56 Gourmet Dinner Party Recipes To Impress Your Guests

In a fast-moving world of convenience food, and TV dishes, it's wonderful to slow down sometimes and host a refined dinner party. How long ago was it that you invited friends over or celebrated a special occasion with family by cooking them a three-course dinner of gourmet dishes? 

Sitting down to a fine-dining experience, with time to share good conversations over incredible food, is a splendid way to spend an evening as the chaotic world spins outside. If you want to be the host with the most — or hostess with the most-ess — it's necessary to work out a menu of sophisticated dishes that fit together before you start. Choose mouthwatering appetizers, high-end entrées, and decadent desserts, along with a sumptuous side or two. 

Feel inspired with these gourmet dinner party recipes that are sure to impress your guests and accentuate how amazing the simplicity of sharing great food is.

1. Easy Lobster Bisque

Silky, luxurious, and sumptuous, lobster bisque is the ultimate bowl of seafood splendor. Use butterflied lobsters, or make your dinner party prep easier by using frozen lobster meat. (Just make sure it's thawed before cooking with it.) Nothing tases as velvety and elevates a soup appetizer than some succulent lobster. Add a swirl of thickened cream and lobster meat with chopped parsley and serve to guests with fresh French bread, croutons, or crackers. Serve in individual bowls for a more delicate dinner or in a pot in the middle for rustic charm.

Recipe: Easy Lobster Bisque

2. Smoked Salmon Sushi

Gourmet food isn't just about the way a dish tastes; it's also all about the presentation. Swirls of Japanese-inspired smoked salmon and avocado wrapped in sushi rice and nori seaweed look like stunning works of culinary art. Chill the rolls in the fridge before cutting just before you serve. Keep it traditional with salty, spicy, and sour condiments: soy sauce, fiery wasabi, and pickled ginger. Keep the avocado looking freshly green by adding a squirt of lemon juice before you roll it. 

Recipe: Smoked Salmon Sushi

3. Crab Cakes

Crab meat is so delicately delectable. Looks and taste can be deceiving, though, as these special fish cakes are deceptively easy to make. Serve one or two as an appetizer, and make a batch and freeze them so that you can celebrate a weekday family dinner gourmet-style. Old Bay seasoning enhances the flavor, and you can add some extra taste with crumbs of buttery cracker in place of breadcrumbs. Take time to make sure the meat is shell-free so your crab cakes are a success.

Recipe: Crab Cakes

4. Cioppino

While serving this tomatoey, seafood broth, entertain your guests by telling them that while this soup tastes Italian, it's actually born in the U.S., created by Italian fishermen working in San Francisco. (Food tastes so much better with a narrative culinary arc, doesn't it?) The clams, shell-on mussels, shrimp, and cod bobbing about in the bowl will impress any guests. Feel free to switch up the ingredients, with crab, scallops, haddock, or skin-off salmon in place of the cod. Fresh seafood is far more flavorful, so make sure you debeard the mussels and use raw shrimp that've been peeled and deveined.

Recipe: Cioppino

5. Gordon Ramsay's Scallops

Some dishes need no introduction, as extraordinary ingredients are enough to elevate them into the gourmet cuisine category. And scallops are definitely up there. As long as you don't overcook them (or undercook them, for that matter), scallops are simply divine. And they only take 1-2 minutes per side to cook. A desirable, elegant appetizer, these scallops' light yet distinctive flavor works beautifully with the lemon zest, olive oil, and black pepper from the side salad. Serve with Boston lettuce, snow peas or sugar snap peas, and sliced radish.

Recipe: Gordon Ramsay's Scallops

6. Instant Pot Crab Legs

What'll excite your guests will no doubt be the fact that you've cooked this dish at all, rather than it being served in a high-end restaurant. The skill is in creating the clarified butter, which adds that luxe flavor to the succulent sweetness of the snow crab or king crab legs. And lemon to squeeze over the plate is a must. This is already a great start to any dinner, but if you want to make it more sophisticated, serve your crab with special seafood crackers.

Recipe: Instant Pot Crab Legs

7. Easy Cucumber Rolls

There's a misconception that gourmet cuisine dishes are complicated or expensive to make. These cucumber rolls are quite the opposite, and yet the color, design, and taste of these meat-free morsels stand out if you're planning to serve a heavier, more indulgent entrée, or perhaps an Asian-themed main dish. Either way, make sure you season the rice, and serve your rolls with a tasty dip, whether hoisin, sriracha, or classic soy sauce. Less is often more, and there's nothing worse than an overstuffed roll with competing flavors.

Recipe: Easy Cucumber Rolls

8. Baked Brie

There are no words that do this melt-in-the-mouth, gooey French cheese justice. If you serve a wheel of thyme-infused brie that's been baked in the oven with a drizzle of honey on the top, you're announcing your culinary feast is a gourmet one. Brush olive oil on before baking to ensure the cheese is nice and soft on top. And to add to the presentation, cut the parchment paper this shared appetizer sits on into a wider circle than the cheese rather than covering the whole baking tray. 

Recipe: Baked Brie

9. Best Goat Cheese Crostini

Gourmet dining doesn't have to be a traditional affair. If you choose an al fresco, upscale cookout with grilled meats, this is the appetizer you want to serve. Creamy goat cheese and crisp,y grilled baguette slices are a perfect contrast. The rosemary grilled cherry tomatoes cooked in sugar and balsamic vinegar add a burst of flavor and color that brings this dish to a whole new level. If you don't have a pan you can put directly on your grill, cook the tomatoes in foil instead.

Recipe: Best Goat Cheese Crostini

10. Savory Fried Pork And Cabbage Gyoza

Bite-size appetizers immediately impress with these pot sticker-style gyozas. These Asian-style wonders are dumplings that are fried on the bottom and then steamed to create a crunchy and soft texture. Your guests will love the juicy filling with soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger. You can easily use shiitake mushrooms in place of pork for any guests who don't eat meat. To make them, fold the wrappers in half and pinch together from one end to the other. Serve with Chinese black vinegar or ponzu sauce.

Recipe: Savory Fried Pork And Cabbage Gyoza

11. Asparagus Tart

If there's a king of vegetables, it's got to be asparagus, while this dish rules as the queen of appetizers too. Not only do you not have to cook the spears, but can also you use ready-make puff pastry. If you can't find Boursin, a soft and creamy cheese brand with herbs, crème fraîche with basil and oregano works just fine. You can also use dried thyme to sprinkle on the cooked tart if you don't have fresh leaves. Feel free to add heat with red pepper or red chili flakes.

Recipe: Asparagus Tart

12. Easy Caprese Skewers

Everyone likes a skewer. A wooden stick turns an appetizer into the ultimate finger food, and they look great, too. Deconstruct the classic Caprese salad and reimagine it. The traditional flavors of mozzarella, tomato, and basil are still there, with a tangy balsamic glaze drizzled over the top. Use grape or cherry tomatoes and small balls of cheese. That way, you won't even need a chopping board for this simple recipe. If you can't find marinated mozzarella balls, try making a homemade version with olive oil, garlic, basil, and oregano. 

Recipe: Easy Caprese Skewers

13. Cheesy Ciabatta Garlic Bread

Sometimes, the best appetizers in life aren't the fancy, schmancy ones, but the old favorites. Cheesy garlic ciabatta, anyone? There are few dinner party guests who don't love a bite that's meltingly buttery, doughy, garlicky, and cheesy all at the same time. This is a great start to an Italian gourmet menu and inspires the appetite. The parmesan adds a salty tang, and the mozzarella creates a soft, velvety texture. A good tip is to use a garlic press so you get fine pieces all over the bread and it's fully tasty.

Recipe: Cheesy Ciabatta Garlic Bread

14. French Onion Soup Gets A Modern Update

Recreate this well-known, retro appetizer using a more modern cooking technique: an Instant Pot. If the thought of slicing so many onions so thinly makes your eyes water, know that you don't need them to be that thin, as they reduce in size. It's not essential, but it adds an extra flavor profile if you put a splash or two of cognac, sherry, or red wine into the soup while it's cooking. Divide the soup between individual oven-proof dishes before topping with bread and gruyere.

Recipe: French Onion Soup Gets A Modern Update

15. Chatueaubriand

If your approach to gourmet food is to embrace decadent luxury, this is the entrée to announce that to the whole table. Chatueaubriand is, without a doubt, a dish that's served for a special meal. (Given that the recipe asks for filet mignon, it's certainly high-end.) Once you've roasted and pan-seared your meat, surround it with a tent-style aluminum foil covering and let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve with black pepper garlic butter, plus classic sides such as oval-shaped, butter and herb roasted potatoes, Burgundy mushrooms, and seared asparagus.

Recipe: Chatueaubriand

16. Gordon Ramsay's Beef Wellington With A Twist

Turn a grand entrée extraordinaire into individual parcels of sophisticated fare with puff pastry encased filet mignon steaks for each of your guests. Creamy duxelle mushrooms and prosciutto surround the beef, while a red wine sauce creates a rich twist to original recipes. For such a five-star main course, cook with wine that's good enough to drink, although it doesn't have to be a rare vintage. You're going to cook the sauce using stewing steak, but you'll strain it afterward.

Recipe: Gordon Ramsay's Beef Wellington With A Twist

17. Homemade Lobster Ravioli

If there's ever proof needed that gourmet food is all about the ingredients and now how complicated a recipe is, this is it. Take lobster meat and goat cheese and make homemade ravioli, which will charm your guests. Serve in a creamy, citrusy, and garlicky sauce with Parmesan cheese. What you have before you is a culinary Italian-inspired masterpiece. Make sure each pasta squares are sealed properly before you boil them. It only takes a matter of minutes, before they turn opaque and rise to the surface, ready to dish out. 

Recipe: Homemade Lobster Ravioli

18. Colossal Shrimp Mofongo

There's shrimp, and then there's the luxuriously meaty and flavorsome colossal shrimp. Served in a tomatoey sauce, called sofrito, amaze your dinner party with a description of how you made Puerto Rican mofongo. The seafood is served next to this mixture of fried, mashed-up plantains cooked with garlic, salt, and pork rinds. If exquisite dining is about culinary adventure and experience, this entrée goes places. Adding fun and creativity into recipes is what sharing great food is about.

Recipe: Colossal Shrimp Mofongo

19. Standing Rib Roast

While you may have pretty good culinary skills, it's the roasting of this prime rib in the oven that does all the magic. Here's a dish that can only be described as a dinner party centerpiece. If your idea of a fabulous feast is serving a mouthwatering, meaty meal, this entrée is one for your book of recipe favorites. Coat the roast in olive oil using a pastry brush so that the fresh rosemary and thyme rub sticks to the meat and the herby flavors penetrate it. 

Recipe: Standing Rib Roast

20. Homemade Prime Rib

Have you ever dined out at a fancy steak restaurant and tucked into prime rib? Imagine the delight on your meat-loving guests' faces if you bring this special treat home and make it for them. A dinner party doesn't get much more gourmet than a succulent roast served with a horseradish and blue cheese sauce. There are a few knife skills required for this recipe, so ask a butcher to help if need be. And don't forget to take the beef out of the refrigerator a couple of hours before cooking it.

Recipe: Homemade Prime Rib

21. Slow Cooker Duck Confit

This dish makes you feel as if you're a culinary wizard, although the secret is in using a slow cooker. Even though this dish isn't overly difficult to make, your guests don't have to know that, so let them gush over the delectable softness. What's also great is that you can confit the duck legs way ahead of time and just cook them in half an hour once you're ready, as long as they're submerged in fat. This makes them ideal dinner party fare. Serve with greens and cauphinoise potatoes.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Duck Confit

22. Duck Breast With Pomegranate Sauce

Fine dining is an experience. And that experience begins with the ingredients and how they're put together. Then, you've got presentation and taste to follow. Duck with pomegranate sauce scores a hat trick with a wonderful pairing of the fruit and the tender meat, while thyme and star anise boost those flavors. Sprinkle over pomegranate seeds, and serve with green beans and a starchy side. 

Recipe: Duck Breast With Pomegranate Sauce

23. Ina Garten's Beef Tenderloin With A Twist

This recipe's depth of flavor comes from heating and then cooling your marinade for this melt-in-the-mouth tenderloin. Those flavors are interesting, too, with sweet vermouth and brown heated with freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh rosemary and thyme, and a bay leaf. Marinate for at least two hours (longer if you can). The citrusy, herbal profile of this recipe elevates an already-special cut of meat. Serve on orange slices with sprigs of rosemary. 

Recipe: Ina Garten's Beef Tenderloin With A Twist

24. Julia Child's Coq Au Vin With A Twist

Here's a French classic, and a variation based on a recipe from one of America's much cherished culinary icons. Make this lip-smackingly delicious dish lighter by using white wine, rather than red, and cook the potatoes in with the chicken. Drama is added, and you get to feel like a high-end chef when you flambé the chicken by pouring cognac into the pan. (If you don't feel overly confident about setting the chicken alight, you can leave this part out.)

Recipe: Julia Child's Coq Au Vin Recipe With A Twist

25. Best Wonton Ravioli

If you need a reason to gather a few gourmands around a dinner table, ricotta, goat cheese, and thyme homemade ravioli is it. Comforting yet luxurious, this recipe is easy to make, too. Instead of making pasta, use wonton wrappers. Make sure you cook in batches so that each ravioli can rise to the surface of the water when it's ready. You also need to ensure that your garlic butter sauce is warming in a pan so that your cooked ravioli can be put straight there and won't cool before serving. 

Recipe: Best Wonton Ravioli

26. Authentic Chicken Scarpariello

Hearty, rustic, and cooked in one pan doesn't stop this succulent Italian-American classic from wooing dinner party darlings. Chicken thighs and breast cooked with pickled pepper and Italian sausage create a flavor sensation. While the original recipe calls for Peppadew peppers, you can use whatever you find in a jar. The fragrant aroma of garlic combines with the pickles and their juices, as well as wine, sugar and herbs. Don't worry about making this dish look neat before you pop it in the oven — just make sure the chicken is skin-side-up. 

Recipe: Authentic Chicken Scarpariello

27. Cajun Crab Boil

Fine dining doesn't have to mean using the finest cutlery. If your idea of living the high life is an al fresco gathering, roll with some Cajun flavors and freshly cooked crab. A hot seafood platter is terrifically tempting, yet this entrée is so Instagram-friendly you'll have to wait for the photos to finish before digging in. Dungeness and snow crabs, along with crawfish, are delicious as are red potatoes and corn. Serve on parchment paper with slaw, pasta with butter sauce, or a green salad.

Recipe: Cajun Crab Boil

28. Easy Grilled Whole Tilapia

If you're hosting a gourmet summer cookout, why not celebrate the weather with a grilled whole fish? You can fancy it up with some great sides, too. Potato salad and roasted zucchini go beautifully. Check your tilapia has been descaled and is ready to cook before you start stuffing lemon and dill inside. The seasoning is an essential step, so make sure you shake some salt and pepper not only on the outside but in the inside part of the fish, too. 

Recipe: Easy Grilled Whole Tilapia

29. Air Fryer Truffle Fries

One of the most expensive ingredients in the world, truffles are irresistible for many, with their distinctive umami characteristic. However, because truffle is a love-it-or-hate-it taste, maybe offer some non-truffled fries as well. Cooking in the air fryer means they're less greasy than if they'd been deep-fired, and be sure to soak the potatoes for half an hour before cooking to get rid of some of the starchiness and enhance the crunchiness. To boost that terrific truffle taste, add flavor intensity with a sprinkle of truffle salt on top to finish. 

Recipe: Air Fryer Truffle Fries

30. Creamy Dauphinoise Potatoes

While traditional dauphinois potatoes aren't made with cream, this recipe adds cream and cheddar cheese, too. This undoubtedly adds to the taste of indulgence with this magnificent side. It's perfect served with roasted meats. The garlic and thyme adds a strong flavor to the cream and soft slices of potato, while the cheesy, melted top is deliciously divine. To add to the fine-dining feel of your dinner party, make this side in individual ramekins so each guest has a personal serving. It looks more sophisticated than a family-size dish in the middle. 

Recipe: Creamy Dauphinoise Potatoes

31. Squash Pomegranate Salad

You eat with your eyes first, and a dish's color and presentation are key to a gourmet dinner. A salad served on the side of an entrée offers the perfect opportunity to pair interesting ingredients and to create a colorful bowl of great flavors. The red of the pomegranate seeds pops against the orange of the roasted butternut squash and the vibrant green of the kale and spinach. Feta cheese creates a tangy taste that works beautifully with the sweet and citrusy flavors of the fruit and dressing. 

Recipe: Squash Pomegranate Salad

32. Parmesan Roasted Carrots

This dish is what it appears to be: tender and crisp carrots roasted in the oven with a crust of melted Parmesan on top. There's something about the sweetness of the vegetables and the saltiness of the cheese that is so exquisitely balanced. What this means is that this simple side can hold its own at any fancy dinner party. They go with most main dishes too, and there's nothing stopping you customizing them to fit with your dinner theme. Try adding pistachios, seasoned breadcrumbs, or gremolata. 

Recipe: Parmesan Roasted Carrots

33. Cheese Souffle

Name one of the most desirable sides for a gourmet dinner, and cheese souffle would be up there. The ingredients aren't rarified or expensive, it's more that this luxurious tasting dish can be a challenge to get right. This recipe shows you how to easily create a light and airy side dish, which would also make a fantastic appetizer. When you fold in the egg white, don't overdo it; otherwise, you'll knock the air out and your souffle won't rise. Create the characteristic top hat effect by running a knife around the mix before cooking. 

Recipe: Cheese Souffle

34. 30-Minute Twice Baked Potatoes

The words "twice baked" conjure up gourmet cuisine, and these baked potatoes are luxuriously light and fluffy. What you're doing is cooking your potatoes and then scooping out the soft centers and mixing the potato with other fillings before loading this back into the skins and baking again. Save time by cooking the potatoes in the microwave the first time. Wait until they're cooled a bit to scoop out and be careful to not tear the skins. Blend the filling to make it creamier and serve with a juicy steak. 

Recipe: 30-Minute Twice Baked Potatoes

35. Hasselback Potatoes

These potatoes are worth the effort and will attract more attention than a potato that's simply bunged in the oven. They look like architectural works of culinary art, and that's because they are. This side is not just about looks either, the hasselback, fanned effect contributes to the taste too. The thin slices become crispy and caramelized; inside, they're seductively soft and fluffy. A trick to cutting this 3D potato side is to lay two chopsticks on either side of a potato, lengthways, so that as you slice, you don't go all the way through. 

Recipe: Hasselback Potatoes

36. Creamed Spinach

When was the last time you ate creamed spinach? There's a nostalgic feel to this classic side, and when you make it you'll remember why it's been so loved for so long. Fresh spinach works best for this recipe, and its success is in the slow reduction of the creamy sauce to thicken it. You can substitute heavy cream for 15% cooking cream if you like. Either way, let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes with grated nutmeg. Season and add chili flakes or cayenne pepper for some heat.

Recipe: Creamed Spinach

37. Best Sous Vide Mashed Potatoes

Imagine how special your guests will feel when you present them with not just any ordinary mashed potatoes, but sophisticated sous vide ones. The flavors are locked in so you can taste the potatoes, butter, cream, and rosemary, plus garlic, in every soft, velvety forkful. A handy tip to keeping the bag of potatoes submerged while they cook is to weigh it down with another bag that's filled with something heavier, such as coins. Submerge most of the bag, keeping a corner open so the water can push the air out. 

Recipe: Sous Vide Mashed Potatoes

38. Traditional Yorkshire Pudding

Crunchy, soft, and traditionally served with roast beef, Yorkshire puddings originate in England hundreds of years ago. The batter rises and crisps up, while the doughy center mops up a rich gravy brilliantly. There's an art to making these simple flour, milk, and egg puddings. To avoid the dreaded soggy bottom, and makes these outrageously good sides rise, heat some oil in a muffin tin and make sure it's sizzling when you add the batter. Don't fill right to the top, either; give the mix room to grow as it cooks. 

Recipe: Traditional Yorkshire Pudding

39. Ina Garten's Lobster Cobb Salad With A Twist

Casually adding lobster into a side salad is a sign that you're serving a culinary chic approach to your dinner party. The seafood is mixed with cooked bacon bits, avocado, and stilton, plus tomatoes. A twist on The Barefoot Contessa's recipe, this dressing which combines classic Asian flavors, which comprise white miso paste, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce, plus sesame oil. This creates a boldness that complements the other ingredients and the sweetness of the lobster.

Recipe: Ina Garten's Lobster Cobb Salad With A Twist

40. Traditional German Brötchen

Hard on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, these German bread basket rolls are perfect as a side. The texture of the bread means they're robust enough to accompany an entrée or to mop up sauces from a delicious main dish. You need to let the dough rise twice for this recipe. If time is of the essence, freeze these after you've shaped the rolls and let them defrost for an hour and a half before baking on the night of your dinner party.

Recipe: Traditional German Brötchen

41. Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes

Simple to cook in an Instant Pot, steamed artichokes are sublime. Cut both ends so that they're flat and won't fall over as you cook them. Trim the leaves with scissors to make the vegetables look tidy. (If you're pressed for time, because this isn't essential for the taste, you can leave it out.) The classic way to eat this side dish is by pulling out individual leaves and dipping them in butter. You can also serve with a garlic aioli or blue cheese dressing for added flavor. 

Recipe: Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes

42. Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad

It delights dinner party guests when well-known dishes have a surprise element added to them. This recipe does just that. The crunch of romaine lettuce, with a creamy dressing, croutons, and Parmesan cheese are the elements of a Caesar salad. With this recipe, you grill the lettuce, which adds a wonderful depth to the flavor. Brush on olive oil before you cook it to add to the flavor and get that lovely charred effect. Don't cut the heart of the vegetable, or the leaves will fall away from each other. 

Recipe: Grilled Romaine Caesar Salad

43. Dark Chocolate Ganache Truffle

Dark, decadent delights, chocolate ganache truffles have to be just about the most perfectly luxurious ending to a gourmet dinner. What you might be surprised to learn is that they're actually pretty easy to make, although you do need some time to put your ganache in the fridge. Dark chocolate chips, heavy cream, and cocoa powder are transformed into indulgent, after-dinner treats. If your chilled ganache is too firm to roll into balls, pop it in the microwave for a quick blast to soften it.

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Ganache Truffle

44. Pavlova

While chocolate is a favorite indulgence for many, this pavlova looks the bomb and is perfect following a fine-dining dinner in the summer. The crispy meringue shell adds crunch to the velvety whipped cream, with the fruit creating bursts of juicy flavor. Of course, just as importantly, you'll impress any guest, no matter how used to gourmet desserts they are. A great way to get the egg whites into stiff peaks is to wipe your hand blender or whisk with lemon juice. That way, any oily residue that will ultimately stop the mix from stiffening is removed. 

Recipe: Pavlova

45. Easy Mint Baked Alaska

If you want to show off with a dessert masterpiece, this is the recipe to follow. As if any baked Alaska isn't impressive enough, this dreamy dessert is also made with mint ice cream and an Oreo cookie base. The secret ingredient to getting the egg whites to peak is cream or tartar, but you can also use white vinegar or lemon juice to ensure the mix is nice and firm. Cover the whole of the ice cream with meringue so it doesn't melt through, and serve straight from the oven. 

Recipe: Easy Mint Baked Alaska

46. Classic Profiteroles

You know how kids love profiteroles? Well, so do big kids who attend sophisticated dinner parties. The recipe for this light, airy choux pastry dessert is delectable and a little different than the traditional dish. Instead of piping cream inside, cut the pastry balls in half and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Choose high-quality chocolate to add a richer flavor profile to the sauce, which is made with heavy whipping cream, too. For a fun twist, put out different toppings so guests can make individual dessert designs. 

Recipe: Classic Profiteroles

47. Black Forest Cheesecake

Can't decide whether to make a nostalgic Black Forest gateau or a refreshing cheesecake? Indulge yourself, and your guests with an impressive fusion of the two in one spectacular dessert. You're highlighting all the flavors here, with chocolate, whipped cream, and kirch-soaked cherry pie filling, along with cream cheese, an Oreo cookie base, and a chocolate ganache topping. A swirl of whipped cream, a fresh cherry, and grated chocolate add the finishing touches. Listen to the silence as each meltingly delicious mouthful is silently savored because it's just too good for words.

Recipe: Black Forest Cheesecake

48. Easy Petit Fours

If you think creating these classic French cakes requires the culinary skills of a master baker, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. This petits fours recipe is actually easy, although you can keep this sweet secret to yourself as your guests bite into this fine-dining dessert. While you can make a homemade cake, there's nothing wrong in making these little cakes using a store-bought pound cake in the shape of a loaf. A good tip to neatly cut the cake is to pop it into the freezer for a few minutes beforehand. 

Recipe: Easy Petit Fours

49. 5-Ingredient Chocolate Orange Tart

The bold flavors of chocolate and orange are showcased in this glorious chocolate tart. What makes the difference is making the base from British-style cookies, or biscuits as they're called in this part of the world. Digestive biscuits are preferable, but you can use graham crackers, too. You can make this dish well ahead of time, making it ideal for dinner parties. The orange slices are more for decoration, as orange extract gives the tart flavor. As you pour in the mix, tap the side to expel air bubbles. 

Recipe: 5-Ingredient Chocolate Orange Tart

50. French Apple Tart

The classic good looks, and sumptuously elegant taste of this French apple tarte inspires a joie de vivre that perfectly polishes off a fine-dining experience. If you like spice, sprinkle on some cinnamon on the apples before cooking. You can use whatever apples you like, as long as they're a sweet variety. When the tart mix of egg, sugar, and flour, with cold melted butter, has set, surrounding a fan of apple slices, sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve this tart warm with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.

Recipe: French Apple Tart

51. Chocolate Orange Risotto

As you announce the arrival of this dish, your guests may do a double take. After all, risotto is rarely a word used when talking about a dessert. Based on the British classic, rice pudding, this version adds a chocolatey taste too. Make sure you use arborio rice for this dish, which is wonderfully creamy and chewy when cooked. Use a peeler to get strips of orange peel to add to the sauce when cooking, and rub a whole orange against a grater to get the zest. Serve with cinnamon sticks and cream.

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Risotto

52. Green Ombre Cake

Four layers of vibrantly graduating green hues look artistic and stunning when you serve a slice of this amazing ombre cake. The soft, moist sponge is separated by a rich, homemade butter cream too. For distinctive shades, divide the cake batter into four bowls and take time to build up the colors using food coloring, so that you can maximize the differences. A useful tip to check whether a cake's baked or not is to touch the top of the sponge. If it bounces back after you've poked it, it's done. 

Recipe: Green Ombre Cake

53. Red Velvet Truffles

You can still be creative with store-bought mixes, and nobody will know (unless you tell them that is). Using a box of red velvet cake mix, create sponge balls. And while you can make a homemade cream cheese frosting, you can also use store-bought vanilla or chocolate frosting. Test your cake is cooked by pricking it with a clean toothpick. If it comes out clean, the sponge is cooked. White chocolate contrasts divinely with the soft center, and in terms of color. Decorate with sprinkles for an attractive design.

Recipe: Red Velvet Truffles

54. Apple Tarte Tatin

The interesting story behind this dessert is that it was a result of a kitchen mishap when a 19th-century Parisian chef accidentally cooked an apple tart upside-down. As you entertain your dinner party guests, let them savor the sweetness. Focus when you create the caramel for this dessert, so that it doesn't burn. Turn off the heat as soon as the melted sugar starts to brown before adding in the butter. While you cook individual tarts with puff pastry on top, flip these first, and serve with cream or ice cream.

Recipe: Apple Tarte Tatin

55. Poached Pears

Poached pears look effortlessly elegant, as they sit so perfectly on dessert plates at the end of an evening of wining and dining. They exude dessert tradition, and classic flavors, and can be served with the poaching syrup with its zesty, cinnamon taste added. It's important to peel the pears before cooking, but keep the stalks on, and cut off a small slice underneath so the fruit doesn't fall over when served. Sprinkle cookie crumbs or toasted nuts over if you want to add crunch; serve with a scoop of cool ice cream. 

Recipe: Poached Pears

56. Modern Floating Island Dessert

Meringue islands floating in a custard sea with a sea spray of caramel describe this artistic dessert. This recipe adds a splash of Grand Marnier in the milk used to poach the meringues. Meanwhile, the trick to making custard is to stir the yolks continuously so they don't scramble. The sauce is ready when the custard coats the back of a spoon. Meanwhile, your sugar-spun caramel adds drama and ensures these creations are crunchy use within four hours so they don't become sticky.

Recipe: Modern Floating Island Dessert