Homemade Frozen Treats
When the temperature and humidity rise, we’re happy to turn off the oven and turn to the refrigerator and freezer. Our summertime dessert favorites are chilled and fruit filled, with tropical flavors—pineapple, mango, coconut—balanced by just the right amount of sweetness.
Our favorite summertime refreshers? Look no further! We gathered the best and the coolest right here. Most require only a few minutes of stovetop cooking (which means your kitchen stays cool!) And they’re so delicious, you may find yourself making them at other times of the year, too!
Ice Cream Treats
Sure, you could just scoop it out of the carton. But ice cream is also an excellent starting point for creative, company-worthy desserts. In A Passion for Ice Cream: 95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts (Chronicle Books), Emily Luchetti shares some inventive ideas for desserts that go beyond the ordinary. (Emily, who’s now the executive pastry chef at San Francisco’s Waterbar Restaurant, is also the author of A Passion for Dessert.) Very Berry Sodas, for example, start with fresh strawberry ice cream (easy to make in a home ice-cream maker). For the soda, pureé fresh raspberries and add Domino® Pure Cane Granulated Sugar, lemon juice, a bit of salt, and seltzer water. More fresh berries in each glass create a beautiful presentation.
Even easier (and a summertime classic), this Chocolate Ice Cream Pie is made with a ground-almond crust and store-bought ice cream. Topped with chocolate sauce, it’s a sure kid-pleaser. Aiming to gratify adult palates? Try our Frozen Mocha Latte Parfait, which combines easy homemade espresso granita, store-bought coffee ice cream, and sweetened whipped cream. (Use Domino® Superfine Sugar for the smoothest, silkiest whipped cream.)
Tastes of the Tropics
Transport yourself to Hawaii or the Caribbean with delicious, no-bake recipes that use ripe tropical fruit. Unflavored gelatin —popular from the 1930s through the 1960s and now enjoying a comeback —replaces or supplements eggs to provide body and satisfying mouthfeel. For Aloha Refrigerator Dessert, cut preparation time by starting with a store-bought angel food, sponge, or chiffon cake and adding fresh or canned crushed pineapple, fresh lemon juice, and a bit of unflavored gelatin. Hawaiian Coconut Pudding cooks quickly, chills in four hours, and looks spectacular when made in a decorative six-cup mold. (Tip: Search thrift stores and flea markets for attractive old-fashioned molds.) It also makes an excellent pie filling: just pour into a prepared crust (your own or store-bought) and chill.
The sweet and tangy flavors of coconut, pineapple, and lemon combine to make Pineapple Chiffon Dessert a summer sensation. The coconut is toasted and used as a crust; chill evaporated milk, whip until stiff, and fold into a mixture of lemon gelatin and fruit. To serve, simply cut into squares and accompany with tall glasses of Hula Freeze, whipped up in your blender from frozen bananas and kiwifruits.
Mangos and Melons
Naturally cool melons are a natural choice to quench the summer heat. And tropical mangos are now widely available in supermarkets, so there’s no excuse for denying yourself this juicy treat.
We love the look and refreshing flavors of Molded Melon Mousse, a gelatin-based dessert that requires only a few minutes of stovetop cooking and a couple of hours of chilling. It looks splendid when unmolded from a five-cup ring mold. For Mango Bavarian Cream, purée fresh ripe mango and reserve mango slices to garnish this rich molded dessert. (It can also be turned into a delicious pie filling.)
We’re grateful to our friends at the National Mango Board for sharing their knowledge about this versatile fruit —available year round throughout the United States—and especially for sharing some very special recipes. Mangolicious Flip-Flop Cake is a tropical update of the traditional upside-down cake: mango purée goes into the cinnamon-flavored batter, and mango slices garnish the cake’s top (which starts out on the bottom). And if you’re looking for a recipe that will surprise and delight your guests, how about Sweet Mango Dessert Tamales? That’s right, tamales! The corn husks are filled with a mixture of chopped mangos, mango nectar, Domino® Light Brown Sugar, and masa harina (a coarse cornmeal); they’re steamed for an hour and served with warm mango topping. For more mango recipes, check out the Mango Board’s website!
If you thought watermelon was just for slicing and eating, prepare to be inspired by the National Watermelon Promotion Board’s healthful, creative recipes. Watermelon Granita-Filled Lime Cups is a real crowd-dazzler: charming mini-melons made from halved, scooped-out limes heaped with juicy watermelon granita. For a more dramatic presentation, you can’t miss with Watermelon Pyramids, made with alternating layers of pound cake, melon, and kiwifruit and drizzled with warm caramel sauce. To duplicate the photo, garnish the tower with a slice of sweet star fruit (carambola) —worth seeking out at a specialty produce store!
Baker's Profile: Teresa Kemp
Teresa Kemp, a church secretary in Charleston, Indiana, had long dreamed of traveling to California's Napa Valley. "My husband makes wine at home and is an avid cyclist, so we always wanted to make a trip to Napa," she says. "But we never thought we’d actually have the chance to go."
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Does your dessert wobble?
Your mother may have told you never to play with your food, but according to two young British entrepreneurs, if eating isn't fun you must be doing something wrong. Self-proclaimed "jelly mongers" Sam Bompas and Harry Parr are giving new life to the old-fashioned gelatin dessert: In just two years, they've placed their fun-filled jelly creations on the dessert menu at a savvy London restaurant, constructed St. Paul's Cathedral and other national monuments out of fruit gelatin!
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Learn all about mangos —including their history, their nutritional value, how to select them, and how to cut them —at the National Mango Board’s website, www.mango.org. The site also has additional recipes and activities for kids. The National Watermelon Promotion Board’s site, www.watermelon.org, has special activities and recipes just for kids.