Boozy Summery Desserts
June 14, 2017 2:19 PM   Subscribe

I've been tasked with making the dessert course for Father's Day dinner this weekend. (Yay!) The father in question likes my rum cake, but a) I like to make it a week to a month in advance to make it extra-boozy, and b) it reads kind of fall/winter-ish to me. So what kind of boozy dessert can I make for 5-6 people that feels more summery, and doesn't need a week-plus of glazing for maximum flavor?

I live in Florida, so produce of all sorts is fresh and abundant, and I'll be bringing along a pitcher of these red and black beauties, so something that might pair well with those would also be a bonus.

The guest of honor doesn't care for coconut, grapefruit, or cherries. I don't care much for nuts, although I can substitute around that if necessary (in my rumcake, I usually use blanched almonds, which I mind less), and nut meals are OK.

I'm an excellent baker, with a well-stocked kitchen (and liquor cabinet).
posted by PearlRose to Food & Drink (36 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Some form of Limoncello cake?

To clarify, is the desire to have alcohol used as an ingredient for flavor (but have most of the alcohol cooked out) or to have a dessert with quite a bit of alcohol in it? If it's the latter, you might be better looking at something more like a boozy Italian Ice or topping a cake with vodka soaked fruit. Some alcohol does remain in baked cakes but quite a bit of it can evaporate.

Spiked watermelon is also a summer classic, though maybe not quite as fancy as what you're looking for.
posted by Candleman at 2:28 PM on June 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

MFK Fisher's Raspberries Romanoff from An Alphabet for Gourmets:

Raspberries Romanoff

1 pint carefully sorted raspberries
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup kirsch

Chill berries. Beat cream stiff, gradually adding sugar and kirsch. Mix lightly with berries, chill thoroughly, and serve in tall thin glasses, with thin unsugared wafers if desired.
posted by carrioncomfort at 2:30 PM on June 14, 2017 [7 favorites]

Bourbon and pears together? Whether in a cake or grilled pears with a light bourbon pear syrup over ice cream and/or cake.
posted by bilabial at 2:34 PM on June 14, 2017

STRAWBERRIES IN RED WINE I like a little whipped cream with this
Vodka Lemon Sorbet Recipe
Baba au Rhum
posted by mumimor at 2:35 PM on June 14, 2017

Best answer: You could make a boozy version of a Summer Pudding... but Trifle is the most traditional boozy dessert!
posted by emilyw at 2:35 PM on June 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Bourbon banana cream pie. I use bourbon in the crust, as in the Cooks Illustrated vodka recipe. I toss the bananas in a mix of bourbon and brown sugar and cinnamon. I tot a bit of bourbon into the custard instead of vanilla, and do the same for the whipcream.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:38 PM on June 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

Tiramisu is pretty boozy and different recipes call for different combinations of booze.
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:43 PM on June 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: To clarify, is the desire to have alcohol used as an ingredient for flavor (but have most of the alcohol cooked out) or to have a dessert with quite a bit of alcohol in it?

For me, it's probably the former--I like the flavor alcohol brings to the party, and don't care so much if it is or isn't cooked out. Flavor the most important thing to me. For the guest of honor, I think the appeal of my rum cake is that after soaking for one to three weeks, it is basically rum in a solid, sweetened form--so the latter. (Ideally, some happy medium would be most excellent.)

Kirsch is basically cherry liqueur, so unless it's OK for me to sub it with brandy or something else, I can't use it.
posted by PearlRose at 2:43 PM on June 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nigella Lawson's Gin and Tonic Jelly.
posted by epj at 2:45 PM on June 14, 2017

Class up* your spiked watermelon game with a vodka jellermelon. Just add food coloring to your non-cherry jello flavor if it isn't already red unless you want the novelty of uniquely colored watermelon.

*For certain definitions of class
posted by mattamatic at 2:47 PM on June 14, 2017

I had a port trifle similar to this oneonce I could not stop eating it. I haven't tried this particular recipe though.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 2:54 PM on June 14, 2017

Best answer: Thirding trifle. Very adaptable to different soft fruits -- a coconut cake would be wonderful, for instance. And the bottom layer of cake can be totally rumsoaked, and a middle layer not soaked, so people can serve themselves to their tastes.
posted by clew at 2:56 PM on June 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Fourthing trifle. that's the perfect summery boozy dessert, and makes wonderful use of fresh yummy fruit
posted by darsh at 2:57 PM on June 14, 2017

Best answer: Sounds like you need a trifle.
posted by bq at 3:13 PM on June 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Also from Smitten Kitchen: I've poured obscene amounts of rum over this Pineapple Upside Down Cake and it was delicious.
posted by Karmeliet at 3:19 PM on June 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Came in to make the same suggestion lovableiago made, though my version has grilled peaches. Grilled fruit is delicious, easy to make and nicely dramatic for a party. Also great served over pound cake or a shortcake.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 3:20 PM on June 14, 2017

A cookbook recommendation won't help much for a party this weekend, but if this is the kind of thing you like doing, buy a copy of Booze Cakes. It's fun because it has cake recipes matched with some classic cocktails like Tequila Sunrise, Long Island Iced Tea, Mudslide, etc, as well as boozed versions of classics like incorporating booze into whoopie pies, black forest cake, etc.

One of my favorites has a chocolate cake (with bourbon in it) in a bundt pan, and you cut a trench ring out of the bottom and fill the hollow with ice cream (mixed with bourbon) and cover the opening, so each slice is a slice of chocolate cake with ice cream in the center. You could buy the book to find the recipe, or just sub 1/2 bourbon for some liquid in your favorite recipe. (and add booze to ice cream just enough so that it's soft when frozen).
posted by aimedwander at 3:25 PM on June 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

How about panna cotta with a wine reduction sauce, such as this Sangria Panna Cotta or Pomegranate White Wine Panna Cotta?
posted by needled at 3:26 PM on June 14, 2017

Deep Fried Tequila Shots are very good and fun and very boozy.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:27 PM on June 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Ugh. Peaches. Grilled peaches. It's not pear season.

Grilled peaches are amazing.
posted by bilabial at 3:38 PM on June 14, 2017

I like a nice all purpose amaretto cake! In fact, I think I'll make and bring one for father's day, thanks for the idea!

I've primarily used this cake around Christmas/New Years, but I think be a fab summer cake with some berries, vanilla ice cream, and/or fancy whipped cream.

Amaretto Cake
boxed yellow cake mix
4 eggs
1 cup of milk
½ cup of oil
2 oz of Amaretto
1 small box of instant vanilla pudding
(optional - 1 heaping tablespoon of mayo )

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Butter and flour a bundt cake pan.
3. Mix all ingredients on medium speed for about 2 minutes
4. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your oven. Make sure it doesn't get too dark - you want a nice golden brown.

¾ cup of sugar
1 stick of butter
4 oz of Amaretto

1. Before the cake comes out of the oven, melt butter in a saucepan on the stove, then add amaretto and sugar. Keep warm to dissolve sugar and stir.
2. As soon as cake is ready, remove from oven and poke holes throughout with a toothpick (or a fork!) Immediately pour warm glaze over the cake. Be careful and go slowly - if it looks like it will overflow, just wait a few minutes and some of it will soak in so you can keep pouring.
3. Let the cake cool in the pan for 40 minutes to an hour, then remove from pan. (Don't wait more than an hour or it might stick!) To remove from pan, put a large plate on the opening and carefully flip over. The cake should slide right out. If it doesn't, give the pan a little tap.
4. Optional - dust with powdered sugar. (looks more festive, but also covers any damage from sticking to the pan!)

*Note, when I make it, I often find that the butter/flour that I've coated the pan with sticks to the cake in places. This is probably because I'm too heavy handed with the butter/flour.
posted by firei at 3:43 PM on June 14, 2017

Best answer: +1 for trifle. Or a boozy jelly (which could be incorporated into the trifle).
For example, a prosecco jelly with fruit sounds quite refreshing for the hot Florida weather. Or for something heavier, kahlua jelly (maybe with whipped cream, nuts, bananas, etc). Trifles or jellies are open to so much customization, so you could just pick flavors that add variety or go well with your Red and Black pitcher.
posted by Sockin'inthefreeworld at 4:18 PM on June 14, 2017

My friend is one of the authors of Ice Cream Happy Hour, a cookbook consisting entirely of boozy ice creams! We lived in the same place when they were testing the recipes, and I can verify their deliciousness.
posted by centrifugal at 4:58 PM on June 14, 2017

Bake an angel food cake. Carve out a trough around the top. Fill trough part way with just made homemade, or softened store bought ice cream. Sprinkle with booze, e.g. creme de menthe. Top with pieces of cake from the trough. Drizzle with chocolate icing. Freeze.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:58 PM on June 14, 2017

Randomly, I saw this grapefruit gin slush recipe the other day and want to make it. I'm not sure if it's so much a dessert as it is a desserty drink sort of thing, but it looks good.

While googling, I found this sorbet with campari and now I want that more.
posted by hought20 at 6:43 PM on June 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Crepes Suzette is traditionally an orange centric dish but I'd imagine it is amendable to other fruit that you have on hand.
posted by mmascolino at 7:07 PM on June 14, 2017

Zabaglione with strawberries (or any berries, really).
posted by ourobouros at 7:35 PM on June 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

OMG this all makes my mouth water. How about whatever baked thing, plus a big yummy batch of bourbon slush?
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 10:30 PM on June 14, 2017

Oranges with Cointreau: carefully remove all the peel and pith, slice the oranges in rounds, pour Cointreau/Grand Marnier over them. Not the most visually impressive dessert, but it’s very nice.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:04 AM on June 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

We just made this fireball fudge:

Tasty, boozy, without being overwhelming. Was very easy. Should work with almost any booze. :-)
posted by joycehealy at 2:51 AM on June 15, 2017

boozy icebox cake
posted by bunderful at 7:28 AM on June 15, 2017

Liquor infused whipped cream can go with anything, and has the added bonus of making the booziness adjustable to individual preference.

E.G. Here's my first google result which is made with rum
posted by dbx at 7:38 AM on June 15, 2017

Beeramisu is a thing. Basically Guinness plus vanilla cake-based trifle, with however much chocolate and/or coffee components you like. WhoaMG. I used to make the desserts for s bar, and this SLAYED
posted by jessicapierce at 6:28 PM on June 15, 2017

Kirsch is basically cherry liqueur, so unless it's OK for me to sub it with brandy or something else, I can't use it.

Grand Marnier or another orange liqueur would also be fantastic with the Raspberries Romanoff, or perhaps a good blackberry brandy.
posted by carrioncomfort at 6:36 AM on June 17, 2017

Response by poster: Trifle won by a landslide, so that's what I ended up making. I baked a small pound cake, marinated some blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries in some homemade lemoncello I had lingering in the back of the fridge, and layered that with a whipped lemon-curd marscapone cream, and also made a prosecco wine jelly.

I layered it like so: marscapone curd, pound cake, lemoncello berries, prosecco jelly, then rinse and repeat.

It went over well enough that I caught the guest of honor and the beau both trying to lick their bowls clean, so we'll call it a success.
posted by PearlRose at 9:58 AM on June 19, 2017 [4 favorites]

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