Individualized Desserts Take the Cake
Tips for making one-of-a-kind treats
Individualization has infiltrated society. Average Joes want custom-made clothes, one-of-a-kind artwork and obscure vacation destinations.
An individualized approach is also right at home with summer barbeques and dinner parties. It makes guests feel welcome and that their unique attendance is crucial. And what sweeter way to do it than with personalized desserts?
A number of treats fit nicely into the “for one” category: any type of parfait, crème brûlèe, chocolate mousse, cupcakes. Don’t hesitate to make more servings than needed. Leftovers simply mean a few nights of desserts for one—for you.
Brownies a la Cookie
Whoever said mixing and matching was out certainly never tried mixing two quintessential American desserts. Try this recipe, and your sweet tooth will not be disappointed.
Preheat oven to 325˚F and grease oven-friendly Ramekin Bowls or soufflé dishes. Prepare half recipe of a fudgy brownie batter and fill dishes three-quarters full. I recommend this recipe from Food Network. Next, prepare any half recipe of chocolate chip cookie dough. Add a large dollop of the dough to the brownie mixtures, pushing it into the batter. Bake until desired texture (they’re best when warm and still a bit gooey), about 15 minutes. Top with sea salt to cut the decadence.
Crème de la Cupcakes
The verdict of the frosting versus cake debate is still out taste-wise. According to Katie Olfen, co-owner of Madison Sweets Cupcakes and More, the most important part of making a pretty cupcake is “the crispness of the frosting.”
Bakers can add finishing touches of herbs, shaved chocolate, whipped cream, cocoa powder, coconut or slivered nuts.
Or buy instead of baking: Local cupcakeries include Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery, Cupcakes-A-Go-Go, Madison Sweets Cupcakes and More, Gigi’s Cupcakes and Bloom Bake Shop.
People are persnickity about their coffee orders. Skim milk, 375˚, one shot of espresso, decaf, extra foam. But perhaps the ever-customized coffee mug has a dual role: holding coffee in the morning, cake at night.
Mug cakes are an alternative to fancier personalized desserts, with just as much flavor. Trending on the food blogs and recipe sites, these treats can be prepared ahead of time and served warm—without making a fuss over timing.
Possible flavors range from Nutella to Red Velvet to Cinnamon Roll. Pinterest, an online-bulletin board of sorts, allows amateur and professional chefs alike to post recipes. The site is an extensive resource for mug cake recommendations, offering gluten-free, dairy free and sugar free options.
Chocolate Mousse a la Glassware
The French never fear for flavor. Their chocolate mousse provides refuge for any chocolate craving. And it’s free form allows enough versatility to present it in goblets, bowls and perhaps even small dessert plates.
Prepare mousse ahead of time and spoon into desired serving dish. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with mint and berries, if desired. Mix and match garnishes depending on your guests’ preferences; it will make the dessert all the more unique and personalized.
Layer with alternating layers of plain whipped-cream and chocolate mousse for a trifle-trifecta.
Photo by Brianna Wilson.