Frozen black muscat grapes

A well crafted, showy dessert leaves a lasting impression on friends who’ve come over for a bit of scran. All the hard work is usually out of the way by the time people arrive, so whipping out a perfect tart, torte, panna cotta or something more fancy can often appear impressively effortless; when in fact it took all morning. People are generally pissed by pudding time too, which ensures praise is more easily gained than at the start of the meal. Well done you.

But for both those reasons (the pleasure of appearing effortless and the fact everyone’s sloshed), you would feel like a smarter and smugger cookie had you served up something actually effortless, yet still crowd pleasing.

With that in mind, three of my favourite final flourishes are:

  • Isle of Mull cheddar and honeycomb. Fantastic combination. As I mentioned in this post.
  • Smashing up some Doria amaretti biscuits, sprinkling them over some decent (but not too decent – everyone’s half cut) vanilla ice cream, and passing that round with shots of strong French press coffee. Pimped afogato.
  • Just cover some golden raisins with hot, dark rum to reconstitute them before your meal. Get that decent (but not too decent …) ice cream out again. Ball it up and sprinkle with rum raisins. Pour over a shot of Pedro Ximanez FTW.

That said …

… My current pick of the crowd pleasing easy endings, is simply serving black muscat grapes frozen for 3 hours or more, with a shot of chilled grappa on the side. Each frosted grape is like an individual sphere of sublime, sweet sorbet – bloody brilliant.

Other grapes will do, but none are as good as muscat orbs. They’re in season for a bit longer – try them if you can.