Just wanted to report back on our champagne and dessert party this past weekend. Despite a chilly, snowy evening in Toronto, we had a good turnout -- about 35 people (45 RSVPed). Our final dessert menu was as follows:
Chocolate Layer Cake (2 of them)
Chocolate Kahlua Balls (variation on the midnight rum balls much discussed here)
Poached Pears in Spiced Wine w/Crème Anglaise
Lemon Curd Tarts
Peanut Butter Fudge
Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Pecan Toffee Bars
Fresh Fruit w/crème fraiche & brown sugar and a chocolate sauce
Apple-Dried Cherry Pie (2 of them)
Rice Crispy Treats (because we always have to have those)
Mini Sour Cream Coffee Cakes
Cheese Plate w/blue cheese, a sharp aged cheddar, edam and a goat cheese brie
And scattered around the house were martini glasses of spiced nuts, chocolate smarties, and cashews.
The bite-sized items were definitely the "go to" items, I think for the convenience factor. Though once a couple of people started in on the chocolate cake, that went quickly. The most popular were probably the gianduia cups, brownies, shortbread, lemon curd tarts, banana caramel tarts and surprisingly, the poached pears. The cheesecake was fantastic (epi recipe), but sadly only a few people tried it (though they raved about it). I think the thought of a piece of rich cheesecake was a bit overwhelming with everything else on the table. The cheese plate was completely wiped out -- people definitely appreciated the savoury break in the midst of all the sweets.
I was really disappointed with the chocolate chip cookies, which I've made many times before. But this time, I froze the dough and baked them from frozen on the day of the party. The cookies didn't flatten out enough for my liking, which resulted in me overbaking and losing the texture that I love. Ah well.
We had two cases of the Domaine Carneros 2002 Brut, which was perfect with the desserts. Our only problem was waay too much food! But we had carry out containers that we gave to each of our guests as they were leaving so that they could take some of the goodies home with them.
All in all, a long week of baking with my hubby, but well worth it! Thanks to everyone for their menu suggestions. I definitely made a couple of great adjustments because of them.
Here are a few photos of the dessert table. An early guest had already started sampling before I remembered to pull out the camera!