The right dessert will impress your guests and leave them with a sweet taste in their mouths. While you could simply pop by a bakery, it is just as easy to make your own gourmet delights.
While these desserts are truly epicurean, they are also remarkably simple to pull off. They will provide an elegant ending for holiday meals, special occasions, or simply as a special gourmet treat.
1. Decadent Chocolate Truffles
These rich chocolate truffles are perfect for letting guests help themselves. Let a tray of them flank your dessert table, or serve them with coffee and dessert wine.
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 8-ounce package of softened cream cheese
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
Using a double boiler, warm chocolate chips while frequently stirring to prevent scorching until the chocolate has melted, about 5 minutes. Then beat the cream cheese until smooth. Sift the confectioners’ sugar and beat in gradually. Stir the melted chocolate along with the vanilla. Refrigerate this mixture for an hour, then shape into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls into your choice of cocoa powder, ground nuts, coconut, confectioners’ sugar, or candy sprinkles.
2. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
This simple gourmet dessert only requires three ingredients – fresh strawberries, milk chocolate chips, and shortening. Despite the simplicity, there are few things that impress as well as chocolate-covered strawberries.
Using your double boiler, melt 16 ounces of chocolate chips and a little shortening, stirring until smooth. Using toothpicks, insert them into the stems of your fresh strawberries and dip them into the mixture. Place them on wax paper to let them cool. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
3. Lemon Curd Tarts
Lighten things up with a lovely touch of lemon to follow your meal. These gorgeous lemon curd tarts look extravagant while being easy to make in a pinch. You’ll only need lemon curd, a package of frozen miniature phyllo shells, frozen whipped topping, and ground cinnamon.
Thaw the phyllo shells and whipped topping first. Then spoon one teaspoon of lemon curd into each one. Top them with the whipped topping, then lightly dust the cinnamon on top before serving.
4. Strawberry Torte
There are few things more impressive than a grand strawberry torte. Bordered by ladyfingers, it is the picture of elegance for your ultimate gourmet dessert!
11 ounces softened cream cheese
¾ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 12-ounce packages of ladyfinger cookies
1 16-ounce package of frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Start by straining the strawberries and reserving the juices. Gently boil the cornstarch and strawberry juices in a saucepan, then remove from heat to cool. Whip the cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form, then fold it into the cream cheese mixture.
In an 8-inch springform pan, arrange the ladyfingers on the bottom and around the sides. Pour half of the filling in, then add a layer of ladyfingers. Pour the rest of the filling on the ladyfingers. Spread the strawberry sauce on top, followed by whole strawberries to complete the look. Refrigerate overnight.
5. Cinnamon Palmiers
These crisp, sweet cookies are irresistible and they present beautifully on your gourmet dessert platter too!
⅓ cup white sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup white sugar
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon melted butter
Mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Add a little sugar onto your work surface and unroll the pastry onto it. Roll it into a 10×15-inch rectangle and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle the sugar mixture on top.
Roll the pastry from the long edge tightly around the filling to the middle, then go from the other side to meet in the middle. Gently seal the edges with a little water and refrigerate for 10 minutes until firm, then slice. Bake at 375 F for 12 minutes until golden and allow to cool before serving.
Check for more Eva Marie Berry recipes that are perfect for entertaining your favorite people!