Tuesday, 30 April 2013

150 Best Desserts in a Jar

 150 Best Desserts in a Jar
by Andrea Jourdan
Paperback, 248 pages

Single serving treats are the best, aren't they? Nothing says love like your own little jar sweetness. Or big jar! Desserts in jars have taken the restaurant world by storm and you can make them in your own kitchen.

Stock up on flea market jars, steal your Grandma's old canning jars or even order jars online from funky retailers. Or, if you are like me, you already have about a hundred in your basement, just in case.

Andrea Jourdan has put together 150 recipes for fabulous desserts in jars, suitable for any taste and any time of the year! Light or rich, borderline healthy or incredibly decadent, you will find the perfect dessert in a jar for every occasion.

Contents include:
Part 1: Warm and Comforting
Crumbles, Cobblers and Other Fruit Desserts
Steamed Puddings and Bread Puddings
Creamy Custards, Flans and Creams
Cakes, Pudding Cakes and Soufflés

Part 2: From the Fridge
Tutti Frutti
Deliciously creamy
Not Your Mother's Jell-O
Trifles, Tiramisu and Chilled Cakes
From the Freezer
Sweet Soups, Parfaits, Frothy Desserts and So On

Try out these delicious sample recipes below from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar this week! 

Tropical Fruit Terrine, page 103

It always surprises people to learn that the first time I saw a banana I was seven years old. We lived in a remote area where tropical fruits weren’t usual (no, I’m not that old!). So when I visited Russia and saw people lining up outside shops in a fierce winter storm to buy “exotic” bananas, I understood their curiosity. While some tropical fruits — such as rambutans, durians, lychees, kumquats, pink bananas and loquats — are still hard to find, this recipe calls for those that are readily available.

To make grapefruit segments, use a sharp knife to remove the peel and white pith. Holding the fruit over a bowl to catch the juices, cut along each side of the white membranes to remove the segments.
Use jars that are larger or smaller than those called for, to suit what you have available. Just be sure to divide the contents equally.

•    Six 8-ounce (250 mL) tall jars

2     packages (each 3 oz/85 g) lime-flavored gelatin 2
3 cups     unsweetened grape juice, divided    750 mL
1 cup    granulated sugar, divided    250 mL
3    kiwifruit, peeled and diced    3
1    large grapefruit, cut into segments,     1
    juice reserved (see Tips, left)
2    mangos, peeled and diced    2
2    passion fruits    2
2 tbsp    crème fraîche     30 mL
1.    In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin powder over 1 cup (250 mL) grape juice. Set aside to soften for 3 minutes.
2.    In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) sugar with remaining grape juice, whisking until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in softened gelatin until dissolved. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
3.    Place a few kiwi slices in bottoms of jars, dividing equally. Add enough gelatin mixture to just cover fruits. Set aside excess gelatin mixture. Refrigerate jars for 2 hours, until gelatin sets.
4.    Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine grapefruit segments and reserved grapefruit juice, mangos and remaining 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) sugar. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add remaining gelatin mixture and stir gently to dissolve. Remove from heat and set aside until saucepan is cool to the touch.
5.    When fruit mixture has cooled, spoon over kiwi layer, dividing equally. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.
6.    When you’re ready to serve, cut passion fruits in half. Using a spoon, remove pulp and seeds. Place the pulp of half a passion fruit in each jar. Serve immediately, topped with a small dollop of crème fraîche.

Makes 6 servings

Excerpted from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar by Andrea Jourdan © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Burnt Orange Crème Brûlée, page 59

The best crème brûlée I ever tasted was at the now defunct but still memorable Léon de Lyon restaurant in France. I could never reproduce the exact texture and, unfortunately, was never allowed to learn their secret. After years of trying to create the perfect crème brûlée, I finally came up with a recipe that I like enough to share. As for Léon’s crème brûlée — well, it might just have been the sweet Muscat wine I drank with it that made it taste so good.

If you do not have a kitchen torch, preheat broiler. Place jars on baking sheet; sprinkle with a little brown sugar and place under broiler until golden. Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining brown sugar, top with orange slices and place under broiler for about 2 minutes, until sugar browns to a dark color.

•    Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C)
•    Four 8-ounce (250 mL) wide-mouth jars, buttered
•    Baking pan large enough to accommodate the jars
•    Kitchen torch, optional (see Tip)

6    large egg yolks    6
1⁄2 cup    granulated sugar    125 mL
11⁄2 cups    heavy or whipping (35%) cream    375 mL
2⁄3 cup    whole milk    150 mL
2 tbsp    finely grated orange zest    30 mL
1 tbsp    orange-flavored liqueur    15 mL
3 tbsp    packed brown sugar, divided    45 mL

1    orange, sliced thinly    1
1.    In a bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Set aside.
2.    In a saucepan over medium heat, bring cream, milk and orange zest to a simmer. Gradually add to egg yolk mixture, whisking until incorporated. Stir in orange liqueur.
3.    Pour custard into prepared jars, dividing equally. Place jars in baking pan, spaced evenly apart and not touching the sides of the pan, and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the jars. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until center of custards is still wobbly. Remove from oven and transfer jars to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Cover jars with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
4.    Place jars on a baking sheet. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over each custard. Using kitchen torch, burn sugar just until it melts. Place orange slices over melted sugar. Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar, dividing equally. Using torch, heat until sugar has caramelized and orange rind is a little burnt. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Excerpted from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar by Andrea Jourdan © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Iced Mocha Syllabub, page 208

For coffee lovers, this is the ultimate dessert with a punch.

Use homemade or the best-quality coffee ice cream for this recipe. To soften, place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Do not substitute regular instant coffee for the espresso powder, because instant coffee does not have the same rich, aromatic flavor. Instant coffee would result in a bitter taste.

•    Four 8-ounce (250 mL) tall jars, buttered
•    Blender
•    Electric mixer

31⁄4 oz    dark chocolate (70%), melted    100 g
1⁄4 cup    granulated sugar    60 mL
2 tbsp    instant espresso powder (see Tips) 30 mL
1⁄2 tsp     vanilla extract    2 mL
Pinch    nutmeg    Pinch
1⁄2 cup    brandy    125 mL
1⁄2 cup    mascarpone cheese    125 mL
2 cups     heavy or whipping (35%) cream    500 mL
2 cups     softened coffee ice cream     (see Tips) 500 mL
1 tbsp     unsweetened cocoa powder    15 mL

1.    In blender, process melted chocolate, sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, nutmeg and brandy until smooth.
2.    In a large bowl, using electric mixer at medium speed, beat mascarpone for 2 minutes, until creamy. Add cream and beat until stiff peaks form. Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating constantly. Fold in softened ice cream.
3.    Spoon into jars and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When you’re ready to serve, dust each jar with cocoa powder, dividing equally.

Makes 4 servings

Excerpted from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar by Andrea Jourdan © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Andrea Jourdan has spent over 25 years in Europe honing her skills when it comes to both traditional and modern cuisine. she has published several cookbooks and is also a food writer, a television personality and an innovator of web gastronomy.