easy but elegant dessert
A certain new male friend is cooking for me for the first time tonight(but won't tell me what he's making). I'd like to at least contribute the dessert, but since this was a last minute decision, I need something I can make quickly, but I also want to impress, since I haven't cooked for him yet. I'm a capable baker, but most of my recipes that I use to impress take all night. Any ideas for something quick?
Buy some nice ricotta, honey and figs. Slice the figs in half, torch until carmelized on the open side. Serve with a spoonful of ricotta drizzled with honey. You can add some other fruits if you like, or sweeten the ricotta with powdered sugar and flavor with Grand Marnier.
Or, if you're comfortable tempering chocolate, dip a variety of fruits, both fresh and dried - strawberries, cherrys, dried apricots, little champagne grape in tiny bunches, orange segments and so on. Pile on a tray.
If you're not comfortable tempering chocolate, make a ganache and serve warm with fruit to dip in.
If you want to bake, perfect biscuits are always impressive, and they bake up quickly. Shortcake (peach, strawberry, whatever is in season near you) would be good.
Zabaglione over berries. Tiramisu (we often use coffee-soaked Rainier cherries in place of ladyfinger biscuits). Or...
Cut the very bottom off of two pears so they will stand upright. Peel the pears but otherwise leave them intact. Poach the pears in simple syrup for ten minutes. Stand in a dish, put two small scoops of vanilla ice cream (this is the time to break out the fancy stuff), and drizzle with warm chocolate syrup (ditto -- use the good stuff).
Creme burlee? What about a sparkling wine jello w/ berries? I saw that on Food TV a little while back and looked pretty good. Profilteros? Individual fruit tarts? It helps if you know what he likes....