Desserts

Desserts

By
Margaret Fulton
Contains
43 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781740669269
Photographer
Geoff Lung

Desserts

For years I was content to finish an evening meal with a perfect piece of fruit, a sweet juicy apple perhaps, a few freshly picked strawberries, or one of the peaches my sister had preserved from her orchard.

A turning point came when Suzanne returned from London with her Cordon Bleu Diploma and 12 months’ experience as the dessert and cake chef at the Cordon Bleu Restaurant in Marylebone Lane. The restaurant was famous for its food, fine cakes and exquisite desserts. I learnt from Suzanne that a good dessert is worth waiting for and can be the crowning glory to a meal.

The world of soufflés, crêpes, fruit tarts and pies, custards and creams, mousses and beautiful fresh fruit desserts is accessible to the home cook and make a lovely way of treating the special people in our lives.

Soufflés

The charm of a soufflé, apart from its delectable flavour and airy texture, is its spectacular appearance. Rising magnificently above the rim of the dish, its height is determined by the size of the dish. Sizes vary from individual serving dishes through to 5-and 6-cup dishes and larger.

To prepare a dish for a hot soufflé, brush with melted butter and dust inside with a little caster sugar. Remove excess sugar by turning the dish upside down and tapping lightly on the work surface.

For a high soufflé, tie a double band of baking paper around the dish to give it extra height. Cut a strip of baking paper 15 cm wide and wrap it around so that it stands like a collar above the edge of the dish.

Soufflé omelettes

These are closely related to the soufflé proper, but they offer fewer problems to the cook, other than a few minutes absence from the table.

For a spectacle, the soufflé omelette often comes to the table enveloped in the blue flames of rum, brandy or a liqueur of some kind. Best made for two or three people – don’t attempt this dish for a larger crowd.

Cold soufflés

The charm of a cold soufflé is that it looks spectacular and can be made ahead, unlike a baked soufflé. A cold soufflé uses gelatine to hold the air in the egg whites and cream. Three-egg soufflés are made in the 15 cm or 5-cup capacity dishes, while the larger sweet sherry soufflé is made in a large 18 cm or 8-cup capacity dish.

Custards and creams

Velvet smooth crème caramel, with its glistening golden top, is the custard classic of world cuisine. It stars with other delectable rich creams and simple custard desserts.

Fruit pies and tarts

Apple pies, in one form or another, figure prominently among the favourite dessert recipes of the world. The French favour the classic tarte aux pommes, with its traditional top of overlapping slices and sweet pastry enclosing a vanilla-flavoured apple purée. Everyone loves a strawberry tart.

Fruit desserts

Fruit is perfect on its own, with cheese, or as the base for many simple desserts. A large bowl of ice with an assortment of grapes, apples, peaches or just one perfect piece of fruit is very often all that is needed to complete a meal. If you fancy something else, there’s a wonderful selection of fruit desserts to choose from.

Ice-cream

There are a number of good ice-cream makers available that are quite inexpensive and simple to use. However, if you haven’t one, it is possible to make a good ice-cream at home using a freezer and an ice tray. For the latter, quick freezing and using a custard base makes smoother ice-cream. Turn the refrigerator control to maximum for 2 hours. When the ice-cream is firm, turn the control to a normal setting.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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