Get out of that kitchen!

It’s a warm summer evening and you need something to finish a nice meal. You avoided the heat of the kitchen by grilling or preparing a salad but what about dessert? Ice cream always comes to mind but even though I love ice cream I  enjoy variety. How about a ‘no-bake’ dessert such as bonbons, a layered cheese cake, or parfait?

Something cool and creamy

There are literally hundreds of no-bake desserts. A quick internet search will yield more recipes than you could possibly make in a single summer. Let’s not forget the dessert or baking aisle in the grocery where boxed mixes abound for no-bake dessert options. I’m only going to mention three that they give you options for something nice enough to serve to dinner guests and easy enough for weeknight dinner. Remember, just because it’s a ‘no-bake’ dessert, it may still need time to chill and set.

One of the nice things about no-bake desserts is they are great family projects. All the recipes in this article can be used to teach children some basic culinary skills. Plus, you don’t have to worry about anyone getting burned and you get to eat your work. Definitely, a win-win in my book.

Mango Fool

The Mango Fool is a parfait and only contains five ingredients. The hardest thing to find will probably be a ripe mango but since you are pureeing it, frozen will suffice. This dessert is a breeze to whip up before a meal and can be ready to eat after just an hour in the refrigerator.

Ice Cream Bonbons

Bonbons are a dessert that is elegant enough to serve guests and it’s a twist on traditional ice cream. The dark and white chocolate shell adds some crunch to your favorite flavor of ice cream. Crushed cookies serve as a crust and a sprinkling of sea salt rounds out this dreamy confection. Read the recipe completely before starting as you will need to prep a few items.

Lemony Layered Cheesecake

I love cheesecake but a traditional one requires some skill to prepare. This ‘no-bake’ option uses lemon curd for flavor and mascarpone cheese for the creamy texture. Layers of graham crackers help hold it all together after it has been chilled and a garnish of fresh blueberries will give this dessert a pop of color. This dessert really should be prepared a day ahead and can be refrigerated for up to three days.

I hope you all enjoy these ‘no-bake’ confections. As always, I want to know what you think and if you have any suggestions for topics. You can always reach me by email and I will respond as soon as possible. Live, Laugh, Love and Eat Well.

Mango Fool

Courtesy of Foodandwine.com

  • 1 cup pureed mango (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ cup whole milk yogurt (Plain or vanilla)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • Kosher salt

In a medium bowl, whisk together ¾ cup of the pureed mango and yogurt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cream with the sugar and salt until it just holds stiff peaks (may want to use a mixer with whisk attachment). Fold the whipped cream into the mango/yogurt mixture. Divide the fool between 4 (4 to 5 ounce) glasses and chill for about an hour or until stiff. Divide the reserved 4 TBSP of mango puree between the glasses and serve.

Ice Cream Bonbons

Courtesy of Foodandwine.com

  • 10 oz extra-dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 oz good quality white chocolate from a bar, finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies
  • 1 pint of your favorite ice cream (recommend chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, caramel or coffee)
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

In a medium heat proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the dark and white chocolate together, mixing well. Scrape into a smaller bowl and let cool slightly.

Put the crushed cookies on a small plate. Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper and place one of them in the freezer. Fill a cup with ice water big enough to dunk the ice cream scoop into.

Working quickly, scoop a 1 TBSP size scoop of ice cream, packing it tightly. Transfer it to the melted chocolate. Use a skewer, poke the rounded top of the ice cream and coat the ball in the chocolate. Lift the bonbon, allowing the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Dip the bottom of the bonbon into the cookie crumbs and set on the baking sheet. Sprinkle salt on the top. Let stand for 10 seconds, then transfer the bonbon to the baking sheet in the freezer and remove the skewer. Repeat to form the remaining bonbons; dip the ice cream scoop in the ice water between scoops. Freeze the bonbons until firm, about 30 minutes and serve.

Lemony Layered Cheesecake

Courtesy of Foodandwine.com

  • 1 ½ cups mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup prepared lemon curd
  • Kosher salt
  • About 20 whole graham crackers
  • Blueberries for garnish

Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing 4 inches of overhang. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone with the heavy cream at medium speed until smooth and just firm; do not overbeat. Fold in the lemon curd and a pinch of salt.

Spread a ¼ inch thick layer of the lemon cream on the bottom of the pan. Arrange a single layer of graham crackers on top, breaking them to fit. Repeat the layering with the remaining lemon cream and crackers, finishing with a final layer of cream. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Uncover and invert the cheesecake onto a platter. Remove the plastic wrap. Serve with blueberries.

This dessert will keep up to three days in the refrigerator.

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