I love making desserts, not only because I like to eat them but also because they always seem to make other people happy. For most of us, dessert isn’t something we eat every day. It’s a treat, something to look forward to at the end of a special meal. I’ve worked on a lot of desserts this year and these are the most popular posts, my Best Dessert Recipes of 2014.
There’s a real art to choosing what dessert to serve at the end of a meal, particularly one that has multiple courses. You don’t want to people to walk away from the table feeling too full but you want to finish the meal with something that they will remember. Airy, creamy or custardy desserts are a great way to finish off a heavy meal. If you are serving something rich like a cheesecake I find that incorporating lemon and other citrus flavours can make a even a dessert this substantial taste refreshing.
Here in the UK, all desserts are referred generally referred to as puddings. I can remember being surprised when I first came to England as when waiters asked if I wanted pudding, I assumed they meant the creamy chocolate, butterscotch or vanilla variety – sadly none of which are commonly served to adults for dessert here in the UK. The puddings I remember as a child in Canada – and those like the amazing butterscotch pudding I always order at one of my favourite California restaurants – are considered much more a children’s dessert. I’m working hard to change this perception, one British friend at a time! I was delighted when Nigella Lawson included a proper homemade chocolate pudding recipe in one of her recent books. But whether it’s an actual pudding, a cake, tiramisu, cheesecake, crème brulée, Pavlova, ice cream or fruit crumble, if it’s served after a meal here in the UK, people refer to it as pudding. In my head though, it’s always going to be dessert!
Most of my Best Dessert Recipes of 2014 are relatively quick and very easy to make. Elegant enough for a dinner party but easy enough to serve on a weeknight, they all factor regularly in my menus for dinner parties and special occasions. So whether you refer to the recipes that follow as desserts or puddings, I hope you will enjoy them as much as my family, friends and I have.
My easy Fruit Brûlée is a quick and easy version of traditional crème brûlée that is perfect for weeknight entertaining.
Homemade ice cream can be an elegant dessert, especially when it is served with homemade cookies. My Blood Orange Ice Cream is super easy to make the day before or morning of a special evening meal. If Blood Oranges aren’t in season, ordinary oranges will work well too.
My citrus spiked St Clement’s Custards are the perfect ending to a very special meal. Light, creamy and easy to make ahead, these are a favourite of our family and friends.
Even if you have never made cheesecake before, you’ll love making my No Bake Lime Cheesecake. This oh-so-easy cheesecake takes very little time to make and is always a hit.
Looking for something really special? This Baked Lemon Cheesecake with it’s lemon curd swirls is an impressive, delicious dessert perfect when you have lots of dinner guests. Leftovers keep well so I often make it for smaller parties too!
Elegant, memorable desserts don’t have to be complicated. Try my Best Dessert Recipes and see how easy it is to make desserts your friends and family will love.
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