Oscar Night Dessert Ideas
Sherry Yard, who will be cooking alongside Wolfgang Puck in the Governor’s Ball on Sunday night, gives us some great dessert ideas for viewing parties at home.
-Sherry Yard and Wolfgang Puck, wolfgangpuck.com
On Oscar Sunday, most of America will be crowding around a neighbor’s television to watch all the glamour and glory. But what to do if you’re the neighbor? Take some tips from the doyenne of Oscar sweets, Sherry Yard, who will be cooking alongside Wolfgang for the 16th year in a row to ensure that the Governor’s Ball goes off without a hitch. Here are Sherry’s suggestions for great desserts to bring to your viewing party:
1. Go retro! Make your favorite Jell-O and pour it into a baking sheet then tightly cover it with plastic wrap. Once it has set, cut out stars and Oscar statues with cookie cutters or butter knives. Pair it with a flavored whipped cream like cherry Jell-O with chocolate whipped cream, apricot Jell-O with cinnamon whipped cream, or orange with a coffee whipped cream for a perfect evening sweet treat.
2. Put your own twist on store-bought ingredients. Buy a cheesecake and carve out little balls with a small ice cream scoop or melon baller. Roll the balls in crumbs of your favorite cookie or nut and place in the freezer for a few hours. Just before serving, push a lollipop stick in the center to create a great snack for kids or adults. To serve, fill a small vase with ordinary sugar and arrange the pops like flowers into the vase.
3. Have fun with fondue. Fondue is easily made at home and is a great luxurious match for the big night of stars. Melt store-bought chocolate in a double boiler and dip in berries, pretzel rods, or store-bought cookies. If you’re ready to go the extra mile, buy an inexpensive chocolate fountain that serves as a centerpiece and a dessert. For a home-made recipe from Sherry’s repertoire, use her Chocolate Fudge Sauce (recipe below) to indulge in while watching celebs walk down the red carpet.
Makes 1 1/2 cups sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey
½ pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons dark rum
Strawberries, pretzels, cookies for dipping
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the water, cream, and honey and bring to a simmer over moderately high heat.
2. Place the chocolate in a medium, heat-proof bowl and pour the hot cream mixture on top. Let stand until the chocolate melts, about 1 minute, then stir until smooth. Stir in the rum.
3. Serve as a dipping sauce for strawberries, pretzels, and cookies.