For the keen culinarians to the kitchen evaders, there are always a selection of recipes that can be picked up by any level of amateur chef and presented to dinner party guests to please the room. The key to choosing the best recipe if your skill set is somewhat limited is to find one that has easy to find ingredients, as little amount of kitchen equipment required as possible and one that doesn’t require hours of preparation. This will set you off on the right path and will avoid too much stress, especially if you have other courses to prepare for your elegant dinner party.
Having said this, just because a recipe is simple to prepare, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be utterly delicious, so if you have a dinner event coming up and you would like to put some effort into the meal to impress your guests, we have compiled a selection of delicious desserts you can prepare with ease. Using hob, freezer or oven and including an arroz con leche (rice pudding), cassis butter ice cream and a tahini and chocolate banana bread pudding, here are three dessert recipes anyone can make that are sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Arroz con leche
More commonly known as rice pudding in this country, arroz con leche is a popular Latin American dish that will remind many of childhood days. By using the recipe below you can elevate the simple dish into something all the more flavoursome to impress guests with a variety of flavours by adding spices, fresh fruits, jams, candied nuts, whipped cream, dark chocolate, dried fruits, shredded coconut, citrus flavours and more to suit your desires.
Served hot or cold, depending on preference, making it the perfect dish to enjoy all year round, arroz con leche (which translates to rice with milk) is a simple and classic dish that you can whip up in advance and change up the extra ingredients each time you make it. If you want to learn how to make arroz con leche with Mahatma Rice for the perfect dessert every time, then read on for this family favourite that is so simple to prepare.
1 cup Mahatma Basmati Rice
2 cups water
2 cups whole milk
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon lime zest
1½ cup sugar
1½ cup raisins and ground cinnamon (optional) or add a selection of other extras as above.
1. Rinse your basmati rice in cool water until the water runs clear and drain any excess liquid. At the same time, warm up the 2 cups of water in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Stir in the washed rice, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered, before adding the milk, cinnamon sticks, lime zest and sugar.
3. Cook the arroz con leche, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes until ready and when it is done, remove the cinnamon sticks.
4. Serve garnished with raisins and ground cinnamon or your choice of toppings.
Cassis butter ice cream
Using just six ingredients, this STAUB recipe which makes a flavoursome and rich berry ice cream is perfect for adults at a dinner party to bring a sweet and refreshing end to the meal. This recipe is ideal for a big dinner as it can be prepared in the morning leaving you to with plenty of time to whip up those other courses. Use STAUB’s 24cm Round Cocotte which is the perfect size for preparing and freezing four generous portions. Thanks to its cast iron construction and temperature retaining properties, the cassis butter ice cream is kept colder for longer when on the table in this dish giving guests plenty of time to help themselves.
400g cassis fruit coulis (blackcurrant fruit purée)
1 vanilla pod
50ml cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)
220g cold butter
5 egg yolks
1. Mix the cassis liqueur and fruit coulis with the pulp of the vanilla pod and heat to around 80°C (use a thermometer).
2. Cut the butter into cubes and combine into the mixture using a hand blender. Beat the egg yolks in a bain-marie until fluffy and fold into the cassis and butter mixture.
3. Let the creamy mixture cool slightly, but do not let it become cold. Beat the mixture again and freeze in an ice cream machine for around 45 minutes until firm.
4. Remove the ice cream, add to the cocotte and place it in the freezer for at least three hours before serving.
Tahini and chocolate banana bread pudding
From Nigella Lawson, the queen of delicious and decadent cooking, comes this sumptuous chocolate, tahini and banana bread pudding that, despite looking daunting with plenty of ingredients, is actually fairly simple to prepare. A delightful combination of banana and fine dark chocolate by experts, Guittard, this is a light but intense pudding that is utterly delicious for those cooler evenings.
250g (approx. 2 medium) very ripe or overripe bananas (skin-on weight)
60ml olive or vegetable oil
50g tahini, at room temperature
50g full-fat Greek yogurt, at room temperature
1 large egg, at room temperature
50g caster sugar
50g soft dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g plain flour (or gluten-free plain flour)
25g Guittard cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp fine sea salt
100g Guittard dark chocolate chips
1. Heat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan and find an ovenproof dish with a capacity of around 750ml.
2. Peel and mash the bananas before beating in the oil. Use a ¼ cup (60ml) to measure this, and then fill it up with the tahini, and beat that in.
3. Stir in the yogurt, egg, sugar, and vanilla extract.
4. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, bicarb, and salt, and beat into the batter.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour the mixture into the ovenproof dish.
6. Cook in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, depending on how gooey you want the centre to be.
7. Stand for 5 to 10 minutes before serving with cream or ice cream to freshen the rich flavours.