Posts Tagged by easy dessert
|December 5, 2016||Posted by Tracy Knutsen under Desserts|
Ask me to tell you what my favorite desserts are and I will most definitely say homemade vanilla ice cream, old fashioned banana pudding, coconut pound cake, gooey chocolatey brownies and creme brulee. I get creme brulee anytime I can and have had some yummy ones here and there. They are, however, no match for homemade.
While it sounds intimidating, creme brulee is relatively easy to make. It a basic baked custard, but the magic happens when you melt the sugar on top. That cracking sound when you break through the crunchy top is an amazing. I’ve worked with a bunch of different custard recipes, but the one that is easiest, creamiest and practically foolproof was inspired by Ree Drummond and Alton Brown. Heavy cream makes it fabulous, but it’s still yummy using equal parts heavy cream and half & half. I also love a super vanilla flavor, so if you are a more subtle vanilla person, just use the vanilla bean OR the extract instead of both.
Creamy Creme Brulee
1 quart heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Place the cream, vanilla bean and seeds, and vanilla extract into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it starts to lighten in color. Add the warm cream a little at a time, stirring continually until well incorporated.
4. Pour the custard base into ramekins until they’re 3/4 full. Place the ramekins into a rimmed pan then pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. (Tip: Place the pan in the oven before adding the water.)
5. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still a little jiggly in the center. This will take about 40 minutes. Watch them carefully toward the end so that they don’t brown. Remove the ramekins from the pan and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
6. About 30 minutes before serving, remove the custards from the refrigerator. Divide the remaining sugar equally among the ramekins and give each one a little shake to spread it evenly on top. Using a torch, caramelize the sugar and create that amazing crispy top. This is the brulee part! (Another little tip – don’t forget to get the fuel for the torch, most torches don’t come with it.) If you don’t have a torch, this part can be done under the broiler.
You will be everyone’s very favorite person when you serve this incredible dessert! We usually double this recipe to ensure plenty of leftovers.
|August 1, 2016||Posted by Tracy Knutsen under Cakes|
When your amazing life calls for something other than the standard strawberry shortcake, why not bump it up a bit and have a delicious Blackberry Shortcake instead? This one is so simple and you can use what you have on hand.
We visited our favorite local farm yesterday to find some gorgeous, fresh blackberries! We’re blackberry fanatics at my house and could easily sit down with a big bowl of these little gems and happily have them as a meal.
After considering the possibilities, and how worn out we were from a day of errands, we decided to make a quick dinner and needed a simple dessert to go with it. Anyone can have strawberry shortcake. Why not take advantage of what’s fresh now and make a beautiful Blackberry Shortcake?
So, you can really make a shortcake dessert using whatever base you have on hand. No need to get fancy or spend a lot of time baking. I happen to have some dessert shells in the freezer. Some of the things I have piled fruit on are :
- a canned or frozen biscuit (sprinkle a little sugar on top before baking)
- a cookie or two, or a little bowl of crumbled cookies
- cinnamon toast
- frozen pound cake
- a cupcake
- a scone
Even though in legit baking world, these options are not technically “shortcake”, who cares? They all make a shortcake-style, easy, yummy dessert that you can make right now.
While I pulled dinner together, I macerated a pint of blackberries in a few tablespoons of sugar. This will created all that fabulous juice you want on your shortcake. It only takes about an hour and can be hastened by crushing them up a bit.
Then it’s as simple as putting down your base and spooning on some berries.
Adding some of that gorgeous syrup.
Top it with your favorite whipped topping, ice cream or syrup.
Seriously, what could be more beautiful, simple and delicious?
|July 5, 2016||Posted by Tracy Knutsen under Cakes|
Banana Split Cake
Go bananas with this sweet and delicious Banana Split Cake from Kraft. Find out how to turn your favorite ice cream dish into a delightful cake.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Total Time: 5 hr. 25 min.
Servings: 24 servings
What You Need
- 9 graham crackers, crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, drained
- 6 bananas, divided
- 2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
- 2 cups cold milk
- 2 cups thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, divided
- 1 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans
- Cherry on top (optional, but fun!)
- Mix graham crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 13×9-inch pan. Freeze 10 min.
- Beat cream cheese and remaining sugar with mixer until blended. Spread carefully over crust; top with pineapple. Slice 4 bananas; arrange over pineapple.
- Beat pudding mixes and milk with whisk 2 min. Stir in 1 cup COOL WHIP; spread over banana layer in pan. Top with remaining COOL WHIP. Refrigerate 5 hours. Slice remaining bananas just before serving; arrange over dessert. Top with nuts and a cherry!
Save 40 calories per serving by preparing with margarine, PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 2 pkg. (1 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Sugar Free Fat Free Instant Pudding and COOL WHIP LITE Whipped Topping.
Omit nuts. Make chocolate curls from 1 oz. BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate. Use to garnish dessert.
Substitute 1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs for the crushed grahams.
|January 29, 2016||Posted by Tracy Knutsen under Cakes|
It’s just gorgeous! This easy pavlova dessert can be on your table tonight!
I recently celebrated my 50th birthday and asked my daughter to make me a pavlova. I’ve never tried one and I’ve always admired how delicate and pretty they are. Little did I know that there was a surprise party coming my way and the cake was already taken care of! Still a little obsessed, I set out the next weekend to make a pavlova myself.
While I started off a bit intimidated, I soon figured out that this is one of the simplest desserts to make. There are endless varieties and the visual impact is huge! This is a yummy confection that will impress anyone.
You know what they say…if I can do it, so can you. Here’s how!
Mixed Berry Pavlova
6 egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar or lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Fruit Compote and Topping
3 cups berries of choice (I used blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries)
1/2 cup sugar
- Make a quick fruit compote by combining 2 cups of berries (save one cup for assembly) and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Once berries begin to break down and a syrupy juice forms, remove from heat to another container and refrigerate.
- Preheat over to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (yes, 250.) Prepare a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper with a little powdered sugar or cornstarch sprinkled on top.
- Beat egg whites and salt on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
- Slowly add sugar over the next couple of minutes. Once incorporated, turn mixer up to high and beat for another 6 minutes until the mixture is shiny and glossy. For best results, the sugar should be completely dissolved.
- Sprinkle in the cornstarch and vinegar. Fold in just until blended.
- Mound the egg whites on the prepared baking sheet. Using a spatula or the back of a spoon, form the mound into a flat, circular shape, 7-8 inches in diameter and a maybe 3 inches high. Don’t overwork it.
- Place in oven for 1 1/2 hours – do not open the oven door during this time.
- Turn off the oven and let cool for another 1 1/2 hours. You may crack the oven door at this point.
- When the pavlova cools and you’re ready to serve, prepare the whipped topping by beating the heavy cream until thick. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and blend well.
- Assemble. Carefully loosen and lift the pavlova from the baking sheet and onto a serving dish. Spread the whipped cream on top in an even layer and create a shallow well in the center to better hold the compote.
- Add the fruit compote, then top with the remaining fresh berries. Add a few mint sprigs if you have them!
You can make so many different varieties of pavlova.
- The fruit toppings are endless! We’re doing peach next, but how about just strawberry? Passion fruit? Cherry?
- Another combination I’m smitten with is lemon and honey. Maybe a layer of lemon curd and a drizzle of honey?
- Chocolate is very popular. Maybe a Nutella Pavlova…yum! Or Cafe Mocha?
- Perhaps just tinting the pavlova with a drop or two of food coloring? I imagine some very pretty Easter desserts by doing that.
Have you ever made a pavlova? I’d love to know what you put on top of yours and if you have any advice?