1. Banoffee Trifle
Foolproof and impressive, this dessert is inspired by two British favourites: banoffee pie and trifle. Here, bananas join forces with pastry cream, whipped cream, ladyfingers, dulce de leche and a Graham cracker crumble. Prepare it a day ahead so the cookies can soften up. And keep the surface well below the top of the serving bowl so you can properly cover it for transport.
2. Red Velvet Cake
A favourite of Brigitte and Ricardo, and a standout in RICARDO Cafés, our Red Velvet is available, in a take-home frozen version, in IGA supermarkets across Quebec for a limited time. It serves 10 to 12 guests. Its three layers of soft cake are combined with a rich and creamy icing. The outside is decorated with a cream-cheese and vanilla whipped cream. Packaged in a pretty box, this cake is not only ready to eat, but ready to travel, too. Want to make it yourself? Check out the recipe below.
3. Upside-Down Candied Orange Cake
This dessert has it all: the spiciness of gingerbread, a nod to bittersweet marmalade and the softness of cake. We arranged thin slices of cara cara, navel and blood oranges, playing with sizes and colours, pulp and rind, for a mosaic effect. Once it’s baked, flip it over onto a serving tray while it’s still warm and take your masterpiece to go.
4. Mini Grapefruit and Rosemary Loaves
This little cake is ready for all occasions. An exquisitely fine crumb, and an uplifting combination of citrus and rosemary flavours, make it the perfect gift. It also freezes well, so you can keep a few loaves on hand for upcoming occasions.
5. Mini Rum Babas
To create a gift that keeps on giving, we made 24 small bouncy cakes in mini muffin tins, popped them into Mason jars, added our gently alcoholized rum syrup and put a lid on them. Prêt-à-porter! The babas, which make excellent gifts, can soak for up to three days and still retain their wonderfully light and spongy texture (as long as you occasionally flip the jar to keep all of them moist).
6. Four-Layer Chocolate Yule Log
We gave the rounded yule log a modern makeover that stops it from rolling around during transport. Airy and extra-soft, the meringue-based cake is prepared on a single baking sheet and simply cut into four identical pieces for clean lines that make it easier to box up. Refrigerate it before heading out, as the ganache base firms up when cold, so it’ll be solid and sturdy for the trip. Just before you leave, top it with pistachio crumble.
7. Giant Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cookie
The kids will love this monster of a cookie! Spreading the dough out onto a baking dish gives the cookie depth, keeps it from breaking and makes transport trouble-free. It comes out of the oven like a canvas ready to be decorated with roasted pecans, roughly chopped chocolate and gooey caramel (or any other toppings you like).
8. Plum Pudding
This dessert stands the test of time—and a road test, to boot. Deep, rich and full-bodied, it’s studded with dried fruit and will be a hit with one and all, including plum-pudding skeptics. While it keeps nicely at room temp, it’s best served steamed, with a brandy sauce. Start at least a week in advance to give it time to soak up the alcohol.