Keep it short and sweet. Literally. While elaborate finishes have their place, it’s not at your dinner table.  Serving a strong but simple dessert will get you rewarded with more than meringue kisses. So here, 5 Desserts You Can Make In 10 Minutes:

  1. Affogato
    Means “drowned” in Italian; means “pour a shot of espresso over ice cream (usually vanilla, but experiment as you wish), add a dash of sambuca or amaretto if you’re feeling saucy, hand out spoons and you’re done, which is good because you slaved over a hot stove making the dinner and it’s time you unwound yourself” to hosts worldwide.
  2. Any fruit in season and fresh whipped cream
    Use an electric mixer to whip a half pint of heavy cream with a dash of vanilla. Spoon over sliced berries, peaches, bananas, or whatever else you spotted that looked good. If for some reason you have French toast leftover from breakfast (I know, why would you, but it has happened), throwing it underneath is a delightful surprise. Garnish with fresh mint.
  3. Milkshake bar
    Supervise tipsy guests (from a comfortable chair) as they scoop the ice creams, milk, berries, crumbled cookies, and chocolate bars you’ve kindly set out into the blender, COVER IT, and pour into frosty glass.
  4. Ripe mangoes
    Tropical fruit used to be a rare treat, and it feels good to bring back that exoticism. Nothing beats a ripe mango that you’ve halved, pulled the seed out of, and cut with hash marks for easy pulling. 
  5. Chocolate fondue
    If your parents have a fondue pot that’s not an electrical hazard, claim it. There is a reason fondue was popular in a decade as fun as the ‘70s. Melt bittersweet blocks with cream, add Grand Marnier to taste, dip anything.

Dannielle Kyrillos is a series judge on Bravo’s Top Chef: Just Desserts and an expert home entertainer. She’s here to address your pressing concerns about domestic hospitality matters great and small. You can follow her on Twitter.


Send your questions to askdannielle@foodrepublic.com or post them in the comments.