If you do not know how or if you do not have the time to cook, I recommend you host a dessert party instead of a cocktail party.
Music can be the inspiration that triggers the design of your party. I used my Top 3 shows at the Montreal International Jazz Festival 2007 edition to shape three dessert party concepts. Make sure your musical selection sounds great by the end of the night.
White Russian drinks, smoky room and chocolate with Room Eleven
Thanks to the recommendation of one reader, I went to Room Eleven show on Saturday night. And I am glad I did. My husband wanted to hear the end of the show at the Bell Groove scene so I did not bought their CD right after the show. Big mistake because we could have meet the band and got an autograph.
I bought Room Eleven’s Six White Russians and a Pink Pussycat album yesterday. If you play that CD, you know what to serve as the party’s signature drink. If Room Eleven comes in your town, do not miss the singer Janne Schra and her excellent band. In fact, you can throw an after-show dessert party because your guests will feel like partying.
Create a lounge atmosphere with dimmed lights and a dance floor, if you can. Colored lamps can be fun as long as you limit yourself to a single color. You can serve the Holland imported Davidoff Demi-Tasse cigarillos. With desserts and cigarillos, serving late bottled Porto is a must. The mild but aromatic Davidoff Demi-Tasse is the Cigarillos of choice for those who prefer a rather more voluminous smoke.
Celebrating your roots with Oka
For an earthy, tribal, techno groove mood, go get the CDs from the Australian band Oka. I told you about them last week and I am still impressed by their music. The guys of Oka are even more energetic when they perform on stage.
Devise an organic, natural décor and serve lots of fresh fruit recipes. I show you a nice sample that I have taken from the always fabulous French cooking magazine Elle à Table. Most recipes were taken from the June 2007, the number 51 issue.
Do not be afraid to use many exotic fruits to draw attention the Australian heritage of the inspiration band. The Banana Milk-shake with Caramelized Papaya and Mango is a good start. This recipe was devised around the verrine trend. Like Oka music, this milk-shake is a mix of old and new.
You can continue with individual portions of Red Berry Panna Cotta and a Bun Citrus Pudding. Complete your dessert buffet with a Raspberry and Pistachio Tiramisu. If you read French, these recipes are published on Elle à Table Web site.
You can serve dessert wines. Ask the staff at the wine store for tips of matching wines and desserts. When you are eating, supply two or three blends of fine teas but stay away from relaxing herbal teas unless you want to host a sleep in party. Prepare a tea station where your guests can prepare their own cup of tea. Energy drinks will keep the party alive longer.
Freshen up the Irish theme with Dolores O’Riordan
Lastly, we went to see Dolores O’Riordan show at Metropolis; she was the singer of The Cranberries. Dolores was so cute in her red and white lined mini dress, fishnet stocking and black blunt bob with a straight bang. If you were a fan of The Cranberries, you should be happy with her new CD called Are You Listening?, that revolves around her style and characteristic voice.
Serve Irish coffees in a green palette décor. Take a look at my green birch tree theme that I designed for the Canada Day party. Use my inspiration board to create the backdrop of your buffet table. Instead of cooking herbs and clover leafs, opt for distinctive, urban and colorful floral arrangements to put inside the birch tree bark set.
For dessert, a dark chocolate cake topped with pistachios usually goes away fast. If you make it dense enough, you eat it without a fork and a plate. You can make fudge with crushed pistachios if you prefer a rich taste.
To go with Dolores’ singing, you need to bring an unusual recipe to the dessert table. The Cucumber Sorbet with a Fresh Strawberry and Raspberry salad published in Elle à Table is definitely fresh and out of the ordinary. To dish this recipe, you lay down some fruit salad on the bottom of the glass bowl. Then you serve a scoop or two of cucumber sorbet.
Ingredients for the Fresh Strawberry and Raspberry Salad (for 4 portions)
- 150 g of strawberries
- 125 g of raspberries
- 1 dwarf cucumber
- 3 tablespoon of sugar – I suggest fruit sugar as it dissolves more
- 4 mint leaves
- Juice of half a lime
You cut the strawberries in 2, slice in thin strips (using the chiffonade technique) the mint leaves and finely slice the cucumber. Lightly mix all the ingredients in a bowl, close with a plastic food film and reserve in the fridge until you are ready to dish up the cucumber sorbet.
Ingredients for the Cucumber Sorbet recipe (for 4 portions)
- 500 g of cucumber pulp after you removed the seeds – it is about 1 cucumber
- 200 g of caster sugar
- 5 turns of peppermill
- 200 ml of water
Bring to boil the water and cook for 5 minutes the water, the caster sugar and the pepper to make the syrup. Once the syrup has cooled down, mix the cucumber pulp. Put in your ice cream freezer and follow the manufacturer instructions.
The advantages of throwing a dessert party
Desserts are less stressful to prepare because many recipes can be done a couple of days in advance. This is not the case with cocktail party. Since it is less common, you start out with bonus point for having this idea. Everybody likes desserts so your party will be a hit.
Listen to: Web site of Room Eleven
Read more: Demi-Tasse cigarillos by Davidoff
Listen to: Web site of Oka
Recipe: Cucumber Sorbet with its Fresh Strawberry and Raspberry Salad published in Elle à Table
Recipes: Fiches cuisines sur le site Web du magazine Elle à Table
Listen to: Web site of Dolores O’Riordan