by Natalie Mitts
Crème Brûlée: This French custard is sure to please anyone you're
cooking for. The name is French for "burnt cream." The custard base is
topped with sugar that is caramelized by either baking or using a torch.
Purchase a crème brûlée kit for as low as $20. A kit normally contains 4
ramekins (individual baking cups) and a small torch. Some even come
with premade mixes and caramelizing sugar. Use the torch for other
things in the future - like baked Alaska, meringues and melting cheese.
Fruit Pizza: This is a no-brainer since everyone loves both pizza and
fruit. Combine them for a delicious sweet treat that's healthier than
many other desserts. Use a sugar cookie base and a cream cheese
frosting. Top with any kind of fruit that you like - kiwi, mandarin
oranges, strawberries, bananas or blueberries. Make a cool spiral design
or some other pattern with the pieces of fruit.
Cheesecake: Although the original flavor of cheesecake is delicious
alone, top it with fruit (like strawberries) or try a new flavor. Some
great variations include Vanilla Bean, Dulce de Leche, Pumpkin, Dutch
Apple, Key Lime, Lemon and Banana Cream. Get yourself a recipe,
ingredients and a 9-inch springform pan and you are good to go.
Peach Cobbler: There's no dessert more comforting on a cold evening
than warm peach cobbler. Cobbler is a traditional dish in both the
United States and England. You can use any type of fruit, but you can't
go wrong with peaches. The batter bakes up around the fruit, forming
both the crust and the topping. Serve with whipping cream or vanilla ice
cream to cool your mouth off between bites.
Fruit/Custard Tarts: A tart is a flaky pastry that comes in a variety of
sizes. Make a large tart and slice it like a pie or buy individual
shells to bake each person's serving in. Many tarts contain custard and
are topped with fresh fruit. A strawberry tart is especially appropriate
for Valentine's Day. You can even find heart-shaped tart shells to show
your loved ones how much you care.