When planning a nice meal or dinner party, you just can’t skip dessert. Though it’s not everyone’s favorite part of the meal, everyone enjoys eating something sweet from time to time. And let’s not forget the small but vocal minority of people who like to have savory and rich desserts, like an assertive cheese or charcuterie plate. For a course like a dessert, the options are limitless.
Dessert is also a chance to get a little creative. Something about the sweetness of dessert lends itself well to playful elaboration, and the dessert course, by virtue of being seen as “extra,” is often where chefs really stretch their creative muscles and get experimental.
Dessert is also great for dinner parties because it’s almost always a great option for preparing ahead of time. Prepping courses in advance is one of the key secrets to planning the perfect dinner party—and dessert is perfect for that. For instance, a nicely chilled dessert can take be the perfect counterpoint to a spicy main course, or a nice warm slice of pie can be the perfect way to relax on a winter’s evening.
But it’s not just dinner parties. Dessert is a multi-purpose course. What is a romantic dinner without a nice dessert afterward, savored intimately by candlelight? And maybe, just maybe, after a long day of work, a relaxing sweet treat is just the way to end the evening.
What can’t dessert do? Luckily, we aren’t here to answer that question. Instead, in this article, we are going to cover some of our favorite desserts. Desserts for wowing guests to your dinner party, desserts for a romantic dinner with the person you love, and desserts that are just plain delicious.
Dinner party dessert: how to plan a dessert course at a dinner party
So you’re planning a dinner party. And since you’re an excellent host, you are of course planning a dessert course for your guests. Sure, you could just make a nice pie or cake, but this is a special occasion and calls for something special.
One way to do this is by choosing a dessert that will just knock their socks off with its beauty and deliciousness. But this doesn’t always come easy: desserts, by their very nature, are finicky. They’re often a bit like chemistry experiments, requiring esoteric equipment and powdery additives in order to achieve just the right taste and texture.
This recipe hailing from southern China is no exception. It requires quite a few exotic ingredients, so your best bet is to head to your local Asian or Chinese import shop. Once you’re there, you need to pick up some special ingredients like alkaline water, golden syrup, lotus seed paste, and rose-flavored cooking wine. But the most important part of this recipe is the cake pan.
There was a time when Americans were great collectors of novelty cake pans. Though in the States these seem to have gone out of style, this mooncake possesses a timeless appeal that defies such short-lived trends. A mooncake mold is an intricately designed cake mold, about 5 inches in diameter. It typically features an engraving of a Chinese character, often one signifying longevity, harmony, or other ideas. Also common are pictures of the moon, mythical figures, flowers, vines, and other symbolic objects.
Once you pop your Chinese mooncake out of its engraved mold, you ensure that you’re going to make a lasting impression—definitely on your cakes, but hopefully on your guests as well.
Chewy cake with a caffeinated kick—green tea mochi
What’s part rice cake, part ice cream, part tea? Truly, we in the west don’t really have any equivalent for the Japanese dessert that is mochi. It’s made out of exotic ingredients like glutinous rice flour, special Asian beans, and green tea powder. But what it lacks in familiarity it more than makes up for in tastiness. Check out this easy Japanese green tea mochi recipe.
Mochi is chewy, not too sweet, and since it’s just a bit caffeinated, it’s great for getting the conversation (and guests) moving again after a heavy meal.
Homemade red vines
Our last dessert recipe is great for the kids. They recognize the taste and appearance instantly—that’s right, we’re talking about an easy homemade red vines recipe. These are essentially sticks of sugar and corn syrup spun together with some red color and strawberry extract, but what they lack in subtlety, they more than make up for in chewiness and fun! Your smallest guests will love them!
Dessert is easy
Hopefully, this article has given you some great ideas for how to expand your dessert repertoire. Sure, desserts can be a lot of work, but all you need to do is see how happy it makes your guests to know that a complex dessert is a great decision for anyone hosting a dinner party.