My love for baking as a kid is really what got me interested in cooking as an adult. The satisfaction of creating a meal is only topped by smiles from friends and family after their first bite of your dessert. After a long, yet fruitful (and fruit-filled to fight sweets cravings) Lent, I was ready for some non-stop dessert making. I tried four new recipes in the span of 10 days and learned a good bit about what makes a dessert really good and a baker really crazy. I forgot to take a photo of my fourth dessert, brownies, but I promise they looked as good as they tasted.
Dessert 1: Lemon Angel Pie (for Passover/Seder) – Vanilla meringue crust, lemon curd filling, whipped cream top
- There are a lot of good ideas for dessert that can easily accommodate diet restrictions without tasting like a dessert of affliction.
- Fresh, homemade whipped cream always tastes better and is worth the effort.
- People forget how much they love lemon.
- It never hurts to try to make a boring-looking dessert more attractive
Dessert 2: Flourless Chocolate Torte (Passover/Seder and Chocolate Lovers) – dark chocolate, eggs, sugar, magic
- Always buy the best ingredients (read chocolate) you can find. Just do it. It’s worth the money.
- Know your audience. Not everyone appreciates dark chocolate, so be sure to add some sweet whipped cream on the side.
- I wish I had two ovens.
- If you have to transport it, keep it in the spring-form pan.
Dessert 3: Blueberry Pie (My Jeffrey’s Birthday) – fresh blueberries, old-fashioned crust, more corn starch than you think
- Pay attention to the rack position in the oven, even if the recipe doesn’t make a suggestion.
- Try the fruit first before deciding how much sugar to use. That way the filling isn’t too sweet.
- Don’t multi-task when rolling out your dough for the crust. You will just create more work.
- Let go of perfectionist tendencies and realize that a crisper crust authenticates a homemade pie.
Dessert 4: Fudge Brownies – unsweetened chocolate, coffee, chocolate chips
- Everybody likes brownies, so go ahead and bake them.
- Use big chocolate chips or chocolate chunks in the brownie batter. A crunch of chocolate in a fudgey brownie is sublime.
- Don’t have coffee ice cream? Shame on you.
- No need to feel like you must eat all the brownies at once, stick them in the freezer and pull one out as you need them.