Dessert Recipe Ideas:
How to Fashion Delectable Desserts
The Perfect Ending to the Perfect Meal
For some people, the best part of any meal is the dessert. From chocolate confections to cheesecake and apple pie, desserts come in many forms and appeal to many different appetites. Choosing the right dessert for your meal can depend on both the season and the type of meal itself. Heavy meals should be capped off with light, frothy desserts like sorbet or mousse; while lighter meals allow a little more room for indulgence in divinely rich desserts such as cheesecake or chocolate brownies. Most of all, desserts should just be delicious. Coffee is the traditional accompaniment for the dessert course, and on special occasions dessert wines and aperitifs such as port provide an elegant beverage option.
Casual Desserts to Be Enjoyed All the Time
Desserts don't need to be intricate to be enjoyable. Many favorite desserts are also comfort food that is simple and scrumptious. One dessert option that is both fun and flavorful is a sundae or parfait bar. Sundaes start with an ice cream base in a small bowl or sauce dish and can be topped with any number of goodies, while parfaits are stacked with alternate layers of ice cream with toppings in a parfait glass. The fun comes in by allowing your guests or family to create their own dessert by providing the ice cream and all the toppings. Some delectable toppings to have on hand include:
- Chocolate Fudge Topping
- Caramel Topping
- Chopped Nuts
- Shredded Coconut
- Pineapple wedges
- Candy Sprinkles
- Crumbled Oreo cookies
- Whipped Cream
- Maraschino Cherries
Another casual dessert that looks as gorgeous as it tastes delicious is a modified pound cake torte. Simply cut a thawed pound cake into three horizontal sections. Add the filling of your choice (chocolate fudge, fruit filling, custard) to the bottom layer, place the middle layer over the filling, top the middle layer with regular or flavored whipped cream and place the top layer over the whipped cream. Chopped nuts, candied fruits or a drizzle of caramel sauce can be added to the top layer for extra appeal. Slice the pound cake normally and serve as a beautiful and tasty treat.
Healthy Desserts for Kids and Adults Alike
Desserts don't always have to mean crossing the line into forbidden food territory. Serving healthy desserts can teach children (and grown ups who never outgrew their sweet tooth) that eating healthy doesn't have to mean sacrificing taste. One weight-conscious choice is to whip up a fruit sorbet. As refreshing as ice cream without the high calories, fruit sorbet makes an excellent dessert for summer or after a heavy meal. Start with 16 oz of the fruit of your choice, such as melon, peaches, or pineapple, chopped into small pieces. Next add ¼ cup water or fruit juice if using canned fruit and 2 tablespoons each of sugar and lime juice. Puree the mixture in a blender until smooth, transfer to a bowl and freeze for three hours. Sorbet can be served in small dessert bowls and garnished with a mint leaf for a lovely presentation. Other health conscious desserts include angel food cake served with fruit, peeled apples baked with a glaze of honey and perennial favorite, rice pudding.
Elegant Desserts to Impress the Taste Buds and the Eyes
If you're looking for a dessert to accompany a special occasion or particularly fancy meal, there are many beautiful desserts to choose from that don't require a diploma from the Cordon Bleu Academy. Although they sound (and look) quite fancy, crepes are relatively easy to make. Blend together by hand, 2 eggs, one cup of flour, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, a teaspoon of vanilla and a dash of salt. Allow the mixture to stand for half an hour and then melt a teaspoon of butter into a flat pan. Pour 1/4 cup increments of the flour mixture into the pan and cook approximately 3 -5 minutes over a medium flame on each side until they are golden brown. Repeat this process until all the crepes have been made. Once you have the crepes complete, you can fill them with ice cream, custard, fresh fruit, preserves or any other filling you crave. Top with a compatible sauce, fresh fruit or grated chocolate to finish.
If you really want to impress your friends, try serving a fresh fruit flambé. Flambé is about as simple and elegant as you can get. Start by melting butter in a flambé or small frying pan, add 2/3 cup of brown sugar at heat until the sugar begins to caramelize. Next add 2/3 cup of orange juice and 1/3 cup pineapple juice and bring the mixture to a low boil. Add fresh fruit such as orange slices, strawberries and pineapple to the caramel and mix well. Remove the pan from the range and place it on a heat protected surface, away from anything flammable. Next pour a tablespoon of dark rum, a table spoon of Grand Marnier and 2/3 cup of cognac over the fruit in the pan, light a match and toss it into the pan. As the flames subside, stir the fruit mixture with a long handled spatula. Once the flames are completely out, serve the delicious flambé over vanilla ice cream for a special treat.
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