Friday, 20 May 2016

Desserts in a jar - ideal for picnics

I've been saving this post since Christmas, waiting patiently for any hint of Summer on the horizon.  As the warmer weather begins to tantalise us, there's the possibility that packing up a picnic could be on the agenda, so it's time to share this with you ... desserts in jars.

Not a new thing I know, but it's a great idea, easy to transport, saves on mess and give the picnicers a choice.

When asked to supply dessert for Christmas lunch at my in-laws last year I decided desserts in jars was the way to go, purely because everyone then had a choice (as it turned out most wanted to sample each one ... can't win eh?!).

Use lidded glass jars (pre-used jars are perfect for this, just make sure they're scrubbed clean and sterlised before being filled).  I found the lid labels on-line, free to print and use, and I added a little tag to each so there was no confusion over contents.  Just don't forget the spoons!

My choices were Strawberry Trifle (a simple from the box variety (perhaps with a few additional sponge fingers - makes about 7 small jars), but a homemade one would be even more fantastic), Tiramisu (throw back to the 80s) and the more modern Raspberry Eton Mess.

Eton Mess
2 punnets of raspberries
icing sugar
4 meringue nests
300ml double cream

Give the raspberries a quick rinse under running water and check over for any leaves etc., drain well on absorbent kitchen paper and place in a good sized bowl.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and crush slightly with a fork. Break the meringue nests into bite sized pieces and add to the bowl.   Pour the double cream into a clean bowl and use an electric whisk to whip the cream until it holds its shape (keep going, it takes some time!).  Fold the whipped cream it into raspberry and meringue mixture and then divide between the jars (makes about 5 small jars).

100ml cold espresso coffee
150g sponge fingers
400g mascapone cheese
275g sweentened condensed milk
1tsp vanilla extract
Grated chocolate
Cocoa-powder for dusting

In a clean bowl, beat together the mascapone cheese, condensed milk and vanilla extract until fluffy in texture.  Break the sponge fingers into smallish pieces and dip each one into the espresso, just enough to make it slightly soft (but not falling apart) and layer into the bottom of each jar.  Spoon in a layer of the cream mixture covering the sponge fingers and then grate over some chocolate.  Keep repeating this process until everything has been used up.  Finish with a dusting of cocoa-powder before putting on the lid.  Tiramisu is best left to sit in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavours combine - it can be made and stored in the fridge for up to three days before using.
Recipe sourced from Food Network.

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