour or two until they are served? Can I do that with a mousse that has gelatin in it? My guess is not, but I could be wrong. How do pastry creams hold up?

Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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There are three ideas, I've used. If you have an oven available then i've done a chocolate fondant with ice cream. The batter can be made ahead put into alumnum tins and then baked when needed 15minues before. (The ice cream should be scooped out ahead and stored frozen) Place both on the plate. Or do chocolate mouse. make the mouse and freeze it in flexipan molds. Un mold and leave frozen on a tray. The day of serving, arrange the number mouses on a tray. Spray them with a chocolate spray mixture (Cocobutter and cocoa powder in a paint sprayer). Carefully place them on the plates with raspberry coulis.

Edit: Forgot my third idea. I've also done mini tartlets with fruit.

Edited by jturn00 (log)
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The mousse is a great idea! I don't think I can do anything with icecream as it may have to sit out a bit before serving. With the fruit tarts, would you just have all the the pastry shells made up ahead, then fill with fruit and glaze them the night of? Would you fill the bottom with a pastry cream?

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Briefly, DH's school asked me to make desserts for 2 concert & dessert evenings with 200 at each evening. I already do quite a bit of baking for them but not on this scale. Most of it has to be prepped ahead but can be assembled the evening of.

They had asked for cakes but after having a think I suggested individual desserts. I was thinking it might be easier for storing and would look more upscale. I was thinking about Pavlova and cream puffs that could be frozen until the event and then finished on site. Maybe a Napoleon kind of concoction. They had asked for chocolate cake. I was thinking I could make up sheet cakes cut into squares ahead, then layer them with piped buttercream and drizzle the top with ganache.

Do you have any other suggestions?

Which fillings could I prepare a day or two ahead, pipe onto or into a dessert the evening of, and then have sit at room temp for an hour or two until they are served? Can I do that with a mousse that has gelatin in it? My guess is not, but I could be wrong. How do pastry creams hold up?

Any ideas or suggestions are welcome.

Have you ever frozen Pavova before? I never have, and would be leery to try it.

I love Jturn's idea of frozen mousses in flexi-molds.

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Have you ever frozen Pavova before?  I never have, and would be leery to try it.

I love Jturn's idea of frozen mousses in flexi-molds.

I would definitely try it first. I think I've eliminated that option anyways. Instead I'm thinking of the cocoa nests in Baking with Julia. I have had good success freezing crisp meringues in the past. I will try it with this recipe to make sure. The event isn't till the end of April so I've got time to do some experimenting. Thanks for the caution!

Does anyone know if I can have success freezing already baked squares of puff pastry and then crisping them in the oven just before using? I'm thinking of piping diplomat cream (with blueberries folded in) between the layers. I'm looking at a variation of Flo Braker's millefeuille royale.

Edited by CanadianBakin' (log)

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Does anyone know if I can have success freezing already baked squares of puff pastry and then crisping them in the oven just before using?

I've not done this, but my instinct is that it would work fine. I'm dying to see what you come up with -- take lots of pictures!

Edited by RuthWells (log)
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