Mason jars have become the creative way to prepare and serve desserts in single-serving portions. They make great gifts, stay fresh and travel well, so they’re also the perfect make-ahead option.
In 150 Best Desserts in a Jar, Andrea Jourdan has developed an array of recipes that are fun to make and allow for beautiful layers to be displayed. From puddings and cobblers to pies and cakes. The “From the Fridge” section includes fruit, chocolate, Jell-O and creams. And the “Warm and Comforting” section offers custards, cakes and bread puddings. This cookbook also provides useful information on choosing the right type of jar, along with helpful baking tips and techniques, and two dozen color photographs to provide inspiration.
The first recipe I made was actually hard to decide upon. I went back and forth between the blueberry cream cheese mousse and banana mousse with cardamon and chocolate sauce. In the end I chose the slightly different option because I love cardamon yet don’t use it nearly enough. It was an excellent choice. Cardamon and banana combined is a wonderful flavor and you cannot go wrong with some chocolate layered in there. I actually used hot fudge sauce because it’s what I had – a little thicker but I enjoyed it!
The next recipe I picked really doesn’t need to be in a jar because it’s a smoothie. But it’s fun to drink things out of jars and I am on a smoothie kick lately, so that’s all the validation I needed to make the cherry berry smoothie – other than the fact it sounded tasty. Homemade sweet cherry smoothies were already a favorite of mine, and I had no problem with the party expanding with with addition of berries. This smoothie also was topped off with a dollop of ground almonds mixed with plain yogurt. It acted as a thicker whipped cream topping.
Finally, I made a really pretty dessert that became even more so by baking it in a squat, wide-mouthed jar – burnt orange creme brulee. Not only is the creme brulee infused with orange zest and orange liqueur, but there is a slice of orange on top that gets bruleed as well. You cannot deny that beauty. However, the orange did pose a small challenge in eating the dessert and I ended up taking it off, peeling it and slicing up into pieces. Even pretty food has to be devoured!
I think this cookbook is perfect for anyone who likes recipes that can be displayed in a fun way and served in individual portions. There are recipes that span every season and would be perfect for any holiday event. I am already eying the pumpkin cheesecake in a jar for the fall!
Disclosure: I was provided with a complimentary copy from Robert Rose Inc. I was not compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
One year ago: Caprese Chicken with Balsamic Reduction
Two years ago: Beef Negimaki With Broccolini and Rice