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Jun 26, 2007 10:15 AM

Fast and Fancy Dessert Help!

I need to come up with two different (contrasting) fast desserts tonight that look very posh... I have a well-stocked pantry and can go to the market before I go home... anything you guys rely on in a pinch? Please help!

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  1. Chocolate dipped strawberries---if you've never done them, let me assure you they are so easy. Melt some good chocolate---add a spoonful of solid shortening to get the right consistency. Dip your strawberries by the stem and let harden on waxed paper. Can't believe what the "gourmet" candy stores charge for these!

    1. I watched this one on the Food Network....oh my goodness...FABULOUS!! Serve this in a teacup and matching saucer or coffe cup and matching saucer. It makes a cute little presentation and makes you feel like you are eating a rich restaurant dessert!

      Ricotta Cappuccino

      1/2 cup sugar
      1/2 vanilla bean
      1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
      1/2 tablespoon instant espresso powder
      1 (3-inch) biscotti, crushed
      Pinch ground cinnamon
      Pinch cocoa powder

      Place the sugar in a food processor. Cut the vanilla bean open lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and place them in the food processor with the sugar. Run the machine to make vanilla sugar.

      Place the ricotta and espresso powder in the food processor. Blend for 1 minute. Stop the machine to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula. Blend for another minute. Spoon the mixture into 4 small coffee mugs. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

      To serve, top the ricotta cappuccino with crushed biscotti. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cocoa powder.

      A MUST try!!

      1. Pavlovas with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce or berries.

        1. A lemon tart. With a simple shortbread crust, lemon curd and sprinkle it with icing sugar, or brule sugar over the top. Always a hit, looks fancy (especially if you top with frsh fruit) and super easy.

          1. Individual trifles in wine or other nice glasses.
            You need only 4 things:
            1 Lemon
            Pound Cake
            Frozen/ fresh berries
            Whipping Cream

            Make a coulis with the berries by placing them in a pot with water and sugar. Bring to boil then lower to a simmer and add a slurry of cornstarch and water. Bring to a boil, then turn off burner. It will thicken.
            Add some lemon juice/ zest to heighten the berry flavor.
            Whip the cream. Add some powdered sugar as the cream comes together, if you have it.
            Cube the pound cake.
            Assemble by placing a layer of berries, whipped cream and cubes of cake. Repeat until you get to the top. Finish with a cream layer.