Feb 2, 2009

Non-chocolate Desserts

by Natalie Mitts

Though Valentine's Day may mean chocolate to most people, it doesn't always have to be that way. Surprise your friends (whether they dislike chocolate or love it) with a different kind of sweet. Here are our suggestions for some easy-to-make desserts without chocolate.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment