I like to have a well-made cocktail now and then (you may have seen evidence of this in my previous blog posts). But I like to eat, too. In fact, I dig a dandy dessert. Especially one that combines my cocktail and sweet cravings.
A great treat to make at home, especially on these hotter summer days is Peach Granita Bellinis from Shaina Olmanson’s delectable and recently released book Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine (see recipe below). But sometimes making anything at home is too much in today’s busy world. For those days, here are four spiked desserts from local sweet spots that are sure to cap off a meal or an evening in a scrumptious manner.
Boozy Milkshakes, Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery
These are every adult’s dream. You get to feel like a kid and a grown up all at once. My pick is the Extra-Dark Salted Caramel with Espresso and Rye Whiskey milkshake garnished with vanilla sugar, but there are four to choose from and each is constructed with Bluebird handmade vanilla ice cream. And booze, naturally.
Strawberries and Grappa, Artusi
A summertime gardener’s treat (and if you’re an Italian gardener, a double treat), this flavor-packed ensemble macerates fresh strawberries in Italian-after-dinner staple grappa and then finishes it off with black pepper and lush cream. As a bonus, as it contains fresh fruit, you can convince yourself that this is really a healthy dessert.
Chocolate Chambord Truffle Cake, Tilikum Place Café
This masterful meeting of French black raspberry liqueur, rich chocolate, and a cream coulis is a combination that Louis XIV (the original Chambord fan in the late 17th century) would go absolutely batty over. And you will, too, as long as you aren’t of the calorie-counting variety--and if you’re reading this, I’m guessing you aren’t.
Panforte di Siena and Vin Santo, Volterra
Not every spirited post-meal sweet has to be flamboyant. Perhaps my favorite example of the genre is beautiful and simple: a Tuscan-style fruit and nut cake, a hint of powdered sugar, and a glass of Italian dessert wine Vin Santo to dip the cake into. Vin Santo means “holy wine,” and this pairing certainly seems divine to me.
To Make at Home: Peach Granita Bellinis
For 8 of these refreshers, combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until all the sugar is dissolved. Remove the simple syrup from the heat and cool slightly. Then combine 3 medium-size peaches that have been peeled and cut into wedges, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and that simple syrup in a blender and pulse until smooth. Spoon approximately 1/4 cup of puree into each of 8 tall pint jars, then cover, freeze for 2 hours, and stir each glass with a fork. Continue to freeze for an additional 3 hours, remove the jars from the freezer and uncover, loosen the granita mixture one more time with a fork, then top off each jar with Prosecco and serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Shaina Olmanson and Harvard Common Press