The smallest details of a party make a big difference. Have some butterscotch, chocolate sauce or caramel on hand for presentation. Nice thin swirls across the dessert plate add special appeal. Mini chocolate chips are always great sprinkled across Chocolate Cake, coupled with fresh raspberries, they create a dazzling effect. Remember, that along with desserts, berries can remain frozen for up to four months and maintain their fresh flavor.
A delightful flavor you may want to include is Maraschino liqueur. Lightly splashed atop a piece of frosted cake makes the taste experience fuller. Try to have at least two types of cake to choose from. Chocolate and Vanilla flavors are typical, so you may want to have a fruited cake or tart on the menu. If you want to serve ice cream, a nice Neapolitan can effectively solve the flavor problem.
Espresso is wonderful with dessert but how about taking up a notch with Caffè corretto which consists of a shot of espresso with added liquor, usually sambuca, grappa, or brandy. Be sure to include fresh lemon rinds on the side for those that want their coffee straight and don’t forget the decaf.
You may also want to make some fruit smoothies for guests that do not like to indulge in too many sweets. Here is a simple recipe with several options for your own custom creation by Mark Bittman of the New York Times.
Dessert samplers are lots of fun. Cut cakes while cold in to bite sized cubes and add an assortment of pastry setting them upon a platter with space in between for fresh berries. This allows guests to mix and match for themselves. To add finesse, line the platter with paper doilies.
Keep frozen desserts on hand for an unexpected get-together. Sugarless desserts have become more popular, so you may want to have one available. Give dessert about one hour to thaw.
Ambiance is an important part of entertaining. Remember to keep the music soft and low and do not have a television on anywhere in the house. Chairs should be arranged in advance so that everyone can join in the conversation.
Don’t forget the soft lighting and candles.