Do-ahead desserts can prevent last minute panics and disasters when it matters most. These dishes can be made at a leisurely pace hours or even days beforehand, leaving you free to tackle the rest of your menu before serving. Chilled desserts such as panna cotta, mousses, jellies and ice creams will sit well in the fridge or freezer, ready to be whipped out when the time is right. Other puds, such as a luscious tiramisu, benefit from a period of resting so the flavours can meld together. Last minute flourishes, such as caramelising the tops of a crème brulee or adding sprigs of fresh mint or a dusting of cocoa or icing sugar, is an effortless way to complete the dessert.
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