Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2 Impressive (but super easy) Desserts!

Hi guys!
Did you see the fun new dessert toys that will be going up in our shop? I love cupcakes, and I've been having a blast working on those. So, in honor of these new items, I have two dessert ideas for you today. These are two of my favorites for several reasons; they're super yummy, they use berries (which I love), they are beautiful to look at, they are very impressive looking, but they're really easy to do.

To entice you:
chocolate and berry desserts tutorial
YUM! Ok, now the how-to.

Chocolate Berry Cups
On the left above, we have the chocolate berry cups. These beauties look really impressive and are completely delicious, but are actually very simple. Almost recipe-free! Basically, you'll make molded chocolate cups, then fill them with whipped yogurt and berries. Easy! Making the cups can be a little time consuming, but they're great to make ahead and fill at the last minute.

You'll need:
Chocolate candy melts
Yoplait Whips yogurt, strawberry mist flavor (you could also try regular yogurt, or mousse)
Berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc)
Cordial cups candy molds (there are plenty of other shapes that would work too, these are just my favorite)
Double boiler

1. Place chocolate candy melts in the top of the double boiler, put about an inch of water in the bottom. Heat on med-low. Stir chocolate as it melts, until it is nice and smooth. 
*Note: you can also melt chocolate in the microwave, but do it very slowly. Try 15 second bursts with stirring in between.
candy coating melts on stove
The candy coating melts pretty quickly. You're aiming for the look on the right.

2. Using your paintbrush, smooth the chocolate onto the inside of each cup in the candy mold. It doesn't need to be very thick, just try to cover the whole inside.

3. Refrigerate candy molds for at least 10 minutes, or until chocolate feels cold to the touch. 

4. Over a clean surface, turn the molds upside down and pop out the cups. Sometimes they need a little help, so you can pull on the plastic a bit, tap the bottoms, etc. If they're not coming out easily then put then back in the fridge for awhile. 

5. Drop a spoonful of Whips yogurt into each cup. 
whip filling in chocolate

6. Top with delicious berries.
individual berry desserts

7. Fend off the onlookers until you're ready to eat, then enjoy!
children waiting for dessert

*For the slightly more ambitious ones out there, I highly recommend tempering your own chocolate instead of using the candy melts. The melts are nice because they are no fuss, but they're nowhere near as yummy as good chocolate. When you're ready to try it, here's a quick tutorial on tempering.

Amazing Panna Cotta
If you've never had panna cotta, you have to try it. If you've tried it, you'll be thrilled to see how easy it is to have at home. Panna cotta is great because it's so versatile, delicious, and easy to make. If you're having a dinner party it makes a gorgeous plated dessert. If you want to knock some socks off at a potluck, you can easily make small potions with your favorite toppings and take it with you. 

You'll need:
1 quart Heavy Whipping Cream (though Half-and-Half works too)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 packets unflavored gelatin
6 tablespoons cold water
Cooking spray
Containers to hold panna cotta

tools and ingredients for cooked cream

1. Put 6 Tbsp water in large bowl. Sprinkle both packets of gelatin over the water, set aside.
add gelatin to water

2. Spray inside of each panna cotta container lightly with cooking spray, set aside.

3. Heat cream and sugar in the saucepan over medium heat until sugar it dissolved. The cream should get warm, but not hot, and definitely don't let it boil!
dissolve sugar in warm cream

4. Add vanilla to the warm cream and stir. 

5. Pour cream mixture over gelatin. Stir gently until gelatin dissolves into cream. 
dissolve gelatin in cream

6. Pour into prepared containers and set in the fridge. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Overnight is better. 
panna cotta container variety
All kinds of containers will work well. The ramekins are great if you're going to plate it; the wine glasses or shot glasses make good individual servings; the Gladware with lids travel really well; and the little plastic cups are small and disposable!

7. Once it's set the panna cotta is ready to eat! You can turn it out onto a plate (run a knife around the edge first) or serve it in its container. I like to top mine with a spoonful of homemade jam, but berry syrup, fresh berries, and chocolate sauce are also popular toppings. Experiment! Or offer options!
panna cotta presented on plate with toppings
This panna cotta was turned out of a ramekin, then plated with chocolate sauce, jam, and berries, so the diner can try them all!
small serving with fruit
The shot glasses make great individual servings, but people might demand seconds. The left has jam, the right has raspberries.

That's it! You're now ready to wow some guests, or just treat your family! (Or yourself!) As a bonus, these are both gluten-free desserts. I'll do a lactose-free set another day. :)

Let me know how it goes if you try these out! And check our shop soon for the new cupcakes and other fun surprises!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the step by step instructions on how to make this easy desserts.