If you're serving dinner to a crowd, you may be a bit stumped when it comes to dessert. Most desserts can be adapted to serve even the largest groups. Here's how to choose a dessert that will please a crowd:
- Choose large-volume desserts. Choose something that is feasible to make in large quantities. In other words, do not choose a labor-intensive recipe that only serves four people. Although most recipes can be doubled or tripled for a large crowd, some cannot be made in large quantities, and these would be a poor choice for this occasion.
- Desserts that can be made ahead of time. You'll have enough to worry about for the rest of the meal. For dessert, offer cookies, cakes, or other desserts that can be made ahead of time and don't need to be heated prior to serving. You may even be able to slice the dessert ahead of time, depending on the dessert you have chosen. Pick a dessert that allows you to enjoy the party; save chocolate fondue or other labor-intensive desserts for another occasion.
- Offer variety. Choose a recipe that is enjoyed by many people. If you are serving a very large crowd, consider making a dessert in two or three flavors so that your guests can choose according to their tastes. Not everyone likes chocolate; on the other hand, if you are serving a dessert with a complicated flavor, offer one choice that is plain in comparison, like chocolate or vanilla. Avoid nuts unless you know that none of your guests are allergic, or serve at least one kind of dessert that does not include nuts. Also be aware of allergies to dairy or other ingredients. In any case, be sure to provide enough options to satisfy every guest.
- Need ideas for big desserts? Needless to say, some desserts are easier to serve to a crowd than others. Ice cream is a popular dessert to serve to a crowd; serve it along with cake, or make a sundae bar. Cookies and brownies also easy to make in volume. Several large cakes or cobblers can be made to serve crowds, especially if you cut them into small slices. These are all inexpensive ways to please a crowd.
- Consider a themed dessert. If you are hosting a party, ask the guest of honor what their favorite dessert is. If it is feasible, try to serve that. If you are having a holiday-themed party, pick a dessert that goes with the theme. You can also try to match the dessert to the type of food you are serving for the meal.
As you can see, there are many different ways to prepare a big dessert to please a crowd. All you have to remember is to choose a dessert that is easy to make in large volumes ahead of time, with flavors that will satisfy your guests' tastes.