Thursday, January 23, 2014

Desserts Desserts Desserts

Even though we’ve probably had our fill during the holidays, let’s talk a bit about sugar. Dessert Stations for wedding receptions have become one of the most popular ways for brides and grooms to express their own personality without disrupting the family traditions that can be expected. Throughout the last ten years, well over half of the wedding receptions we have catered elected not to serve the traditional wedding cake, and have instead decided to use this part of the meal as a way to channel their own individual taste, and have come fun doing it. As with the popular “heavy hors d’oeuvre dinner”, consisting entirely of small portions and hors d’oeuvre displays, desserts have gone down this same path. Guests attending any catered event in recent years have come to appreciate the opportunity to sample small serving of many things, versus a large serving of just one. 

Here at the Event Center, the most popular dessert choice has been our wonderful selection of Mini Desserts created in-house by our Pastry Chef, Joni Marty. We enjoy building individual stations of Mini Desserts, some taking on the personality of the host and the reception decorations. But Mini Desserts are only one of dozens of choices out there already. 

Cupcakes were wildly popular last year. There are a number of bakeries in the Twin Cities that specialize in cupcakes, and many will provide a number of unique display ideas included in the price. If you haven’t recently looked at a cupcake menu, you would be amazed at the choices of flavor combinations, frosting and fillings, and custom decorations that are now offered.

We started seeing Dessert Shooters pop up all over the place a few years ago.  Shooters are served in tiny glasses, not much bigger than a shot glass, and make beautiful displays or can easily be passed butler style. They can consist of many kinds of ingredients, but are typically built with a combination of pie filling, fruit, nuts, flavored crumbs, shaved or chipped chocolate, or other favorite dessert flavors. Technically, a Dessert Shooter can be a sweet, liqueur beverage as well.

How about a S’mores Bar? What better way to bring a family tradition into the spotlight? We’ve had hosts rent small fire pits which we place in the Event Center garden and guests were invited to roast marshmallows together. A buffet table held mason jars full of toppings, cookies and crackers; including things like white chocolate almond bark, extra dark chocolate squares, homemade peanut brittle, and ginger snaps. 

Fill a Candy Station with all your favorites from your childhood. Build a Doughnut or Cookie Display. Frosted shape cookies can be a very creative way to express your individuality. Have multiple cookie jars display the choices. Chocolate Fondues have been popular for decades. Buffets of assorted flavors of Tortes or Tartlets is another option. We have catered a couple of Pie Buffets at outdoor summer wedding receptions and family reunions. Ice Cream Buffets can provide both fun and laughter for adults and children alike. The possibilities area endless.
-Christine Schiltz
Owner/Catering Director
Lake Elmo Inn Event Center

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