Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Desserts are a Piece of Cake

This is entertainingest time of year. There are parties, dinners, and spontaneous gatherings. Desserts are needed, sometimes on short notice. I’m all for spending half a day baking something wonderful but I don’t always have the time to actually do it. However, I like to wow everyone at my table as much as the next person or be the guest who impresses with my fabulous and of course homemade contribution to the meal. In fact, because I’m a food writer people kind of expect me to do it. Luckily I now have a fantastic solution, actually two solutions, courtesy of the folks at Miceli’s Dairy, a three generation family owned Cleveland company. Working on an assignment, I got a pair of recipes from them for fast, easy, no-cook chocolate desserts that are turning out to be real lifesavers. Stock your fridge and pantry with the necessary ingredients and you are just 10 minutes away from deliciousness. In the seasonal spirit of giving, I’m sharing the recipes tweaked with my own variations and suggestions. Let’s just hope we don’t turn up at the same potluck.

Chocolate Creams
1/2-cup lowfat ricotta cheese
2 tbsp mild flavored honey
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Scoop into small dessert dishes or martini glasses and serve. Makes 2 servings

Cannoli Cups
1 1/2 cups Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese, well drained
3 Tbs. Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped dark or milk chocolate (4 to 5 small bars)
Maraschino cherries chopped up for garnish
Chocolate cups
Set aside 1/4 cup chopped chocolate. In another bowl, combine all the filling ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. To assemble, fill pastry bag with mixture and pipe into cups. No pastry bag? No worries- just spoon it in. Sprinkle with remaining chopped chocolate and top with cherry pieces. Note: Chocolate cups may be purchased at any specialty chocolate store. Pre-baked tartlet shells or filo dough cups can be substituted. Serves 4-6

No comments: