how to organise a dessert party © Will Travel for Food

Nick Malgieri's golden almond bars, David Lebovitz's green tea financiers and my praline-filled dark chocolate cups {Photo: Nabil El Khayal}

I debated whether or not to have my fourth annual dessert party this year. I was tired and lacking time and the holidays were around the corner much sooner than I realized! I finally decided to keep the tradition going but the idea of having to search through all my bookmarked recipes, my favourite dessert websites or blogs and my stacks of books to plan this affair was daunting. So to make my life easier, I decided to limit myself to the stacks of cookbooks piling up on my floor and that I’ve been meaning to cook or bake from.”Limit” might be the wrong term here since I have more than enough choice with the cookbooks but still considerably less than surfing the World Wide Web…  The dessert party would be the perfect opportunity to test my books and it was so much fun flipping through them and trying to come up with a list of desserts to make. I took the book theme even further by placing piles of them on my table and using them as stands for the desserts!

Orange almond tart by Dorie Greenspan © Will Travel for Food

Dorie Greenspan's orange almond tart

Tiramisu whoopie pies recipe © Will Travel for Food

Mowie Kay's tiramisu whoopie pies {Photo: Nabil El Khayal}

For this year’s party, I had decided that I wanted to make 13 desserts but somewhere between the 45th and 46th hour, I finally decided to drop one and make it an even 12 instead. I listened to my own advice of “being flexible”. If you haven’t read my post on last year’s dessert party, you’re probably how on earth do you go about baking 12 desserts in 2 days without driving yourself crazy? Well, you do it by being very organized… and by always having fun, otherwise what’s the point? You can read my check list on how to throw a dessert party here.

Milk Bar's pistachio cake © Will Travel for Food

Milk Bar's pistachio cake {Photo: Nabil El Khayal}

David Lebovitz's coconut layer cake © Will Travel for Food

David Lebovitz's coconut layer cake {Photo: Nabil El Khayal}

I’m so glad I decided to go ahead with this party! It’s as much fun spending time in the kitchen baking all these desserts as it is to watch my loved ones enjoying them. Here’s the list of the sweet treats on this year’s roster and the books they come from. I had made a couple of these before and posted the recipes on this blog but most of them were brand new recipes.

  1. Green tea financiers (Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz)
  2. Maple walnut pear cake (Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz)
  3. Coconut layer cake (Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes by David Lebovitz)
  4. Orange and almond tart (Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan)
  5. Michel Rostang’s double chocolate mousse cake (Around my French Table by Dorie Greenspan)
  6. Pistachio cake (Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi)
  7. Golden almond bars (Bake! by Nick Malgieri)
  8. Pineapple and anise seed pudding chômeur (Apollo2 by Giovanni Apollo)
  9. November’s Tart (Market Chronicles by Susan Semenak)
  10. Tiramisu whoopie pies (Whoopie Pies by Mowie Kay)
  11. Tonka panna cotta with rose water syrup (I used my favourite panna cotta recipe from the Tartelette blog and added some freshly ground tonka bean and topped it with a bit of rose syrup)
  12. Chocolate cups filled with homemade praline (I made the praline loosely based on a recipe found in the Encyclopédie du chocolat by Frédéric Bau)
pudding chômeur recipe © Will Travel for Food

Pineapple and anise seed pudding chômeur {Photo: Nabil El Khayal}

There were some clear favourites among the desserts, mainly Doris Greenspan’s orange almond tart and Mowie Kay‘s whoopie pies (recipe here). I have since made both of these desserts again. Will there be a 5th annual dessert party next year? Most probably, because it was just too much fun; and I will try to go for 13 desserts next time!

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