Unique ways to serve desserts
Desserts bring a meal to its successful end. After several courses of food, desserts are the final exclamation on a meal that was hopefully full of pleasant surprises, so it’s no time to coast. Instead, dessert is the time to take the meal to eleven and pull out all of the stops. To aid you in finding dessert perfection, here are several ways that you can take any dessert and make it memorable, special, and unique.
In a pinch, when all else fails, if you want to give your dessert a little wow, bake it in a puff pastry. There is a perceived degree of difficulty in wrapping a dessert in puff pastry and baking it (how did that brownie bake in there), even though it’s very simple. Plus, the puff pastry (and the butter and sugar you put on top of the pastry) gives the dessert a deeper, richer flavor.
While this doesn’t alter the flavor of the dish at all, finding unique serving containers is a great way to set apart a dessert. For instance, fans of the 1960s in America will love pot brownies (that’s brownies cooked in a flower pot… what you were thinking?) A shoe fanatic will love their dessert served in plastic plates that look like footwear and around Halloween, you can find plastic heads to serve your own ghoulish creations.
Even if you use the exact same recipe, a dessert in a cool dish will taste better than one served with out. It’s the “eating with your eyes first” principle in action.
Nothing says “remember me… I’m delicious” like fire. All you need to do is warm eighty-proof liquor in a saucepan, then pour it over your dessert and light a match. Viola! You have instant special effects and something that everyone will want to eat.
A close cousin of the flambé, instead of just adding fiery effects to your dessert at the last second, you can make your dessert in front of your guests. Many kitchen supply stores sell portable burners you can take to your guests. On the burner, you can roast cherries for cherries jubilee, bananas for bananas foster, or apples for cinnamon apples.
All you need to do is finish your dessert with room temperature eighty-proof liquor (think rum or brandy) and light it on fire. To do that, pour it in to the dessert and immediately tilt the skillet so the front is over the burner. The fumes from the alcohol will catch fire and you will have an impressive dessert.
Chocolate bags are basically chocolate cubes that have one end missing and are hollow. These little creations are begging to be filled with more chocolate, berries, orange liqueur, crumbled cookies… whatever you want. They’re difficult to make at home, but you can ask a local chocolate shop to make them or provide something close.
Dessert as art
If you are feeling really ambitious, you can turn dessert into art. The good news is that it’s a lot easier than you might think to do simple patterns. You can create seemingly intricate designs on a chocolate cake by frosting it white, adding black piping gel, and spreading it with a knife for checkered patterns, webs or wheel spikes.
You can also buy molds to make wild chocolate shapes, then freeze them and add them to the dessert at the last second. You can also boil 5 cups of sugar with 1 cup of corn starch and 1 cup of water and a little food coloring to make sugar stained glass which you can crack on your cake for an effect no one will forget.