You might decide to get a little more creative in the kitchen over the long Independence Day weekend. Why not try to dazzle your guests with some delightful desserts and show off your patriotic side by having your sweet treats in the colours of the national flag; red, white and black.
If you are not sure what sort of desserts to make, chef Kwesi Selvon came up with some yummy desserts that are easy and fun and would not take too much time to prepare.
From strawberry frozen yoghurt, coconut sorbet, ginger snap cookies and vanilla cupcakes; swirled with red, white and black frosting; these treats will definitely have your guests wanting more, Selvon said.
Selvon has been a chef and lecturer for the past 13 years. With a profound love for food, he has expanded his creativity in cooking with the recent launch of his baking book, The One Baking Book and his new business and cooking programme, Youu Chef. The programme will teach participants various aspects in baking and cookery.
Selvon admits finding foods that are red, white and black might be a challenge for some people but if you learn how to manipulate foods into colours that you want, it makes things much easier.
He noted that the use of food colouring can enhance colours and can easily be diluted into a liquid before adding it to the dessert. Strawberry frozen yoghurt has a wonderful colour and a great dessert on a hot day, however if you cannot get strawberry, watermelon, apple, cherry or another fruit of your choice would be fine, Selvon said.
He said, “It is important to be prepared for the unexpected moments in the kitchen. There would be times when recipes or ingredients you want don’t always turn out the way you plan.
Don’t be afraid to show a little creativity and have fun. There are times when a recipe may call for a fruit that is not in season and what I do is to find a fruit that is in season that has a similar texture but not necessarily the same flavour.”
Selvon shared some of his favourite desserts and recipes to make your dessert table the star attraction for Independence Day.
Ginger Snaps (black)
*shortening 6 oz
*sugar 6 oz
*salt 0.08 oz (1 tsp)
*ginger 0.25 oz (1 tbsp)
*molasses 10 oz
*baking soda 0.25 oz (11/2 tsp)
*water 2 oz
* flour 1 lb
1. Creamed fat, sugar, salt, molasses, and ginger for three minutes.
2. Dissolve the soda in water and add to the molasses mixture, followed by the flour.
Makeup-Bagged Method. With a plain tube, bag out the size of a quarter. Flatten lightly on a greased floured tray.
Baking- 375 °F (190°F) about 12 minutes.
Vanilla Cup Cakes with Red, White and Black Icing
*butter 8 oz
*sugar I0 oz
*cake flour 14 oz
*baking powder 1 tbsp
*milk 1 cup
*vanilla essence 2 tsp
1. Cream fat and sugar with paddle attachment until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs one at a time scraping down the side of the bowl every five minutes.
3. Fold in the sifted dry ingredients and alternate with the liquid.
4. Scoop the batter into desired size muffin pans wi th liners and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
*butter 8 oz
*icing sugar 1 lb 2 oz
*milk 2 oz
1. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electrical mixture until light and fluffy.
2. Add in the rest of ingredients and mix.
3. Divide the mixture into three portions; colouring two, one red and one black.
4. Using a pastry with a star tip tube; filing it in layers around the the pastry bag with the three colours.
5. Pipe swirls on top of cupcake.
Coconut Sorbet (white)
* Sorbet syrup 8 oz
*coconut puree 1lb 51/2 oz
*water 2fl oz
*lime juice 1fl oz
1. Combine qll ingredients and stir until evenly blended. Cover and chill thoroughly under refrigeration.
2. Process in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Pack into storage containers or molds and freeze for several hours before serving or using in plated desserts.
*sugar 11/2 lb
*water 16 fl oz
*glucose syrup 4 oz
1. Combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
2. Cool completely. Cover and store under refrigeration.
Note: Due to the high fat content of the coconut puree, the sorbet will have a smoother finished mouth- lfeel if it is blended in step 1 using a food processor or stick blender to fully emulsify.
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt (red)
*plain yogurt(whole milk pr low-fat) 32fl oz
*strawberry puree 12 oz
*sugar 8 oz
*glucose syrup 2 oz
1. Combine all ingredients, stirring until evenly blended.
2. Process in an ice cream machine according to manufacture’s instructions. Pack into storage containers and freeze for several hours before serving, moulding, or using in plated desserts.
Variation: Raspberry Frozen Yogurt-Replace the strawberry puree with an equal amount of raspberry puree.