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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Never Fail, Not Even on a Tuesday When It's Raining, Fancy Pants Dessert

Dessert may bring visions of sweet mouthfuls to mind, but for me, it's cause for a slight panic attack. So many times friends have found out that I can't bake, and their jaws hung open in disbelief. Surprising? Not really, baking is a scientific experiment in patience and consistency. Im not trying to hate on my baker-friends, but to me, baking is for people who like to color inside the lines. It's a controlled, factual, almost militant process, while cooking, throwing in a pinch of this, a dab of that, a sprinkle of whatever, is all about the intent of the person performing the task. It's like making music, plucking notes from thin air. So this leaves me with quite a dilemma. Since baking isn't my forte, I'm left with store bought goodies or ice cream. And since I enjoy hosting elegant dinner parties where I expose my friends to the possibilities of restaurant-style home cooked meals, those options just weren't cutting it. That's when my fancy pants dessert recipe came to me. It uses a pinch of this, a dab of that, and you can substitute quite a variety of toppings and still gaurantee a pefect dessert, each and every time. Even on a Tuesday, when it's raining.

Fancy Pants, No-Fail Dessert 

1 all-butter pound cake (I buy mine in the frozen bakery products section of the store, next to the apple pies and puff pastry!)
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 vanilla bean pod, seeds scraped and reserved
1/2 cup of your favorite sweetened liquor (I like Disarano Amaretto or Godiva Chocolate Liquor)
4-6 Fresh sprigs of mint

Nutella, slightly warmed
Macerated berries (strawberries, blueberries, rasberries, etc.)
Crystalized citrus zest
Ice Cream
Whatever tastes good on pound cake!

Take the heavy whipping cream, the vanilla bean seeds and the sugar and whisk with a strong arm until it becomes thick, rich whipped cream. (This can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 10 depending on your arm. Good luck!)

Take the thawed pound cake, slice it into one to two inch serving slices, and drizzle with the sweetened liquor. Top with whipped cream and a fresh sprig of mint. Your guests will ooh and ahh, and all you did was make whipped cream! If preferred, you can add other goodies, like nutella and/or macerated berries, as pictured below!


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