Usually when we have invited friends or family for a dinner, I look forward to the entire planning process of the evening meal. Maybe it’s the hotel background that triggers these buttons, but browsing through cookbooks or my recipe notebook and musing over the choices and selections, really makes me happy and content.
If we have invited good friends or family, I am pretty much aware of the restrictions and choices and the planning is easy. However if we have invited guests who we are not completely well acquainted with, many questions arise. Things like food allergies or personal likes and dislikes are considered and I am often told by these guests that they were surprised by the thoughtful questions I asked prior to the planning of the meal. Isn’t that normal and the duty of the hostess?
I think my absolute favorite part of meal planning is definitely deciding on dessert. Dessert makes me happy! I also know dessert makes a lot of people happy. I admit to often paying just a little more attention to detail with the selection and preparation of dessert.
Having said that, it certainly does not need to be an extremely elaborate dessert that I might serve. I often like using ingredients in my pantry and pairing it with fresh fruit, a smooth and delicious cream. Playing with different flavors and textures is something I often enjoy doing while putting the dessert together. Sugar and spice, chocolate and cream, crunchy and smooth - so many ideas get me into the swing of things in the kitchen.
Does dessert really have to be restricted to the end of a meal? Can we not have dessert when we like and even instead of a meal? How about dessert for breakfast?
Well this dessert idea is one of my favorites, simply because you can find any excuse to indulge into it anytime of the day. There’s granola, fruit and quark making it the perfect breakfast or in-between snack. The cheese and fruit allows it to be fairly adequate for lunch or dinner and the added chocolate makes it the perfect selection for - dessert!
Nope - you do not need any excuse NOT to treat yourself to this dessert!
Vanilla Poached Plums and Blueberry Granola Goat Cheese Cream Verrines
Printable version of recipe here
100g soft goat cream cheese
60g maple syrup
200g berry nut chocolate intense granola (or use granola of choice)
120g fresh blueberries
250g plums, stoned and cut in half or quarters depending on their size
100g Muscovado sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- Prepare the cream by whisking together quark, goat cream cheese and maple syrup in a bowl until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness by adding more maple syrup if desired. Place in the refrigerator to cool and thicken.
- To poach the plums add the sugar into a saucepan with approx. 110ml water and vanilla. Gently heat until the sugar dissolves. Slide the fruit into the syrup. Bring the pan to the boil, then let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the ripeness and size, until the plums are soft. Leave to cool.
- In clean bowls or glasses begin layering your verrines: first add a handful of the granola, then top with some blueberries, spoon a tablespoon or two of the goat cheese-quark cream. On top of this spoon a good tablespoon of the poached plums and more granola. Finally spoon some more cream over the top and sprinkle with some granola and blueberries.
- Serve the dessert immediately and while the granola is still crunchy. Enjoy!
Both Soeren and I are very fond of such desserts as it brings together a lot of our favorite ingredients in one bowl. The beauty of verrines is that you simply get a plethora of flavors, a variety of different elements and the imagination can run wild all with one dessert. So we push our spoons right to the bottom and as it is pulled back out again, we know that each spoonful will be taking us to a different flavor high each time. Using the berry nut chocolate intense granola I made a while back was perfect for the verrine. The cashews, poppy seeds and dark chocolate added a delightful crunchy texture pairing incredibly well with the creaminess of the the quark-goat cheese cream.
So go on and treat yourself to dessert any time of the day!
I’ll be back next week with another sweet dessert – because dessert makes us happy! Enjoy the rest of the week.
You might like these dessert ideas from WFLH:
|Banana Brioche Pudding with Baileys Caramel Cream||Panna Cotta - Strawberry with Balsamic Red Wine Syrup||Persimmon Honey Nut Yogurt Verrines|
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