Need advice on preparing dessert for a crowd of 50

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by humaleema, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. humaleema

    humaleema

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    My question: will my plan work? I don't want any soggy crusts and I want everything to be totally fresh and perfect while allowing me to work ahead of time and avoid mass chaos at the end.

    Is it a good idea to freeze apple tarts for two days, then thaw and reheat?

    Is it a good idea to refrigerate carrot cake and brownies for two days? Will this make them soggy?

    I've made pies before, but never tarts. Any advice on the easiest way to mass produce tart shells? I'm thinking of using cupcake pans and turning them upside down and baking the crust on the wrong sides of cupcake tins. (Will definitely try this ahead of time!)

    Am I crazy to attempt this? They wanted to buy a bunch of store bought desserts, but I hate store bought desserts, so I volunteered to take it on.

    I've volunteered to make dessert for a fundraiser for a group of around fifty people. I decided to do mini desserts so they would be easy to serve, look good, and easy for partygoers to eat. Everything will be homemade from scratch, so I need to make some of the items ahead of time and freeze or refrigerate. These are all recipes that I have had success with in the past, but I've never made this many desserts at once. I need some advice on what can be made in advance. I plan to start two days before the event. Here is my menu:

    Mini Carrot Cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

    Mini cheesecakes with raspberry topping and fresh raspberries

    Mini brownies with chocolate frosting

    Mini Fresh strawberry tarts with whipped cream

    Mini lemon meringue tarts

    Mini apple tarts

    Here is my general plan:

    Thursday:

    Make mini apple tarts and freeze

    Make mini carrot cupcakes (leave unfrosted) and refrigerate

    Make mini brownies (leave unfrosted) and refrigerate

    Friday:

    Make mini cheesecake (no topping) and refrigerate

    Make tart shells

    Saturday:

    Thaw apple tarts

    Make lemon tarts

    Frost brownies

    Frost carrot cake

    Make raspberry glaze for cheesecake (set aside)

    Make fresh strawberry tarts

    Make whipped cream

    Make meringue and bake onto lemon tarts

    Saturday Evening--the big event.

    Add whipped cream to strawberry tarts

    Add raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries to mini cheese cakes

    Warm apple tarts in oven

    Then I arrange all the minis on big trays so guests can select a few different desserts. Serve with hot coffee, hot tea, and lemonade.
     
  2. prettycake

    prettycake Banned

    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    17
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    You can also brush the bottom and /or entire inside of your tart shells with melted chocolate (white or brown)  and that will help shield the bottom from getting suggy. 
     
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Forget whipped cream if tarts are standing out at room temp. Also in my opinion for o there is to much variety.   Buy throw away aluminum tart shells. Paint bottom of pie shll or tart shells with egg white prior baking, it forms a moisture retarding barrier when baked so moisture from the filling does not make crust soggy.  Good Luck  If this stuff is all MINI you need 3 pp. thats 150 assorted and thats enough
     
  4. jellly

    jellly

    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    39
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    Make the carrot cake batter and hold in the fridge, then bake day of or night before.  This kind of cake batter holds just fine raw.  Cheesecakes are fine to bake ahead, in fact some varieties actually taste better after they have a day or two as long as they don't pick up fridge flavors.

    I would not bake the brownies ahead, most varieties lose texture after 24 hours.  The lemon curd can be made well ahead and your tarts shells can also be made and baked ahead.  I would not bake the meringue onto the tart, instead make an Italian meringue, pipe it on and if you happen to have a torch, you can toast it, but otherwise will be delicious plain.  This will hold overnight and not weep the way plain meringues do.

    For 50 people, I agree that you are offering too much variety.  Four options would be plenty and allow you to focus on the items that should be made fresh.  If you do want to top berry tarts with cream, I recommend whipping mascarpone with heavy cream.  It will be more stable and last about 24 hours if you whip it to very stiff peaks.

    Good luck!
     
  5. humaleema

    humaleema

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    Thanks all--great help! How far ahead can I safely make the tart shells so they remain fresh? I'm thinking only the day before would be safe, but if I could make them earlier, that would be helpful.
     
  6. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    You can make last week and freeze them.