Frugal desserts that look and taste like a million dollars?

seemasfriend Forumite Posts: 91
I've been Money Tipped!
edited 4 February 2014 at 12:40PM in Old style MoneySaving
I am going to a family 21st birthday party at the weekend and have been tasked with making a dessert. My normal "piece de resistance" is pavlova with raspberries and cream but I would like to do something different.

Times are tight so I need to be careful with the pennies. On the other hand I don't want to appear mean. Do any of you have party pieces that are always in demand yet still meet the old style principles?

GC Feb £95.45/£100


    POPPYOSCAR Forumite Posts: 14,891
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    What about a tower made with choux buns(profiteroles) with chocolate sauce poured over the top and spun sugar.
  • Artytarty
    Artytarty Forumite Posts: 2,642
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I make jamies blooming brilliant brownies with added grated orange rind! and serve with a good ice cream or whipped cream. They are so moist and delicious and one tray will make about a dozen, maybe more.
    I use two packs of asda cheap plain chocolate and it takes four eggs.
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  • pm2326
    pm2326 Forumite Posts: 1,096 Forumite
    Not sure how much you want to spend but I make this and its always a hit, has the same consistency as cheesecake without the cheese!

    Assuming you had to buy everything in it would cost you about £4.

    Lemon Fridge Tart

    250g Ginger Nut biscuits
    70g Melted Unsalted Butter
    1.5tsp Cinnamon
    400g Condensed Milk
    250ml Whipping Cream
    125ml Lemon Juice

    crush the biscuits, add in the butter and cinnamon. Once it begins to clump together transfer to tin, press down firmly, place in the fridge to cool.

    In a bowl mix the condensed milk and the lemon juice together, once mixed add in the cream and whisk until its thick.

    Transfer to the tin and smooth out so its level. Sprinkle the top with lemon zest (optional).

    Place in the fridge overnight.
  • grumswifie
    grumswifie Forumite Posts: 152 Forumite
    Raspberry and white chocolate bread pudding made with frozen raspberries. Delicious and very simple
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  • rustyhead
    rustyhead Forumite Posts: 70 Forumite
    Farm foods are selling tins of caramel farmlea think for 39p or there abouts, a cheap packet of Tesco/asda digestives, butter 2 bananas pot of cream or elmlea(think this might be cheaper in ff too) and sprinkles of chocolate(basic bar of shops own)
    Job done, I did find the caramel to taste a bit long life iykwim straight out of the tin but after wanging in the nanas taste gone.
  • seemasfriend
    seemasfriend Forumite Posts: 91
    I've been Money Tipped!
    Thank you everyone for some inspiring ideas. The profiteroles would work out fairly cheap as I already have the strong flour and butter in. Could I replace the chocolate sauce with caramel do you think?

    Will try the lemon fridge cake for next family gathering. Sounds delish but I would need to do a trial run first !!!
    GC Feb £95.45/£100
  • krlyr
    krlyr Forumite Posts: 5,993
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    edited 28 January 2014 at 11:30PM
    You could put a little spin on traditional desserts by dishing up in individual portions. Gives them a bit more of a fancy restaurant type look

    E.g. mini brownies, banoffee pies, cheesecakes, etc., mousse or trifle type desserts can be served in shot glasses or other small serving glasses

    One recipe I do that is always requested is my "Malteser mess" cake. I originally made this recipe for chocolate cake, but in omitting the coffee (yuck), I didn't read the part about adding water. Doing so resulted in a more dense cake that fell apart on trying to turn it out from the tin - disaster! With 5 minutes before I had to leave for the family meal, I broke up the cake pieces, layered with the ganache topping, and chucked a bag full of Maltesers in there to make it look like it was all intentional. Not only did it pay off, but it became a firm family favourite - I had to miscook the cake to recreate it!

    However, the recipe is a bit of a faff and some ingredients aren't the cheapest. I discovered a simple chocolate brownie recipe a while ago, and after that got the thumbs up, I decided one day to experiment - delicious but complicated fudgy chocolate cake got substituted for my tasty brownie. No one really noticed the difference, and dessert has been just as big a hit. This is the brownie recipe I use, which is a lot less fancy. I don't even bother with choc chips, just cut up part of a bar of chocolate and chuck the chunks in (mixing milk and white chocolate is particularly yummy!)

    It's absolutely divine served warm - though trial and error discovered it's better to omit the Maltesers until serving, as microwaving makes them go a little chewy
  • Miss_Purple_Hat
    Miss_Purple_Hat Forumite Posts: 74
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker

    Made it a couple of times at uni.

    Forget the coffee granules and cinnamon. Crush up value digestives first and put in the bottom of a round cake tin.

    Then add the torte from the recipe (using cheap ingredients, actually doesn't need expensive ones) and set it in the fridge.

    Tastes amazing and is very rich so only need a small piece. (And the way I am with sweet things, that's saying something!)
    Making mistakes is not the end of the world, though it often feels that way!
  • vouchersrme
    vouchersrme Forumite Posts: 162 Forumite
    Decided to try the easy lemon tart recipe ,but opened a caramel condensed milk. Imade it with stem ginger instead of lemon, absolutely gorgeous!:T
  • yuppiebaker
    yuppiebaker Forumite Posts: 80 Forumite
    Oooh, both the Lemon Fridge Tart and the 'blunder tart' sound wonderful! I have a tin of the caramel in the cupboard, so will keep that in mind for future puddings :-) Thanks both!
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