Desserts


This month we have an extra Potluck with an interesting twist – No Cook Challenge!!  It is so hot in so many places that not having to turn the oven on is a definite plus.

The easy way would be a salad of some kind.  Or maybe some Cerviche.  But we are not fans of that and we eat lots of salad so I really wanted something different.  What about a dessert?  It’s not often I make something that doesn’t need baking or cooking of some kind so when I found these NO COOKING lemon bars  from Past Chef Ellie Krieger it was obvious what I was going to make.  And it was easy.

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Mom used to make lemon ice box PIES all the time.  So did my grandmother but I just haven’t done one in years.

Lots of lemon flavor in these.  More than I expected.  And super easy to make so I guess they will be making a regular appearance in this house.

Fat free condensed milk.  Low fat Cream cheese. Not much guilt here.  Too bad they don’t make a low fat low sugar condensed milk.  Ah, well, someday….

I did have one problem.  I never could get them to ‘harden’ where they could be sliced easily.  They just didn’t gel all the way.  I may have used too little gelatin but I’m not sure.  They were still tasty. Lots of flavor.

The recipe is from Ellie’s So Easy on page 238.  But I also found it on FoodTV.

For more No – Cook dishes visit I Heart Cooking Clubs.

 

How many times have I said that Cheesecake is my fave dessert?  Probably more times than you want to hear.  When the theme of Divine Desserts came up I knew exactly what I was making.

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PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE TART WITH PEANUT PRALINE

Cheesecake.  Peanut Butter.  Praline.  YES!!  Super simple to make.  A nice chocolate cake/cookie bottom piled high with whipped and sour cream a tasty peanut butter filling topped with chocolate ganache, melted PB and peanut praline brittle.  So, no I didn’t make the praline.  And we didn’t care for topping the cake with whipped and sour cream.  But the melted PB brought out the flavor of the cheesecake and the ganache complimented the chocolate crust.  The only reason I didn’t make the praline – no DEMERARA SUGAR .  The brittle worked just fine.  I was mostly interested in just the cheesecake any way.  

We really enjoyed this cake.  I got to use my ‘deep dish’ tart pan my daughter gifted me a couple of years back.  It was perfect for this divine dessert.

The recipe can be found on Donna’s website.

For more sweets visit Wednesdays with Donna Hay – Divine Desserts.

And if you want to join in the themes are listed through the end of August.  Just find a recipe to fit the theme.  Blog and send us your link under Comments.  Love to have you.

And not just any cheese cake.  Ellie’s Mini Cheesecakes with Strawberries.  And Blueberries.

The theme this week for Eating with Ellie was Red, White, Or Blue.  But since it was the Fourth –  our most important American holiday celebration – I just couldn’t pass up the chance to go  Red, White, AND Blue!!

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This is a no-bake cheesecake with  a graham cracker crust. The little cheesecakes are made in muffin cups so 1 is just perfect for a quick sweet bite.  And since Cheesecake is one of my fave desserts it wasn’t hard to make this one.

Since there are no eggs in this recipe you just have to mix up the ingredients and pour the batter into the cups over the baked crusts.  Easy Peasy!

Ellie tops her cheesecakes with sliced strawberries.  There weren’t any decent ones in the store so I mixed in some home-made strawberry jam and topped with some blueberries instead.  And on some I just topped with strawberry jam and blueberries.  You can never have enough red white and blue.

The only thing wrong with these – the crust gets soggy after a couple of days in the fridge.

The recipe is from Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix  {page 266) .  Each cheese cake is only 250 calories. {And since I used Splenda instead of sugar you can take off 43 calories.  But hten I added in about 1/4 cup of strawberry jam, so maybe it evened out…..}

Check out the rest of Red, White, or Blue on Eating with Ellie!

This week’s theme for Wednesdays with Donna Hay was Sweets.  Not a hard theme to play with.  Who doesn’t like sweet treats?  Our only problem now is that we are trying to cut back on sugar.  Not easy with all desserts so I had to find one that was adaptable.

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And this one definitely was.  No chocolate chips – Cocoa powder.  White sugar easily subbed out with Splenda and a smidgen of Stevia. It does have 1/4 cup brown sugar but since I cut 16 brownies it is almost negligible in each treat.

These were great.  Just sweet enough.  Definitely one to be made again.  Maybe by subbing in some Whole Wheat Flour for the AP.

Sorry, Kayte, I know you won’t like these, but maybe the boys……

The recipe is on page 114 of Donna’s flavours.

Find out what sweet treat Kayte made for I’ve got a Sweet Tooth.

This weeks’ theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs was Fresh and Fruity.  Which is a great theme for this time of the year.  So many fresh fruits and veggies everywhere.  But here in the south while we have plenty of veggies coming in we don’t really have any fruits.  Watermelon is about all.  Fortunately for me I have some ‘fresh’ fruit that I canned last year so I used that.

For these….

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apple and pear upside-down caramel tarts

They are mini versions of a tarte Tatin and they are easy to put together.  And delicious.

Caramel sauce:
    1 ½ cups sugar
    4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 cup whipping cream

Tarts:

    2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into ½-inch–thick wedges
    2 Anjou pears, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into ½-inch-thick wedges
    1 frozen puff pastry sheet (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed
  • To make the caramel sauce: Stir the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a medium heavy saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the syrup comes to a simmer, occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any sugar that clings to the side.
  • The sugar that clings to the side of the pan has a tendency to crystallize and ruin the silky consistency of the caramel, so wiping the sugar off the sides of the pan will help prevent this from happening.
  • Allow the sugar syrup to boil without stirring, brushing down the sides of the pan and swirling the pan occasionally to ensure it cooks evenly, for about 8 minutes or until it begins to turn golden brown.
  • You will need to watch the syrup closely as it can burn quite easily.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Add the butter and whisk until the butter melts and the mixture forms a caramel sauce. Stir in the cinnamon.
  • Pour three-fourths of the caramel sauce into four 4-inch-diameter cake pans with at least 1 3/4-inch-high sides, dividing equally.
  • Allow the caramel in pans to cool.
  • Whisk the cream into the remaining caramel sauce to blend and set the caramel sauce aside.
  • To make the tarts: Arrange a layer of the apples and pears decoratively over the caramel in the pans, then stack the remaining apples and pears to fill the pans completely. Unfold the pastry on a work surface and press the seams together if necessary.
  • Cut out four 4-inch rounds.
  • Place the pastry rounds over the apples and pears and tuck the pastry down between the sides of the pans.
  • Prick the pastry 5 to 6 times with a fork or small sharp knife.
  • Cover the tarts with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day to chill the pastry.
  • Preheat the oven to 450° F.
  • Transfer the tarts to a baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through and the apples are very tender.
  • Let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the juices to cool and thicken slightly.
  • Place a plate over each tart.
  • In a swift movement, invert each tart onto each plate.
  • Remove the pans.
  • Drizzle some of the reserved caramel sauce around the tarts and serve.
  • Reserve any remaining caramel sauce in the refrigerator for another use.
  • These are definitely going into the dessert rotation. I always have puff pastry in the freezer and always have apples and pears on the counter (or in the pantary) so it would be no trouble to put these together – often.

    These are from relaxed cooking with curtis stone (page 358)

    Check wit the other members of I Heart Cooking Club to see what they made with fruit this week.

    My Birthday was this past Sunday. I turned….. old enough!! It was a good day with lots of BarBQue and lots of cake. Perfect!!

    And since it WAS my birthday week, Kaye chose CAKE for our theme this week. Thanks, Kayte!

    But it also happened to be Father’s Day.  And the Man’s favorite cake is Carrot Cake.  Mine happens to be…cake!!  Any cake with lots of frosting!  So kill two celebrations with one dessert!

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    There are not many cake recipes in Ellie’s books but there happens to be a darn good Carrot Cake Cupcake recipe in The Food You Crave.  It is just as good as the one I make for his birthday every year only healthier.  Less sugar.  Less oil.  Same frosting.  Same great taste. Still moist. Still sweet.  This may be my new g0-to for carrot cuppys!!

    The recipe or Carrot Cupcakes with Lemony Cream Cheese Frosting is on page 285.  But it is also on Food Network.

    What other cake did we enjoy this week.  Check out Let’s Make Cake at Eating with Ellie.

    I’ve always liked Donna Hay’s books.  Kayte introduced me to her recipes way back in 2012 when I joined Wednesday’s with Donna Hay.  Since then I have added four of her wonderful books to my collection.  Even tho’ I have made a lot of her dishes I still have plenty more marked.  Thank goodness for PotLuck with I Heart Cooking Clubs..

    We needed a dessert in the house.  But we are trying to go sugar free.  But we needed a dessert.  Fortunately there are several with Donna that are easily adaptable using a sugar substitute rather than the real thing.

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    Custard Tart

    I feared that the custard would not thicken if using Splenda with Fiber but my fears were unfounded.  It thickened nicely and made a great dessert for us.

    The recipe calls for using warmed milk with a vanilla bean.  Instead, after warming the two I split the bean and added the seeds to the milk.  I did bring out the vanilla flavor a lot better.  And I hated to waste a whole bean.

    This was just perfect.  Not a big sweet dessert.  Just sweet enough to enjoy after dinner.

    I made 1/2 the recipe and ended up with 4 mini tarts (rather than pies).  I added just a little whipped cream on top.

    The recipe is from Donna’s The New Cook.  (page 181)

    Potluck brings all kinds of good dishes to the table.  Check out the POTLUCK for May at IHCC.

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