Having a dinner party? Planning a scrumptious meal but not sure how to follow with an impressive dessert? Choose cheesecake and let the mouth-watering begin.
It's true that a deluxe cheesecake can cost more than $40 at a pastry shop, and you may have thought the store-bought frozen variety can't measure up. Think again. Steven shows us how to take a plain New York-style dessert and turn it into a showstopper.
What you'll need:
- One plain frozen cheesecake, thawed. Any brand of New York-style will work fine.
- One plastic squeeze bottle for caramel, chocolate sauce or coulis
- Your choice of fruit: Experiment with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, melons and exotic fruits like starfruit or pineapple.
- Your favourite candy and crushed chocolate bars
- Cutting board and knives
The Virtuous Cake:
1. Using the squeeze bottle, drizzle coulis over entire surface of the cake allowing it to drip liberally down the sides.
2. Garnish with berries and fruit slices. Hint: Try a fanned strawberry: slice a strawberry in thin strips from just under the stem to the tip of the berry. Press down on stem with thumb to "fan".
Recipe for Fruit Coulis
In a medium saucepan, simmer a package of frozen berries on medium-low for about 5 minutes or until berries are soft. Scoop out berries and press through a fine mesh strainer. Discard seeds. Puree remaining fruit in a blender or food processor. If your coulis is too thick (it should have the consistency of thin ketchup), add some of the leftover juice from the saucepan. Pour coulis into a squeeze bottle and just before serving, decorate your cake and/or dessert plates.
The Squeeze-Bottle Explosion Cake:
1. Cover surface of cake with store-bought caramel or chocolate sauce.
2. Starting from the centre, squeeze a swirl pattern of chocolate sauce (only if surface is covered with caramel) or coulis over the top to create a contrast.
3. Starting from the centre, drag a toothpick through the chocolate and caramel to create pattern. Repeat around the whole top of the cake.
4. Press nuts or crushed chocolate bar pieces onto the sides of the cake. Tip: Substitute themed candy for holidays: crushed candy-canes at Christmas, crushed candy-coated mini eggs sprinkles at Easter or cinnamon hearts for Valentines Day!
The PMS/Break-up Cake:
1. Cover cake with chocolate or caramel sauce,
2. Cut up chunks of brownie, Reese's pieces or candy/chocolate item of your choice and pile on top of the cake.
3. Experiment by pressing Oreo or other cookies onto the sides of the cake.
4. Serve with whipped cream, chocolate cream or even more chocolate sauce.
Hint: To cut a cheesecake cleanly, use a knife soaked in hot water. Keep the water nearby, immerse the knife after each cut and wipe off with a cloth to make clean, easy cuts.