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TIP OF THE DAY: Dessert Stacks

Dessert stacks are easy to make. Photo
courtesy Filicori Zecchini.

 

Call it a dessert stack, a mock mille-feuille (Napoleon) or whatever you like: It’s a really easy way to serve an impressive and fun stacked dessert.

Graham crackers, pound cake and loaf cake, phyllo or wontonscan be used as the base, filled with bananas, berries, chocolate chips and other favorites.

Here’s all you have to do:

1. DECIDE on your base. You can bake your own shortbread or sugar cookies in an oblong shape (think of double graham crackers, before you break them at the perforation); or bake rectangles of pie or tart crust.

2. CHOOSE your filling: custard, pudding, sweetened ricotta and whipped cream are delicious, but yogurt does just fine. Check out the Méditérranée line from Liberté yogurt in wonderful fruit flavors. It tastes like cannoli filling to us. You can also mix preserves into plain or vanilla yogurt.

 

3. SELECT one or more fruits: berries, sliced bananas, kiwi, mandarin segments, etc. You can sauté the bananas in unsalted butter and brown sugar, for a Bananas Foster effect. Keep aside a berry or other piece of fruit to garnish the top.

4. PICK an optional second ingredient, like chocolate chips or coconut flakes, to add to the layers.

5. ASSEMBLE three layers of base and two layers of filling—right before serving, so the base doesn’t get soggy. You can serve orderly layers, like a Napoleon, or make them askew, as in the photo above. Garnish with an optional dusting of confectioners sugar and a piece of fruit. Option: sprinkle with confectioners sugar.

 

RECIPE: DESSERT WONTONS

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 6 wonton wrappers per serving (two stacks per serving, three wontons per stack)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil; lightly coat with cooking spray.

    2. LAY wontons on the baking sheet; lightly coat with additional cooking spray.

    3. SPRINKLE lightly with sugar. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven; cool.

     

    Double-stacked wontons. Photo courtesy BHG.com. Here’s the recipe.

     
    Also check out this recipe for dessert lasagne, made with lasagne noodles and fruit.

    FOOD 101: THINGS FOOD LOVERS SHOULD KNOW

    Lasagne Vs. Lasagna

    The correct spelling is lasagne, the plural of the word. There are multiple lasagne (sheets of noodles) in the dish. Lasagna refers to a single sheet of noodles. In another American misuse of Italian, salame is the singular form; salami is plural.
     
    Mille-Feuille/Millefoglie Vs. Napoleon

    Pronounced meal-FWEE in French and MEE-lay FOAL-yay in Italian, meaning “a thousand leaves,” this pastry is made as three rectangular sheets of puff pastry (pâte feuilletée) spread with Bavarian cream, pastry cream, whipped cream, custard, jam or fruit purée, often dusted with confectioners sugar and cut into individual rectangular portions. When filled with custard and iced with chocolate, the pastry is called a Napoleon.

    The Napoleon was not named after France’s famous general and emperor, however. It is believed to be a corruption of the word “napolitain,” referring to a pastry made in the tradition of Naples, Italy (napolitano).
     
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