18 Jan


For everyday occasions, you can feel absolutely fine about ending a meal with bowls of ice-cream, chewy brownies or a fruit salad. However, there are times when ordinary just isn’t good enough. Whether you want to impress the boss or wow your spouse, you can step up your chef game and make amazingly professional-looking desserts right in your own kitchen. 


Southern cooks are famous for many dishes, including their vanilla pudding parfaits. For maximum taste sensation, take a little extra time to make your own pudding. It doesn’t need to be vanilla; caramel, chocolate or lemon are excellent alternatives. You can make the vanilla cookies up to five days before in order to speed the assembly process that happens just before serving. Then just get out your fancy silver tray, and be prepared for oohs and ahs. 


Your slow cooker is great for chili and stews, but it’s also an excellent baking accessory. If you don’t believe us, make crock pot lemon cake. When it is glazed with lemon icing and fresh berries, your guests will swear that they have been magically transported to Paris. 


At one time, bread pudding was nothing more than a creative way to make your family eat stale crusts, but upscale restaurants have made it their own in recent decades. Often, they use high-end breads such as croissants for their preparations, and you can, too. It’s surprisingly simple to make your own apple butter or to buy some at a higher-end store. Coat your bread with the apple butter, layer it with butter- and sugar-baked sliced apple pieces and bake the dessert in a water bath to ensure creaminess. Without a doubt, it will be the best stale bread you ever ate. 


Some of the fanciest restaurants in New Orleans still serve this creation, and it’s no wonder. Although it is surprisingly easy to make, the sweet-tasting, rum-infused tropical fruits bring on the drama when they are served, on fire, over premium ice-cream. The key to ultimate success in any bananas Foster recipe is to make sure that the fruit is fresh, and the ice-cream is of the highest quality. 


Sooner or later, you will probably want to serve a vegan dessert. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to make a dark chocolate cake without using any animal products that will please even the most ardent chocolate purist. The creaminess comes from avocados and coconut oil; the chocolatey goodness is thanks to cocoa powder. Serve this dense and rich offering for vegan guests, and you just might find yourself making it again and again regardless of whether you or your guests have dietary preferences. 


You can bring even the finest Italian restaurant sensibilities to your home when you take the plunge and prepare that tiramisu recipe you have always been wanting to make. This dessert’s name comes from the Italian and means “cheer me up.” With its coffee-dipped ladyfingers that are layered with a mixture of mascarpone cheese, sugar and eggs, tiramisu certainly does live up to its name. The best news of all is that it tastes like you slaved for hours to make it and looks lovely and fancy while simultaneously being quite simple to put together. 

When you have worked so hard to make the perfect appetizers and entree, you can’t afford to slight the dessert. After all, it is the crowning achievement of your meal and likely what your guests will remember most clearly. When you prepare one of these high-end sweet treats, no one will know that you didn’t have them catered by a professional.