Make or bake: I need a great dessert for Easter I can make in advance

There’s no shortage of suggestions for sweet treats you can make ahead of time, from trifle and mousse to spruced-up carrot cake and macaroons

What’s a good, make-ahead dessert for entertaining over Easter?
Chris, Bristol
“A classic chocolate mousse is unbeatable,” says Gurdeep Loyal, author of the recently published Mother Tongue. “There’s a restaurant in Paris called Chez Janou that’s famous for making a gigantic bowl of chocolate mousse every day, which you basically help yourself to.” What makes this 1960s dinner party favourite such a good tactic, however, is that it can be done well ahead of time and left in the fridge. “Then turn it into chocolate mousse sundaes,” Loyal suggests. “Give everyone loads of bits to adorn it with – crushed amaretti, meringue, almond praline … It’s fun and interactive.”

The immaculate chocolatiness of a torte also hits the make-ahead sweet spot. Chocolatier Paul A Young, author of The Joy of Chocolate, starts with the base, which is similar to that of a cheesecake. “Crush chocolate chip cookies, mix in melted butter, then press into the bottom of a cake tin.” For the filling you’ll need equal amounts of dark chocolate and double cream: “Melt the chocolate, warm the double cream, then mix the two, spread on to your base, and chill.” You could, Young adds, flavour the filling with cinnamon and nutmeg for hot cross bun vibes or, if it’s adults only, add a splash of brandy or rum. Once set, “top with mini eggs or different-sized Easter eggs – pile them really high”. It will then sit happily in the fridge over the weekend.

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