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Just Desserts

Why not serve desserts in the grandest way possible! Desserts can add a little bit of drama at the end of the meal. They are just a perfect way to please the palate and definitely the best invention to pamper the sweet tooth! Most of us have an irrepressible appetite for sweet things, and desserts exist to indulge it. Some desserts look delicious served simply as they are or with just a light dusting of icing sugar; others lend themselves to more elaborate presentation.

 

Step be step grandeur

• First choose the dessert you wish to serve.

• Choose one or more garnishes keeping in mind sensation and contrast.

• Choose colours that look good together.

• Think three-dimensionally using the whole plate as your canvas.

Some ideas to work upon

Sauces, purees and fruit can be arranged all the way out to the edge of the plate. For example, garnish cheesecakes with fresh mint, fresh fruit and drizzle with fruit purees. Spoon two different fruit purees -- strawberry and peach -- on opposite sides of a dessert plate, creating a yin-yang design. Whipped cream and piled up fruits can transform a simple cake into a mouthwatering gateau.

Why not use the purees and sauces by ‘painting’ a plate with them? This is easiest when you put your sauce in a plastic squeeze bottle but it can also be done with a spoon. Create designs by using two sauces of contrasting colours, such as chocolate sauce and cream, or raspberry and mango puree. Make a pool of sauce in one colour, and then place small polka dots of the other sauce on top of the pool. By dragging the tip of a toothpick through the middle of each polka dot you can create a flock of tiny hearts swimming across the dessert plate.

Feeling more abstract? Just make some free-form drizzles of sauce over the dessert and the plate. Then place cake or fruitcake in the center. The whole plate can be dusted with a fine flurry of cocoa powder, citrus zest or chopped nuts. Think vertical, too! Use tall curls and ruffles of chocolate or long, thin cookies propped up next to or planted right through the middle of the dessert. Create chocolate curls and all you need is a slab of chocolate and a vegetable peeler. Zap the chocolate in the microwave for just a few seconds to make it slightly softer, and then drag the peeler firmly down the side of the chocolate block. The bigger the piece of chocolate, the bigger your curls can be. Lift the curls with a toothpick and refrigerate. Once the chocolate has hardened, you are free to place them on top of your dessert, either flat on the plate, planted in a milkshake to stand up straight, or at any angle you choose. 

 

-----> Sweets and Desserts 

Choosing the correct crockery

It is very important to choose the right crockery and cutlery to serve the dessert. Normally a dessert is served on a dessert plate. Puddings and various hot dishes can be plated or served in bowls. The lay up is usually with a dessert knife and fork and a dessertspoon and in a formal table setting these would be closest to the plate setting. Other desserts requiring specialized cutlery are long handled sundae spoons, or square edged icecream spoons. Extra serving of sauces/ custard/ cream can be made using a sauceboat. Dessert served in bone china actually evokes a feeling of luxury. Also popular are earthenware crockery available in a wide range for serving Indian desserts like kheer, phirni etc. You will need a pastry fork for pastries. Place a nutcracker when you plan a dessert fruit and nut basket. Invest in a preserve spoon to be used a jam dish. A spatula will be needed for slicing and serving gateaux and soft cakes. It is also known as pastry slicer. 

Glasses for icecream

Generally ice cream is served in different types and sizes of glasses according to the quantity of helping and garnishing method. Various glasses can be used for serving ice-cream like cocktail glass, highball etc. Glasses like lager or pilsner and one pint beer glass can be used for serving sundaes. Creamy desserts like soufflés and mousse are fun to eat from wine glasses or martini glasses. Fruit sorbets are lovely when served in hollowed-out fruit. Oranges, lemons and peaches work particularly well. Just cut off a slice from the top and scoop them out with a melon baller, taking care to leave enough flesh that the container is not too flimsy. Freeze the containers to keep them firm until ready to use. Also try hollowing out small, halved melons, pineapples and coconuts. 

Fantastic dessert ideas

Add Fruits

All types of fresh/ seasonal fruits can be used for making desserts. Add nuts for texture and flavour. Display an attractive fruit basket with apples, pears, bananas, grapes, oranges at the table where the guest makes his/her choice of a portion of fruits. Sometimes a box of dates can be served along with the fresh fruits.

Wine adds more meaning

Most sweets and puddings can be offered with wines. The potential relationship of desserts with wine, both as an ingredient and as an accompaniment, is richer and more intricate than you would think! The simplest transformation of wine into an integral part of a dessert consists in merely pouring it over fresh fruit - especially strawberries. Occasionally fresh fruits in a bowl are sprinkled with sugar and doused in advance with red wine. Champagne if often poured over strawberries and peaches. 

Fondues are another idea

Dessert fondues are also a fun, flavourful and friendly way to end a meal. Most dessert fondues are made of chocolate. The range of sweet fondue will tempt adults and children alike. A pot of melted chocolate with fresh fruit, cake and marshmallows for dipping is an indulgent way to end a meal and are very simple to prepare. Day old cake works best. If you are using fruits, choose firm pieces and, if possible, chill them first and the chocolate will coat them better. Served in a fondue pot it consists of a pot and burner with four or six long handled forks. A chocolate fondue set can be used for keeping chocolate sauce warm at the table. Long handled forks are essential for spearing fruits etc being dipped into the fondue. Every dessert is a gift, a work of art, a flight of fancy for the palate and the spirit, so remember, every dessert deserves a garnish! 

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