Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to be asked to cater the dessert station at the party of some friends who live in Greenwich, CT.
Catering desserts never feels like work to me... Pure pleasure! Creating delicious sweet treats in summer leaves me wanting to do a party every weekend! The bounty of summer fruit gives so many fresh, delicious options, and really gets my creative juices flowing.
The trend these days is towards miniaturizing desserts. The theory is you've already had a meal, probably from a buffet station or grill and you've sat down and eaten it. You're pretty full, but after a few more drinks and conversation, you're definitely ready for something sweet.
Cue...Shot glass desserts. They give you a small indulgent sweet bite, but not too much of a good thing. If you have multiple options, people can mix and match and don't feel too guilty about trying everything the dessert station has to offer, because collectively all those mini bites probably add up to one large dessert. The small size allows you to stand up, walk around and eat these treats too...a more social option.
With all this in mind, I designed 2 shot glass desserts for Melinda and Kunal's party, both reflecting a fusion of English & Asian cuisines.
The first, was Eton Mess with Pistachios and Cardamom. I mixed whipped cream, with fresh, crunchy meringue, strawberries, pistachios and ground cardamom. The cream with layered with fresh strawberry compote and topped with more cream, pistachios and strawberries. Creamy and indulgent. Eton Mess is a classic British summertime dessert used to showcase British strawberry season. The pistachios and cardamom in my recipe give it a warm, Middle Eastern edge.
I apologize for the quality of the photos in the post today. The dessert station was outside in the dark, and my photography didn't do it justice at all. Hopefully you'll get the general idea!
The second dessert I made was a Mango Posset. These possets are a revelation. "Posset" refers to an old English drink made in a way that's similar to this simple, but dramatic pudding. Heavy cream and sugar are combined and flavored with a fruit of your choice and lemon juice. The fruit cream is set overnight and will be firm. I topped my mango version with fresh mango and lime zest to cut through some of the sweetness. The recipe for my Mango Posset is at the end of this post.
I urge you to try it at your next dinner party! It's impressive, and people will think you've been slaving for hours. Shhhhhhh! It's super simple and quick!
To complete the dessert station, I added Fruit skewers and Chocolate Brownie bites with vanilla ice-cream. To be honest, the kids tried all the desserts on offer, but I always feel like it's essential to have something chocolatey on offer for them.
Everyone enjoyed multiple sweet bites and the very hot weather last weekend made these light desserts go down a treat.
Happy "Posset" making - the possibilities for flavor are endless. Passion Fruit is delicious if you can find fresh fruit, and Pineapple is also amazing.
Makes 6-8 large desserts (try pouring them into Martini glasses for a dramatic dinner party dessert)
Or, makes 12-15 mini desserts (using 3 oz shooters made 15)
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup white caster sugar
juice of 1 large lemon
2/3 cup mango pulp (I used Swad Ratnagiri Alfonso sweetened Mango pulp available from Asian grocery stores)
To decorate: Fresh mango finely diced, Lime zest
Pour the cream and sugar into a pan and warm on a medium/low heat, stirring gently until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, and leave for exactly 3 minutes to bubble, without stirring.
Take the pan off the heat, and whisk in the lemon juice and mango pulp until completely combined. Pour into your glasses of choice and allow to cool for a few minutes before carefully transferring to the fridge to set for 4+ hours (overnight is better).
Once set, decorate with fresh finely diced mango and the zest of a lime.