Saturday, May 29, 2010

Best for Last - Dessert Course from Spring Garden Party

   "If you have more than one friend, you have more than your fair share."  - Unknown

   For the fourth and final course, we wanted an explosion of flavors by creating a dessert sampler platter like we have had in fine restaurants.

Mango Balls with Raspberry Sauce
Sinfully Chocolate Brownies with Candied Violets
Fresh Strawberries with Hot Fudge Sauce

   We first had this frozen treat at the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui.  It is a family friendly resort that is incredibly beautiful.  Check it out here.  We would order several of these desserts at the poolside restaurant.  Alas, they no longer feature this dessert.  One of our favorite pastimes is to try and recreate food we have had at a restaurant.  This one was simple to create.

Mango Balls from the Grand Wailea Resort

1 pint Haagen-Dazs Mango Sorbet
1 pint Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream
2 C. chocolate covered peanuts or almonds, finely chopped

   To make the Mango Balls, you scoop Haagen-Dazs Mango Sorbet (Don't make the mistake we have of getting their Mango Ice Cream, it doesn't have the right tang to compliment the Vanilla Ice Cream.), into balls and Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Ice Cream into balls.  Let them harden in the freezer, then cut them in half and press them together.  Refreeze.  It is important to freeze and then refreeze the balls as they get too soft too work with.

     Remove the balls from the freezer one at a time.  Roll the balls in the finely chopped nuts until they are covered.  We used to always use peanuts, but tried almonds this last time and loved them.  They tend to be a little fresher.  You can buy large quantities of the chocolate covered almonds from Costco, but then you have to eat the rest!  

   To serve, cut the balls in half so that both ice creams show in the half.  Position on the plate slightly offset to show both flavors.  Drizzle with Raspberry Sauce.

Raspberry Sauce

1 - 12 oz. package frozen raspberries, thawed
3/4 C. sugar
1-2 tsp. lemon or lime juice (optional)

   Place raspberries in blender.  Blend until smooth.  Put through a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.  Stir sugar and juice into raspberry sauce and blend.  Serve.  This will last for quite a while in the fridge.  We always try to keep some on hand.

Sinfully Chocolate Brownies

3 1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips (see why they are sinfully chocolate?)
1 C. butter
1 T. vanilla
3/4 C. flour
1 1/2 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 C. plus 1 T. sugar

   Melt the chocolate chips and butter.  Stir in the vanilla and let cool for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in another bowl.  In a third bowl whisk the eggs and sugar.  When chocolate has cooled some, blend the egg mixture and chocolate mixture together.  Then fold in the flour.  

   Pour into a foil-lined 9x13 inch pan that has been sprayed with baking spray (i.e. Pam with flour added).  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.  Check to see if it is done by inserting a toothpick into the center.  It should come out with just a few crumbs.

   These are the dark, dense, wet type of brownies.  When cool, dust with powdered sugar.  Let cool completely before cutting or they will just fall apart. 

   To serve, cut into squares and then into triangles.  Top with a candied violet if desired.  To find directions on how to make candied edible flowers, click here.

Strawberries with Hot Fudge Sauce

Fresh strawberries, wiped clean with a moist paper towel
3/4 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
7/8 C. sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 C. cream 
1 tsp. vanilla ( I like to use Mexican vanilla for its stronger flavor.)

   Melt the chcolate in the microwave for 1 minute.  Stir the chips even if they don't look melted.  Melt again for up to 30 seconds.  Stir until completely melted.  Add thesugar and cream and heat in the microwave 30 seconds at a time until heated through.  Be careful not to scorch it.  Add the vanilla and stir.  This keeps well in the fridge.

   Serve in a container along side the strawberries.  Don't be surprised if people start eating it by the spoonful!

   Just a side note - I received a beautiful thank you note in the mail (people still do that!) from one of our friends.  She wrote, "Here's a reason to invite me (us):  I took 3 pages in my journal to draw pictures and describe all the food so that it goes down in history, never to be forgotten! I loved every bite."  

  When we were deciding on a guest list, the above friend was the first one we thought of.  We knew she would appreciate everything.  Have friends over often!  It truly is a treat.  

Chocolat - French for Chocolate. I adored chocolate from a young age when I had to sneak in the cupboard to find where my mother had hidden the Nestle's Chocolate Chips. Having read about the famous chocolat shoppes in Paris, when I finally got there I was determined to try a chocolate from every Paris shoppe. I invite you to share my adventures in creating, in travel, and in life.


  1. MMM MMM These are the best! I love these! Thanks for making this delightful treat for me! Love you!

  2. We will make them for you anytime. I loved it when I heard you yell in glee when you heard we were having them Sunday.


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