Desserts to Chill

Take time out to chill and enjoy the cold desserts we all drool over. Just when the air begins to get nippy, let’s treat ourselves to the amazing flavours of chilled desserts.

Icebox cake

Old fashioned icebox cakes are making a comeback and with good reason. These recipes are so simple and can be varied to use any flavor you like. Try making this easy no cook recipe for graham cracker icebox cake with different flavors of pudding mix and frosting for a new taste sensation.

You could use chocolate pudding mix, or try butterscotch or lemon. Instead of the chocolate frosting, try vanilla or buttercream or caramel. You could even use other types of crackers for the graham crackers. Try chocolate graham crackers or honey cinnamon. Vanilla wafers or chocolate wafers would work too. Just don’t use sandwich cookies; they are too thick to properly soften in the pudding mixture to the right consistency. I like to top this classic recipe with some chopped toasted nuts or some toasted coconut for a bit of texture.

Blend the pudding mix and milk in a large bowl. Make sure you don’t have the type of pudding mix that has to be cooked before serving; it must be instant to work in this recipe. Stir with a wire whisk until well blended and place in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine 1 1/2 cups cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla, and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled pudding mixture. Place one single layer of graham crackers in the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch baking pan. Do not crumble the crackers, but leave them whole. You can fill in gaps with crackers broken in half if necessary.Spoon half of the pudding mixture over the crackers and spread evenly.

Repeat with another layer of crackers and the remaining pudding mixture, ending with a top layer of graham crackers. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set up a bit. Cover it with chocolate frosting, chill and serve.

Strawberry Crème Parfait

This super simple and easy five-ingredient parfait dessert recipe is one of the best. The combination of a melted marshmallow creme with whipped cream, crumbled meringue cookies, and strawberries is sublime.

Place the biscuits in a plastic bag and gently crush using a rolling pin until they resemble coarse sand. Remove a couple of tablespoons and keep to the side for garnish. Spoon an even amount into the base of two glass dessert dishes or glasses. Press the crushed biscuit crumb firmly with the back of a spatula, then carefully, without disturbing the crumb, spoon over the Amaretto. Pop the glasses into the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the parfait.

Wash and dry the strawberries. Choose three or four of the largest, well-shaped strawberries and slice as thinly as you can. Then, finely chop the remaining strawberries. Once the biscuit base is chilled, take the slices and lay evenly into the base and up the sides of the glasses in an even line. Repeat with a second row behind and overlapping with the previous fruit, reserving a few slices of strawberry for decoration. Fill the well in the middle of the sliced fruit with half of the chopped strawberries. Return the glasses to the refrigerator.

Whip the cream, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar using a stand or hand mixer to create stiff peaks. Take care not to over-whip the cream, which can soon become over-stiff and will be hard to pipe into the glasses. Pipe the cream into each glass using a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle or layer using a spoon. Top with another layer of chopped strawberries and finish with more cream. Decorate with a few slices of strawberries and a little biscuit crumbs. Serve. If the parfaits are not to be eaten immediately, cover each glass with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator. They are best eaten the same day.