Archive for the ‘Frozen Desserts’ Category

Featured in Southern Wedding Magazines: Mini Desserts

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Southern Weddings V4 Cover

SWV4 pages 36-37 Mini Desserts

We were so excited to be featured in Southern Wedding Magazine for our Southern Style Mini Desserts!  We chatted with the ladies over at the magazine about what their top favorite desserts were and then we created them in mini dessert form.  We were lucky enough to have Brandon Flynn shoot the gorgeous photos for us…I had a lot of fun styling these mini treats!


Mini Banana Cream Pie Shot Glass Desserts


Heart Shaped Blueberry Pies w/Initials


Mini Vanilla Bean Pound Cake w/Fresh Raspberries


Mini Strawberry Rhubarb Lattice Pies


Mini Key Lime Pies


Mini Skillet Blueberry Crumble w/Vanilla Bean Ice Cream



Mini Pecan Pie


Mini Glazed Donuts


Mini Red Velvet Mason Jar Dessert


Thanks so much for stopping by!  Let us know which mini dessert is your favorite!

Reeses Bars…Utterly Delicious! Plus another cookbook giveaway!

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

As promised here is the recipe and photos of the recent Reeses Bars I made.  This is a recipe from Pichet Ong’s book, The Sweet Spot, but I did tweak it slightly by using semi-sweet chocolate instead of milk chocolate.  Although I do love milk chocolate with some desserts, I am definitely more of a fan of semi-sweet and bittersweet, so I thought I would try it instead…and believe me…they turned out sooo good!  So without further ado here is the sinful recipe!

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Bars aka Reeses Bars

adapted from The Sweet Spot

Makes 8 Servings

Peanut Chocolate Base

1 T. plus 1 t. canola oil, plus more for greasing the pan

4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 c. peanuts, toasted and chopped

1/4 t. salt

Peanut Butter Chocolate Filling

3 1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 c. plus 2 T. heavy whipping cream

3 T. cream cheese, at room temperature

3 T. creamy peanut butter, plus 1/2 c. for garnish

1/4 t. vanilla 

1/4 t. fleur de sel

Lightly grease a 9 x4-inch loaf pan and set aside.  Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring well between each, until the chocolate is melted.  Add the peanuts, salt, oil and stir well.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer.  Freeze, uncovered, until hard.  

Meanwhile, make the filling: Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments, stirring well between each, until the chocolate is melted.  Set aside.  

Whisk the cream in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until medium peaks form.  Transfer to another bowl and set aside.

Put the cream cheese, peanut butter (3 T.), and vanilla extract into the bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on medium speed until light, fluffy, and doubled in volume, about 7 minutes.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, turn the mixer speed to low and add the melted chocolate in a slow, steady stream.  Once all the chocolate has been incorporated, gently fold in the whipped cream. 

Spread the filling on the frozen peanut chocolate base in an even layer and freeze until hard, at least 2 hours.

To unmold, invert the loaf pan onto a cutting board and gently tap the bottom to release the chocolate bar. Spread the peanut butter on top and sprinkle on the fleur de sel.  I also topped these bars with half of a reeses from Trader Joes and Valrhona Chocolate Crunchy Pearls.  Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the loaf crosswise into 1″ wide bars.  You can let them come to room temperature or eat them now…I prefer them cold.  

Hope you try these out…they are FABULOUS!!!

Well, since I do love sharing my dessert passion with others I thought I would do a book giveaway using one of my favorite books that I got this past year.  The book is David Lebovitz’s book, The Perfect Scoop!  If you don’t have this book then you are definitely missing out!  

To enter the giveaway contest just tell me your favorite flavor of ice cream and let me know by Saturday night!  Good luck eveyrone!


Ice Cream Addiction

Friday, May 30th, 2008

So my ice cream addiction continues and my love affair with David Lebovitz’s book, “The Perfect Scoop“, keeps getting stronger and stronger.  I tried out these two new recipes for a cooking class that I taught yesterday…more photos and recipes will come later with that posting, but for now I thought I’d wet your appetite by posting these two delicious recipes.  I wanted to try one recipe that was rich and sinful and another recipe that was fruity and lighter, so my choices were “Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ice Cream” and “Apricot-Pistachio Ice Cream”.  Both of these in my opinion were winners. Hands down everyone was more obsessed with trying to get a taste of the Chocolate-Peanut Butter one, but can you blame them…just hearing the title makes me want to make another pint. However to be fair, I thought that the Apricot-Pistachio one was quite yummy too.  If you are an apricot lover then this one would be a huge winner for you!  So enough chattering…here are the recipes!


Apricot-Pistachio Ice Cream 

5 ounces dried California apricots, quartered

¾ cup white wine, sweet

½ cup shelled unsalted pistachio nuts

2/3 cup sugar

2 cups half-and-half

A few drops of lemon juice

In a small saucepan, warm the apricot pieces in the wine.  Simmer for 5 minutes, cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 1 hour.  Coarsely chop the pistachio nuts.

Puree the apricots in a blender with the sugar, half-and-half, and lemon juice until smooth.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream makers according to the manufacturer’s directions.  During the last few minutes of churning, add the chopped pistachio nuts. 


Chocolate-Peanut Butter Ice Cream 

2 cups half-and-half

¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder

½ cup sugar

Pinch of salt

½ cup smooth peanut butter

Whisk together the first four ingredients in a large saucepan.  Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil.  Remove from the heat and whisk the peanut butter in until thoroughly combined.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream makers according to the manufacturer’s directions.

I would love to hear which one you would choose! 




Spoonfuls of Heaven

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Ever since I’ve started using my ice cream maker it seems as though I can’t stop!  What also doesn’t help is to have cookbooks from David Lebovitz and Emily Luchetti sitting around with millions of tasty recipes just calling out to you.  So instead of brushing aside this desire I decided to indulge and tried two recipes in one day.  I tried David Lebovitz’s Lemon-Buttermilk Sherbet and Emily Luttetti’s Rhubarb Ice Cream with Strawberry Compote.  Both were extremely delicious and I would highly recommend trying them out.  


I had just gone to the farmer’s market the day before and had some delicious strawberries that were perfect with this dessert. This compote is served warm over the ice cream and makes for a yummy accompaniment.  Since I didn’t have some of the ingredients on hand (I ran out of sugar!) I swapped some out.  I used sage honey that I had picked up from the farmer’s market in exchange for the sugar and used Cointreau instead of Grand Marnier.  


Here are a couple more photos of the process…





And this is how my bowl looked about two minutes after tasting it…


Rhubarb Ice Cream

adapted from Classic Star Desserts

4 cups cut-up rhubarb (1 1/2″ pieces, from about 1 pound)

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

large pinch of kosher salt

4 large egg yolks

1 cup whole milk 

1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream

In a nonreactive saucepan, combine the first four ingredients and place over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is soft…about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Then place it in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Strain through a medium-mesh sieve.  Let cool to room temperature.

Prepare an ice bath.  In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar.  In a saucepan heat the milk and cream until small bubbles appear.  While whisking constantly, pour the cream mixture into the yolk mixture.  Pour the mixture back into the pan and place over medium-low heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until it coats your spoon or reaches 175 degrees (about 3-5 minutes).

Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve and back into the bowl and place it over the ice bath.  Let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally.  Whisk in the rhubarb puree.  Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours.

Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker according to its directions.  Place in the freezer to harder a little more, about 2 hours.  

Strawberry Compote

1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier (optional)

2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered length-wise

1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) unsalted butter

In a large saute pan, combine the lemon juice, sugar and Grand Marnier and cook over medium-high heat.  Stir occasionally, until the sugar dissolves.  Add the strawberries and butter and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minute or until the strawberries are warmed through.  Place over ice cream and enjoy!

Well, here are the photos of David Lebovitz’s Lemon-Buttermilk Sherbet from his book, The Perfect Scoop.  You can see the recipe and get inspiration for other ways to play with this dessert if you stop by Cannelle et Vanille.  This is definitely one of my favorite blogs out there!  Another blogger that recently tried this recipe to rave reviews was A Yankee in a Southern Kitchen. She also tried David’s recommendation of adding his decadent caramel sauce on top.  Check out the photos…they are fabulous!  Well, when I was trying to think of what I wanted to pair with this sherbet I kept eye-balling the box of ginger snap cookies I had just bought from Trader Joe’s and thought “What the heck…I’ll give it a try!”   The flavor combo definitely has a kick to it, but I think I liked it.  I tried to get another opinion, but my husband is bias since he doesn’t really love the taste of ginger snaps.  So my taste buds liked it, but I don’t know if I would say that it is the ultimate pairing…basically it’s yummy and the mini ice cream sandwiches looked really cute!  







Strawberry Sorbet with Brown Sugar Meringues & Caramelized Pecans

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Well since I’m trying to eat a little more on the lighter side these days in preparation for one of my best friend’s wedding in two weeks, I decided to make a strawberry sorbet…they don’t have any calories right?  To add some more pazazz to the sorbet I decided to make some brown sugar meringues and candied pecans to go with it.  Overall I thought the dessert was good, nothing outrageously delicious to write home to mom about, but still yummy.  The sorbet really did taste like you were eating a strawberry, not too sweet at all, so if you like things natural then this is definitely the recipe for you.  I had a ton of fun making the meringues and choosing which designs to make with them…a perfect time to involve the kids in the kitchen.  And for those of you who think you’ll never make homemade caramelized nuts think again!  This recipe took about all of 5 minutes to whip together and only involves 3 ingredients!  Even though this dessert had three different components to it, it really was a user friendly dessert.  Each component was extremely easy and fast to make.  The only time consuming part is baking the meringues and freezing the ice cream, but you can be busy doing other things while these things take place.  Also, if you want to plan ahead each one of these could be made ahead of time and then assembled at the last minute.  As you can see by the multitude of photos I got a little excited when playing with this dessert and tried out many, many different ways to style it…hope you enjoy them!  The strawberry sorbet and caramelized pecan recipe came from Alice Merdrich’s book, Pure Dessert. (I also recommend her book, Bittersweet, for anyone interested in chocolate…well who wouldn’t be?)  This book is a winner sure for!  She has so many recipes that I am dying to try and she also takes the time to give you very informative information about everything.  The brown sugar meringue recipe came from Emily Luchetti’s book, A Passion for Dessert.  This book is fantastic also.  She breaks up her recipes into which season they go with the best.  I think this would help a lot of people out who find themselves wondering what exactly they should make and what types of food are in that particular season.  Both of these books would be great additions to any collection.    


Sensational Strawberry Sorbet

adapted from Pure Dessert 

1 # or 4 cups ripe, flavorful strawberries (rinsed and hulled)

1/3 cup plus 2 T. water

1/3 cup sugar, plus more to taste (I added about 1/6 cup more) 

A few drops of fresh lemon juice (only if necessary)

2 to 3 t. vodka, kirsch, or framboise (optional…I used vodka)

Add 1 cup of berries to a small saucepan with a good lid and add 2 T. of water.  Bring to a simmer over high heat and then reduce to medium and cover.  Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until berries are fork tender…do not over cook.  

Scrape berries and their juices into a food processor or blender and add the remaining berries and sugar.  Puree until smooth.  Stir in the remaining 1/3 cup water and transfer puree to a bowl and chill.  Taste the puree and adjust with more sugar or lemon if needed.  Stir in liquor if using.  For an extra cold start, freeze puree for 20 minutes before putting in the ice cream machine.  Freeze puree according to the instructions of your ice cream machine.

Put sorbet in an airtight container and freeze until hard enough to scoop, 3 to 4 hours.


Caramelized Pecan Garnish

adapted from Pure Dessert

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 t. fleur de sel or sea salt (I also sprinkled some on top too)

1/2 cup of nuts (I chose pecans)

Have a baking sheet near by lined with a silpat, parchment paper, or foil.  

Mix the sugar and salt and then spread in a dry skillet.  Set pan over medium-high heat without stirring until the sugar around the edges begins to melt.  Shake the pan to redistribute the liquid.  When the syrup begins to color, stir it with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, mixing and spreading until all the sugar is melted and evenly colored.  If it starts to color too fast turn down the heat and/or take it off the heat for a little while.  When the syrup looks pale amber add the nuts and stir gently to coat.  You can drop a bead of the syrup on a white plate to judge the color.  When the color turns to medium-dark honey take it off the heat and scrap the mixture onto your silpat.  Spread it as thin as possible, but don’t touch it…it’s extremely hot!  Let cool and then break into chunks.  Place pieces in a seal bag until needed.

Here are some photos of the caramelization process.





I also took some of the hardened caramelized nuts and put them in my mini food processor and gave it a whirl to create a more delicate caramelized nut topping.



Brown Sugar Meringues

adapted from A Passion for Desserts

1/4 cup plus 1 T. firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 large egg whites

Large pinch of cream of tarter

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.  

Sift or push brown sugar through a fine mesh sieve onto parchment paper to remove any lumps.

Using a stand mixer with a whip attachment, whip the egg whites until foamy.  Add the cream of tarter.  Increase to high speed and add the brown sugar, one tablespoon at a time.  Whip the egg whites until very thick and satiny, about 2 minutes.  


You can either pipe the meringue onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet or you can spoon it on too.  Use whatever piping tip you want…I used a #804.  If you want to create room for the ice cream to sit in the meringue then dip a spoon in water and then use it to push down on the meringue and create a hole.   



Bake meringues for about 2 hours, until they easily come off of the parchment paper.  To test if they are done, remove them from the oven and let sit for a couple of minutes.  Then, using a metal spatula, try to lift them off the parchment, if they don’t come off easily, return to them to the oven.

Place cooled meringues in a airtight container.  The meringues can be made several days in advance if store in a airtight container, otherwise they will become soggy.

Here is a photo of the finished meringues. 


Like I said…I got a little photo crazy, so here they are!




I would love for you to leave me a comment and let me know which way you prefer the dessert plated! 






Mojito Granita

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

This is definitely a recipe must for everyone!  I am not a drinker by any means…the only kind of drinks I like are girly, fruity ones and I still find those hard to drink since they have calories (and loads of them) and I figure that I could have a dessert instead, BUT this drink/dessert is the perfect combo for me!  This recipe is from David Lebovitz‘s book, The Perfect Scoop, a book soley devoted to ice creams, sorbets, granitas, and sweet accompaniments.  He describes granita as “a shaved ice, made from a lightly sweetened fruit puree or another liquid.”  Even though I have drooled over many recipes so far this was the first one I’ve tried.  The simplicity of the recipe is amazing, which lends itself to the pure and simple fact that you have no reason not to try it.  Well, if I haven’t convinced you already hopefully the photos will!


Mojito Granita

adapted by David Lebovitz’s, The Perfect Scoop

Makes about 1 quart

2 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup sugar

2 limes, preferably unsprayed

1 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 6 limes)

3 Tablespoons white or light rum

Add the water and sugar to a small, non reactive saucepan and then grate the zest from the two limes directly into the saucepan.  Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, so that the sugar completely dissolves.  Reserve 5 mint leaves and then add the rest to the saucepan and take it off of the heat.  Cover the pan for 8 minutes so that the mint infuses the liquid.  Then uncover and let liquid come to room temperature.

Once liquid is cool, strain the mixture into a flat container that is approximately 8 to 12 inches across, with a 2 quart capacity.  Make sure to squeeze all the yummy liquid out of the leaves and then discard them.  Stir in the lime juice and rum and then finely chop the remaining 5 leaves and add them to the liquid (I choose just to use them as garnish).  Place the container in the freezer and freeze for one hour.  Once the edges begin to freeze, take a fork and break up the frozen parts and rack them toward the center.  Return to the freezer and then check the mixture every 30 minutes and continue breaking up the ice particles until the mixture almost completely frozen or completely frozen (depending on your preference).

Here are some photos of the process…infusing the mint and then the stages of ice formation.






David suggests that you can serve it over any ice cream or sorbet (maybe mint ice cream), top it off with whipped cream, or simply pile the granita high in its own dish and enjoy it by itself…that is what I did!



I have to confess that my husband and I were so addicted to this delicious granita that almost every cup ended up like this one!



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