The 3 best desserts to make for a party
14 March 2022

The 3 best desserts to make for a dinner party

So, you’ve planned the party, invited the guests, bought the booze but forgotten about the most important bit… the dessert!

No worries, I’m going to give you my 3 best desserts that cover big gatherings, relaxed nights in with friends and something for a more ‘dinner to impress the in-laws’ vibe.

Desserts don’t have to be complicated and the best advice is always just to keep it simple, focus on two flavours, make sure you have something in there for texture and your 90% of the way there


Big gatherings – Peanut and chocolate crunch (10 minutes prep time)

This dessert is super quick and I use it in so many forms, whether that is in glasses, made into glazed petit gateaux or set like a tart. Peanut and chocolate work so well together and the crunch from the biscuits gives great texture. Don’t forget the salt, this is vital whenever you work with chocolate and caramel flavours to give it an amazing flavour boost.

It may sound strange, but salt is just as important in the pastry kitchen as it is in the savoury kitchen.

Peanut and chocolate crunch

Ingredients (serves 8-10)

  • 600g Double cream
  • 900g Dark chocolate pieces
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • 6 Peanut biscuits (the cruncher the better, you don’t want to use soft cookies)

Place the cookies into a plastic bag or bowl and use something heavy like a rolling pin to crush into pieces.

Mix the crumbs with the peanut butter.

Spoon the peanut butter mix into the bottom of a dish or glass and press flat (shallow serving dishes that are normally used for tarts/ quiches are great for this)

Boil the cream in a saucepan on a medium heat, remove from the stove and pour in the chocolate.

Mix until the chocolate is melted and the mix is smooth before pouring on top of the peanut butter mix.

Place in the fridge for an hour to set.


Relaxed night in – Ultimate rice pudding with mango and ginger (30 minutes prep time)

This is a simple dessert but one of my (and anyone who tastes it) favourites. I can’t stress enough how important chilling the rice pudding is before reheating it, this totally changes the texture once the mixture is reheated

It may not sound too fancy but 99% of the time the best desserts are the well-executed and simple ones that have a mix of only 2-3 textures and flavours

Salted ginger granola

  • 65g Plain flour
  • 3g Bicarbonate of soda
  • 2g Salt
  • 6g Ground ginger
  • 65g Rolled oats
  • 85g Soft brown sugar
  • 90g Unsalted butter, melted

Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined

Lay onto a baking tray and cook at 170 degrees for 15 minutes

Leave to cool

Place the cooled mix into a bag and lightly break up with a rolling pin

Rice pudding

  • 600ml Whole milk
  • 300ml Double cream
  • 100g Condensed milk
  • 1 Vanilla pod (seeds scraped)
  • 110g Pudding rice (washed)
  • 45g Caster sugar

Boil the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla seeds

Add the rice and simmer on a medium heat until cooked

Take off the heat and add the condensed milk

Chill in the fridge until cold, this is a very important step, the rice pudding will be very thin when removing from the heat but as it cools the mix will thicken and set. When it is reheated the pudding will stay much thicker and creamier, this consistency can only be achieved by cooling the mixture first.

Reheat the rice pudding in a pan or the microwave until boiling and serve


Cut a ripe mango into small dice


Impress the in laws – Pan Perdu with sautéed cherries and vanilla ice cream (20 minutes prep time)

This one is great dish to mix easy preparation with an overly fancy name and crowd pleaser flavours.

Pan Perdu is French for ‘lost bread’ and consists of dry or old bread/ brioche that has been soaked in a custard mix (like a bread and butter pudding) and then fried in a pan I’ve topped this one with cherries and ice cream but you can pretty much serve it with whatever you like.

In this recipe I have just used good quality store brought ice cream, but if you would like to learn how to make your own from scratch then visit our ‘memebership’ page to sign up free and get access to all our video lessons and courses

Pan Perdu

  • Loaf of white bread or brioche (preferably a little dry/ stale)
  • 250g Double cream
  • 250g Milk
  • 4 Eggs
  • 200g sugar


Place all ingredients except from the bread/ brioche in a bowl and blend with a hand-held blender (or whisk very well)

Cut the crusts off the brioche and then slice into thick rectangles (or whatever shape you like really)

Dip the bread/ brioche into the custard mixture until it is nicely soaked (about 1 minute) and then take out of the mix, set aside.

Warm a frying pan on a medium heat with 1 tbsp of oil or butter and then fry the dipped bread/ brioche on all sides until it is coloured all over.

Remove form the pan and place on a plate


  • 200g cherry halves (stones removed)
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Mix the sugar and cherries

Warm a frying pan on the stove over a medium heat

Add the cherries and cook (the pan should be slightly sizzling) until they have stewed down slightly and released some juice

Spoon the cherries over the pan perdu and finish with vanilla ice cream


For over 60 video recipes on everything from desserts to afternoon tea, sign up free here

To find some more great ideas on dinner party food, head over to BBC good food here


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