Wedding season has finally arrived, and to celebrate I'm planning an engagement party. While I was making the invitations, I spent a lot of time wondering what kind of an event it should be: an afternoon cocktail versus a sit down dinner versus a Sunday brunch? I wanted to do something different than your typical expected, everyday engagement party and suddenly it hit me: a dessert party! A dessert party is the perfect type of fiesta to embrace and honor the upcoming marriage of a young couple. It's less formal and easier for the hostess than dinner, and besides cocktail parties are expected so surprise guests with a decadent dessert buffet. Bite sized desserts are elegant and tasty and to ensure that the host/hostess doesn't spend all night scooping ice cream or cutting slices of pie and cake, all of the dishes should be small, portable finger foods. I'll be highlighting the recipes throughout the day so be sure to check back later for all of the delectable desserts. You can't have a dessert buffet without chocolate, to check out my chocolate recipes,Brownie Cupcakes
are a fabulous combination of two must-make classic tiny sweets: brownies and cupcakes. These babies will be all chocolate with a smooth luscious chocolate frosting. For those who prefer salt with their sweet, I'll have bowls of
Sea-Salted Smoky Almond Chocolate Bark
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
11 Ounces best-quality semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 large eggs
1 Cup sugar
3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/4 Cup unsweetened cocoa
1/8 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup coarsely chopped walnuts, (optional)
Nonstick cooking spray
24 Ounces semisweet chocolate morsels
4 Cups whipping cream
1 Teaspoon light corn syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a twelve-count muffin tin with cupcake liners, and spray generously with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and 8 ounces of chocolate. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Add flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Stir in the melted chocolate until combined. Stir in remaining 3 ounces of chocolate and nuts if desired.
- Using a 2-ounce ice cream scoop, fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter. Bake until a firm crust forms on the cupcakes, about 20 minutes.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool, about 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan, and continue to cool on a wire rack.
- Make frosting: Place chocolate morsels and cream in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until combined and thickened, between 20 and 25 minutes.
- Increase the heat to medium low; cook, stirring, 3 minutes more. Remove pan from heat.
- Stir in corn syrup. Transfer frosting to a large metal bowl. Chill until cool enough to spread, about 2 hours, checking and stirring every 15 to 20 minutes.
- Ice cupcakes with a generous amount of chocolate frosting.
1 bar (8 oz.) Dark Chocolate, broken into pieces
1/2 cup smoked-flavored almonds, coarsely chopped, divided
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (preferably large crystal)
- Line 8-inch baking pan with wax paper.
- Microwave chocolate in uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on high (100%) power for 1 minute; stir. The sections may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until smooth.
- Stir in 1/4 cup almonds.
- Pour into prepared baking pan.
- Sprinkle with remaining almonds. Tap pan several times to spread chocolate and settle nuts. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Refrigerate for about 1 hour or until firm.
- Break into pieces. Store in air-tight container at room temperature.
Makes 15 pieces.
What chocolate desserts would your serve at your dessert party? Tell me below and come back later for the rest of the recipes to round out the buffet.