A Sweet Celebration
One of the easiest parties to host during the holidays is a dessert buffet, with everything prepared ahead so you can enjoy the party too. Set up a striking tablescape, use your best china and accessories, add a selection of hot teas and coffees and voila…the perfect event!
5 large strawberries, halved
1/4 cantaloupe, cut into balls or cubes
2 bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
1 apple, cut into chunks
Thread the strawberries, cantaloupe, banana and apple pieces alternately onto skewers, placing at least 2 pieces of fruit on each skewer. Arrange the fruit skewers decoratively on a serving platter.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup fat-free milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, then the remaining cake ingredients. Pour into baking pan, spreading evenly. Whisk together pudding ingredients until sugar and cocoa are dissolved. Pour carefully over batter. (Pudding layer will be thin and runny.) Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, 350º F, in a 13 X 9 pan. Let cake rest for 15 minutes before cutting. A pool of fudge sauce oozes out of this cake as it bakes. To serve, slice cake and top with sauce.
2 3/4 cups thinly sliced pears
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup dry Marsala wine
1/4 cup amaretti cookie crumbs (about 4 cookies)
4 teaspoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/3 cups vanilla low-fat frozen yogurt
Combine first 4 ingredients, tossing to coat. Place in a 9-inch pie plate; drizzle each serving with 1 tablespoon Marsala. Cover with cookie crumbs; dot with butter. Bake at 500° for 8 minutes or until filling bubbles and topping browns. Top each serving with 1/3 cup frozen yogurt.