Using Chocolate For Entertaining

If you're getting ready to entertain a crowd and really want to dazzle and impress, try working a little chocolate into the menu. Even when used at a minimum, this incredible confection can prove more flexible than many hosts and hostesses realize.

The truth is there is more to chocolate than simplistic bars and quick pick-me-ups. This is a premium ingredient to use when entertaining. The ideas for incorporating chocolate into a breakfast, lunch or dinnertime spreads are almost endless. From rich dark chocolate creations to sensational milk and white chocolate delights, the options go on and on.

Using Chocolate At Breakfast If you're getting ready to whip up a special breakfast or brunch for company, consider adding chocolate to the menu. Even in its most delicate breakfast forms, chocolate can delight. Some of the options for early morning fare include:

* Cocoa. If you want to please both the kids and the adults, add this to the usual servings of juice, coffee and tea. * Pancakes. Toss in a few semi-sweet chocolate chips or white chocolate chips when making pancakes or waffles. * Crepes. Fruit crepes make a very big hit with guests and they do not take as much work as many believe. Drizzle melted chocolate on top of whip cream to increase the eye appeal of the end creation. * Doughnuts. Even simple cake doughnuts can be jazzed up with a drizzling of chocolate sauce.

Chocolate At Lunch Lunchtime usually demands a light touch when it comes to entrees and desserts. To incorporate chocolate into this meal consider:

* Chocolate mousse. A light chocolate mousse served up with a dollop of fresh whipped cream isn't too heavy, especially if it's served in moderation. The airy flavor generally makes a very big splash, too. * Chocolate chip cookies. Top off the meal with a cup of coffee or tea and a cookie or two. It's quick, easy and will make even the stodgiest of grown ups feel like kids again. * Milkshakes. Lunch is generally one of the least formal meals of the day. Run with it by serving up chocolate milkshakes with the main dish. A little chocolate ice cream, some milk and a blender and you're all set. Vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup work just fine, too.

Dinnertime Delights * Chocolate fountains. To really make a huge impression, consider a chocolate fountain for a dinnertime spread. This is a fantastic way to please the eyes and stomach at the same time. * Fondue. A creamy white chocolate fondue served with pound cake and fresh fruit is always a hit. Other options here include milk chocolate, dark and even caramel laced turtle fondue. Have a little fun with this type of dessert creation and remember to let guests serve themselves.

Chocolate makes a nice addition to any meal spread. When impressing guests is desired, consider adding a little bit of white, dark or milk chocolate to the menu.

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