Imagine that you are serving something so rich for dessert that the actual portion any one person would consume is just a single morsel. The quandary is how to serve such a treat without it appearing lonely on even your smallest plates. Here is a solution.
Chinese soup spoons can provide a suitable “nest” for individual portions. Line them up on one or more narrow rectangular plates/platters (depending upon how many you are serving) and garnish the plate with the tiniest mint leaves you can find.
We have taken hand-fashioned peanut butter filled chocolate cups and figured out a way to make them look stunning. Crinkle your eyes a bit and look at how thoroughly unimpressive a single one of these little nibbles would look all by itself. Now look at the full picture of the PB cups served in Chinese soup spoons.
As a group, they make a gorgeous ensemble, like a chorus line of sweets. The handle on the spoon makes it easy for each guest to move a single serving without manhandling the little bite of ecstasy.
This can also be used for single serve hors d’oeuvres as well. The soup spoons like this are not difficult to find, whether at an Asian market, Pier 1, or online.
This is also a good technique if you are having a party and have a lot of variety for your guests to sample. This discourages grabbing multiples of the same thing. Don’t overdo, however. A table with nothing but bits of food in Chinese soup spoons would not be appealing. Vary the serving methods.
(If you’re looking for the recipe for the chocolate PB cups, it is one by the inimitable chef George Stella. Check out his site, stellastyle.com.)