With summer just around the corner, thoughts turn to looking good in our summer clothes and that means making a resolution to be good and cut out desserts. “Fresh fruit only!” is the vow heard up and down the country. Until unexpected guests arrive for dinner, that is, and you quail at offering them a few slices of orange with yoghurt artistically arranged on top. Never mind the diet, these dinner guests need something impressive, and they need it fast!
Here are suggestions for three of the best.
Limoncello and raspberry semi-freddo
This limoncello and raspberry semifreddo sounds (and looks!) very impressive but takes little effort – it can even be made a couple of weeks in advance and whipped out when needed. Unlike ice cream, you don’t need special equipment: a simple bread tin takes the place of a fancy ice cream maker. A great plus to this is that if you’re determined to be good you can just nibble the raspberry garnish. Ring the changes by folding orange zest and an orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier through instead of limoncello and raspberry, a shot of espresso and coffee liqueur, for example Tia Maria, or make it alcohol free and use a dash of orange juice and chopped chocolate, or pistachio and honey. You can use your favourite cake flavours, or try mixing new combinations!
Just the word “biscotti” conjures a world of chic, with images of elegant Italians nibbling the classic biscuits. These espresso biscotti are simple, quick, and don’t have a long ingredients list. Enjoy them with a latte for a double coffee hit!
It’s their simplicity that makes them so elegant, so use the best quality, fresh ingredients. Don’t worry that the recipe lists almonds, ground almonds and almond powder too – if you can’t find the almond powder or even ground almonds, it’s really simple to pop the desired weight in a plastic cup and grind them to the right consistency with a stick blender. You can use a clean coffee grinder for this too, since a little extra coffee flavour won’t hurt!
Toffee apple layered dessert
Looks great, takes no time at all, and easily feeds four people. The part that makes it look good comes in the presentation, so make sure you use the nicest glasses you’ve got, and make sure you can see the layers through the side. Be careful when layering it up too, as messy splashes or uneven layers don’t look the same.
Simply whip a 250ml carton of double cream with a teaspoon of vanilla essence and a dash of icing sugar until stiff. Crush two digestive biscuits for each person, and put into the bottom of the glasses. Add a layer of whipped cream, then spoon on a layer of ready-made apple compote. Drizzle with a good quality ready-made toffee sauce, and sprinkle each dessert with a little extra crushed biscuit as a finishing touch, and perhaps a fresh mint sprig. Voila!
You’ll find your guests impressed with all of these ideas, and you can get back to counting the calories tomorrow.