The Desserts & Cookies section is the only one I haven’t yet raided in search of simple/simpler corona-day cooking and baking ideas. So let’s get into it. Looking over the list, I notice several stand-by’s that scarcely need mentioning: brownies, chocolate chip cookies and whatnot. All that’s good as far as it goes, though I think it’s worth drawing attention to a few of the lesser-known items stored in the vault.
For example, floating islands. These strange but delicious little French beauties are not only fun to make, they’re great for those without access to flour. Along those lines there’s also Bananas Foster, which is an easy thing provided you’re comfortable with fire. Have an extinguisher ready just in case. For those who are already seeing the first of the strawberries, the simple-but-elegant Strawberries Romanoff may be the ticket — a great way to use some of the sour cream you may have on hand, not to mention some of the little-used spirits lurking in the liquor cabinet.
Chocolate crotins split the difference between the familiar and the unfamiliar. Decadent yeast-raised muffin-sort-of things, they can actually be made with sourdough starter instead of the poolish sponge that the recipe calls for. Or so it just occurred to me. How topical! I’ll go and make a note of that in the recipe as soon as I’m finished here.
Pudding isn’t exactly a novelty, but you’ll be amazed at how nice a little of the home-made stuff can be. A country mile better than the blasé boxed nonsense we’re all so familiar with. Try the chocolate pudding, the rice pudding (which is made with leftover cooked rice, for all of you with lots of Chinese food leftovers) or even the surprisingly amazing vanilla pudding. Should you decide you’d just as soon push the pudding concept all the way to its logical conclusion, chocolate mousse makes a great afternoon project for the adventurous. Not simple, but well worth the time investment.
Oh, and I can’t mention pudding without bringing up bread pudding I don’t think. If you’re like those of us in the Pastry household, you’re keeping an eye out for ways to cut waste. I can’t think of a more delicious way to feel good about myself.
So that’s it from the dessert archives. Plenty more there for those seeking greater challenge in their off-days. Dig deep, those who are interested!