When you have loads of people coming round it can be a trial to think of a dessert that will be totally delicious and that you can make well in advance, thus getting all the work out of the way so you can enjoy it too.
I have several of these in my ‘pudding arsenal’ but these are my three favourites. Both the chocolate truffle cake and the cheesecake can be made and then frozen which makes them even easier to have ready, and the meringue as long as it’s stored carefully so that it doesn’t crack, and in something airtight can be made days ahead as well.
My first favourite dessert is Delia Smith’s chocolate truffle cake – and you can find both the recipe and my notes here. I just made this to feed 16 on Boxing Day – a little goes a very long way as it’s extremely rich - think dark chocolate, cream, rum and Amaretti biscuits. Serve with whipped cream as well.
Then there are meringues. These again will go a long way. Two excellent toppings are whipped cream with blueberries and blackberries on top (I prefer strawberries and raspberries for summer) or whipped cream with sliced stem ginger (discard the syrup – you can get this at Waitrose or Ocado) and sliced bananas. Delicious.
People have told me they’re scared to make meringues but don’t be. Allow enough time, a cool oven, a large baking sheet and just follow the instructions. I make mine both in an Aga and in a normal gas oven, I’ve been known to leave one in the Warming oven of the Aga overnight and it was perfect. So give these a go, everyone loves them.
Finally there’s the all time favourite in my family – no bake creamy cheesecake. This is made in a springform tin and sits on a biscuit base, Hobnobs and Digestive biscuits will do perfectlty. I happily re-found this Cordon Bleu recipe from years back and it never lets me down.
The easiest way to make this uses both an electric hand whisk with double whisks, and a large food mixer such as a Kenwood Chef as you need to have the cheese mixture, the egg whites and the cream all ready separately at the same time.
These are non detox calorie full desserts for high days and holidays – expect to be extremely popular if you produce one of these, let alone all three………