Time for a real treat, not just by pouring brandy over the pudding, or adding Sherry or Cointreau to the Trifle, but real desserts inspired and specially crafted to infuse the alcohol into the dessert as a key ingredient.
Many desserts could be enhanced by a touch of alcohol, but we seldom do it. Desserts with rich and decadent flavors such as chocolate, fruit, custard and cream, just cry out for a dash of liqueur.
But choosing the right kind of alcohol for the type of dessert is very important. It has to be subtle and alluring, but not overpowering, over-proof and over-done. Alcohol can help keep dry cakes and puddings aromatic, alluring and moist. It suits some desserts more than others.
Alcohol tinkles the taste buds and provides unique aromas and a full, rich and prolonged after-taste denied in may desserts. Using alcohol also means that you will use less sugar as the alcohol replaces it, and supplants the need for a sweet sugary taste. This especially applies to fruit soaked in alcohol which needs less sugar.
But remember that the better the booze, the better the dessert, and the better you and your guests will love your boozy desserts. So don't skimp on the cheap stuff, and make silly substitutes. Get some good quality alcohol especially for your homemade alcohol infused desserts.
For the Custard:
For the Base:
For the Topping:
Cut the sponge in half, spread raspberry jam on each half and then press the halves with the jam together and slice into quarters. Put the cake into the base of a 3 1/2 pint (2 litre) glass bowl. Pour the sweet sherry over the sponges and add the raspberries. Crush the ratafia biscuits in a food processor, or by placing in a plastic bad and crushing with a rolling pin. Spread over the raspberries. Set aside and chill for 3-4 hours. To make the custard put the milk and vanilla pod in a small saucepan. Slowly heat to just below boiling point. Set aside for about 10 minutes to allow the vanilla to flavor the milk, then remove the pod. Meanwhile whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a small bowl and whisk together. Then add the mild and mix well. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Then using gentle heat and stirring constantly cook the mixture until the custard starts to thicken and reaches a thick pouring consistency. Quickly pour the custard from the saucepan into a cold bowl to stop the cooking process. The stop a skin forming on the custard sprinkle a thin coating of castor sugar over the surface. Set aside to cool. Spoon the custard over the raspberries in the trifle bowl and spreading out to cover the edges. Next, mix the cream until peaks form that slowly collapse. Spoon about 3/4 of the cream on top of the custard then spoon three quarters of it on top of the custard and carefully spread to the sides of the bowl. Whip the remaining cream until it is stiff and add to the top of the trifle when served.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Mix the biscuit crumbs with the butter and press into the base and sides of a 9-inch (120 cm) circular pan and bake for about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Add 1/2 cup cold water to a saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin on top. Add the salt, egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and stir to mix well. Put the saucepan over low heat and stir until the mixture thickens slightly, but do not boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat. and stir in the liqueurs. Chill the mixture until it starts to thicken slightly. In another bowl beat the egg whites until stiff, add the reset of sugar and whisk until peaks formed in the mixture are firm. Fold the egg mixture into the thickened egg yolk and gelatin mixture. Whip the cream and fold it too into the mixture. Transfer the mixture to the prepared crust. Chill for 3-4 hours or overnight before serving.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 12 inch x 17 inch (25 cm x 43 cm) flat, rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Melt chocolate and butter in the microwave or over a pan of steaming water. Whisk the eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Blend in the chocolate mixture, followed by the flour. Spread the brownie batter onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake for about 10 minutes until cooked right through (test with a skewer). Let the mixture cool on a wire rack. Next break up the brownie into small pieces and transfer the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor. Add the rum and blend until the mixture starts to form a ball. Next take small portions with a spoon and roll in your hands into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls. As each ball is finished roll in sugar to coat and place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered for about 2-3 hours. Serve the rum balls chilled. They should have a chewy texture and a strong rum flavor.
Mix the coffee with 3/4 cup of the Irish Cream in a shallow bowl and plunge in the biscuits. Flip them over and remove when damp but no soggy. Line the bottom of a 20 cm (9 inch ) square glass dish with a layer of biscuits. Separate the eggs and whisk the two yolks with the sugar until thick and well combined. Fold in the remaining 1/4 cup of cup of Irish Cream and the mascarpone to create a mousse like texture. Whisk the egg whites until frothy and thick thick and fold into into the mascarpone mixture. Spread half of this mixture on top of the layer of biscuits in the bowl. Place another layer of soaked Savoiardi biscuits on top and add the rest of the mascarpone mixture. Cover the dish with plastic film and refrigerate until the next day. Just before serving the tiramisu dust with cocoa powder pushed through a fine sieve.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Whisk the eggs, milk and bourbon together in a large bowl, then add the chocolate, cubes of bread and the sugar. Toss to coat all the bread with the liquid and then set aside to allow the liquid to soak intro the bread (abour 45 minutes) soak for about 45 minutes. Pour the mixture into a 1.5 quart (1.5 litre) baking dish. Bake for about 40-50 minutes. Check frequently to avoid over-cooking. When cooked the custard will be set and the top will be slightly crisp. Serve warm with cream or ice-cream.
Preheat oven at 320 degrees F (160 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch (18 cm) spring form cake pan, with a removable base with butter or spray oil. Peel, core and quarter the apples. Cut two of the quarters into very thin slices to go on top. Slice the other quarters into cubes. Place the apple pieces in a bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice about 1/3 of the maple sugar and set aside for 10 minutes. Keep the thin slices in a separate area of the bowl so they can be removed easily. Cream the remaining sugar and butter together until fluffy and light light. Mix in the egg yolks and then fold in the ground almonds and baking powder, with minimal mixing. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Beat the egg whites in another bowl into until stiff, and fold into the cake mixture in two batches. Add the rum, and gently fold the apple cubes (not the slices) into the mixture. Spoon into the greased cake pan and flatten the surface. Arrange the apple slices around the top of the cake in a circle. Bake in the oven for 60-75 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Dust with icing sugar and serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
For the Mousse:
For the Topping:
Place the chocolate pieces, cream and whiskey into a heatproof bowl. Suspend over a pan of simmering hot water, stirring until melted. But don't allow the mixture to boil. You can also melt the chocolate in a microwave and then mix in the cream and whiskey. Let the mixture cool, but remain melted. Beat the egg whites until they are quite stiff. In a separate bowl beat the finely grated orange rind with the yolks. Add the egg yolks into the chocolate cream mixture and fold through the beaten egg whites. Spoon the mixture into 6 serving bowls and refrigerate for 3-4 hours to set the mousse. Before serving, whip the Scotch and cream set aside for the topping with the sugar, and use to top the mousse. Add the and the orange rind pieces as a final touch.
Blend 1/2 cup cream, eggs, flour, salt, milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup confectioners sugar, and 1 teaspoon or orange zest in a blender until just smooth. Brush a 10-inch (22cm) nonstick frying pan lightly with melted butter. Heat over thigh to medium heat until hot. Add about 1/4 cup of the batter, tilting the skillet to spread over the base of the pan bottom. Cook until underside of the crepe is golden and the top is set, (about 15 - 45 seconds). Then flip over to cook all the mixture into crepes.
Beat remaining 3/4 cup confectioners sugar, 2 1/2 cups cream, 1 teaspoon zest, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and Grand Marnier in a large deep bowl with a portable electric mixer until cream retains stiff peaks. Place one crepe on a serving plate and spread over 1/4 cup of the cream mixture. Continue stacking the crepes with cream in between cream until they have all been used up. Finish with a crepe. Chill covered for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.