Help Me Think Of A Non-Cake Dessert, Please?

Lounge By MJTKNT Updated 23 Dec 2010 , 4:24am by indydebi

MJTKNT Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 9:56pm
post #1 of 7

Wow, Christmas has really snuck up on me! I'm hosting a dinner tomorrow and am just getting myself together. icon_redface.gif

I can't think of a dessert to make for the life of me. I'm not making a cake (toooooo much cake!!!), and would like to stay away from the typical pumpkin pie, apple pie, cookies, etc.

Can you guys help me think of a dessert? I was thinking creme brulee or tiramisu, but I don't have enough ramekins for the first, and don't really want to spend a ton on ingredients (a pound of mascarpone cheese) on the second since I've already put so much into the rest of the meal. If I can't think of anything else, I'll probably go with the tiramisu, but just wanted to see if you all could come up with any other ideas.

As an FYI- for dinner we're having prime rib and lobster tails, mashed potatoes, green beans w/cilantro and garlic, deviled eggs, and bread. It's just about 10 of us, so no need for anything huge.

Thanks!!

6 replies
LNW Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 10:43pm
post #2 of 7

I found this recipe for a mousse cake (its not really cake) online and it has become my families favorite dessert. Its extremely rich so a small slice will go a long way. The most expensive thing in it is all the heavy cream. Other then that you probably already have all the ingredients you need in the pantry. It is very time consuming though. It takes quite a few hours to make it because of all the setting up each layer has to do. It's from America's Test Kitchen if I remember right.

Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake

From the episode: Triple-Chocolate Mousse Cake

Serves 12 to 16

This recipe requires a springform pan at least 3 inches high. It is imperative that each layer is made in sequential order. Cool the base completely before topping it with the middle layer. We recommend Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar for the base and middle layers; our other recommended brand of chocolate, Callebaut Intense Dark L-60-40NV, may be used, but it will produce drier, slightly less sweet results. Our preferred brand of white chocolate is Guittard Choc-Au-Lait White Chips. For best results, chill the mixer bowl before whipping the heavy cream. The entire cake can be made through step 8 and refrigerated up to a day in advance; leave it out at room temperature for up to 45 minutes before releasing it from the cake pan and serving. For neater slices, use a cheese wire or dip your knife in hot water before cutting each slice.

INGREDIENTS

BOTTOM LAYER
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter , cut into 6 pieces, plus extra for greasing pan
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine (see note)
3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs , separated
Pinch table salt
1/3 cup packed (about 2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar , crumbled with fingers to remove lumps

MIDDLE LAYER
2 tablespoons cocoa powder , preferably Dutch-processed
5 tablespoons hot water
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped fine (see note)
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt

TOP LAYER
3/4 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1 tablespoon water
6 ounces white chocolate chips (see note)
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
Shaved chocolate or cocoa powder for serving, optional (see note)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. FOR THE BOTTOM LAYER: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Butter bottom and sides of 91/2-inch springform pan. Melt butter, chocolate, and espresso powder in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and cool mixture slightly, about 5 minutes. Whisk in vanilla and egg yolks; set aside.

2. In stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt at medium speed until frothy, about 30 seconds. Add half of brown sugar and beat until combined, about 15 seconds. Add remaining brown sugar and beat at high speed until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, about 1 minute longer, scraping down sides halfway through. Using whisk, fold one-third of beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture to lighten. Using rubber spatula, fold in remaining egg whites until no white streaks remain. Carefully transfer batter to prepared springform pan, gently smoothing top with offset spatula.

3. Bake until cake has risen, is firm around edges, and center has just set but is still soft (center of cake will spring back after pressing gently with finger), 13 to 18 minutes. Transfer cake to wire rack to cool completely, about 1 hour. (Cake will collapse as it cools.) Do not remove cake from pan.

4. FOR THE MIDDLE LAYER: Combine cocoa powder and hot water in small bowl; set aside. Melt chocolate in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan filled with 1 inch of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly, 2 to 5 minutes.

5. In clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip cream, granulated sugar, and salt at medium speed until mixture begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, 15 to 60 seconds.

6. Whisk cocoa powder mixture into melted chocolate until smooth. Using whisk, fold one-third of whipped cream into chocolate mixture to lighten. Using rubber spatula, fold in remaining whipped cream until no white streaks remain. Spoon mousse into springform pan over cooled cake and gently tap pan on counter 3 times to remove any large air bubbles; gently smooth top with offset spatula. Wipe inside edge of pan with damp cloth to remove any drips. Refrigerate cake at least 15 minutes while preparing top layer.

7. FOR THE TOP LAYER: In small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water; let stand at least 5 minutes. Place white chocolate in medium bowl. Bring ½ cup cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; add gelatin mixture and stir until fully dissolved. Pour cream mixture over white chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes (mixture will thicken slightly).

8. In clean bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, whip remaining cup cream at medium speed until it begins to thicken, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form when whisk is lifted, 15 to 60 seconds. Using whisk, fold one-third of whipped cream into white chocolate mixture to lighten. Using rubber spatula, fold remaining whipped cream into white chocolate mixture until no white streaks remain. Spoon white chocolate mousse into pan over middle layer. Smooth top with offset spatula. Return cake to refrigerator and chill until set, at least 2½ hours.

9. TO SERVE: If using, garnish top of cake with chocolate curls or dust with cocoa. Run thin knife between cake and side of springform pan; remove side of pan. Run cleaned knife along outside of cake to smooth sides. Cut into slices and serve.

TexasSugar Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 11:36pm
post #3 of 7

My three favorite desserts are Cheesecake, Tiramisu and Creme Brulee. icon_wink.gif

I'm going to make play with the combination of the first two for one of my desserts this year. I was going to make it for Thanksgiving, but our plans got screwed up.

I'm also going to make a chocolate meringue pie and a pecan pie.

Cheesecakes are a little expensive, but there are so many different flavor combinations you can do that you can really come up with something nice and special.

tryingcake Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 11:47pm
post #4 of 7

mmmmmmm....................... Creme Brulee

brownies with a scoop of ice cream?

This looks yummy:

http://cookeatshare.com/recipes/another-french-dessert-made-easy-shortcut-individual-tart-tatin-recipe-314915

Elcee Posted 22 Dec 2010 , 11:55pm
post #5 of 7

How about a truffle cake? It's not the same as a decorated cake and served in a thin wedge with a mini scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream and raspberry sauce, beautiful, delicious and Christmas-y.

cakecraft Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 2:57am
post #6 of 7

I do a merry cherry dessert in a trifle bowl....layer cubes of pound cake (spritzed with spiced rum) with cherry pie filling and an eggnog mousse (white chocolate instant pudding mix, 1 c eggnog, 1 c whipping cream. ) Top with whipped cream , a few cherries, some sliced almonds and a few white chocolate leaves. Festive and delish!

TexasSugar, I also use a recipe I tweaked from one on allrecipes.com called tiramisu toffee dessert. It has cream cheese, skor bars, chocolate sauce and coffee soaked cake, that I also do layered in a trifle bowl. AWESOME and easy.

Happy holidays!

indydebi Posted 23 Dec 2010 , 4:24am
post #7 of 7

WIth the fabulous menu you've got, I say go for something simple. Pick up some of those pre-made pie crust tarts that are single serving (about 3-4" across). Fill with pie filling (canned fruit filling; sliced bananas on the bottom with pudding on top); top with whipped cream. Luscious, filling .... and it looks like you went to a lot of work! thumbs_up.gif

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