Crepes2.jpgIt was a long winter for some parts of Canada, and now that the snow is just a fading memory, it seems as though we’ve gone from 0 to summer in no time at all. Things are heating up all over the country, shorts have come out, and people are turning their ovens off because their kitchens have heated up to the point where it’s actually unpleasant to be in them.

Last week we talked about how to spice up your next BBQ, and although BBQs are great for main courses, you can’t really make a dessert on your BBQ. How are you going to have your cake and eat it too? All you need to know are a few good no-bake dessert recipes.

I’ll admit it: I’ve kind of scoffed at no-bake desserts in the past. It almost seems as though if you can’t put it in the oven, it’s not really dessert. But as I’ve discovered, some desserts don’t have to be labour intensive and time consuming to be really, really good. My kid’s all time favourite dessert actually takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, and I’d be proud to serve it to my foodie friends.

Here are a few no-bake, fast and fancy dessert recipes for your warm weather weekend.

Nutella and Banana crepes


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Nutella is good anytime, and so are crepes. I’ve made crepes for breakfast, crepes for lunch, and crepes for dessert, and they seem to be a bigger hit at dessert time. Sometimes I’ll follow this recipe from the foodnetwork.com, but when I’m really not in the mood to cook, I’ll just grab my bag of pre-made frozen crepes and whip up the recipe in ten minutes or less.

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 to 2 cups milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Topping:
1 jar hazelnut chocolate spread
5 bananas, sliced
1 can whipping cream

 

Directions

Sift the flour with the salt into a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the egg and egg yolk. Pour in the milk, slowly, stirring constantly and, when half is added, stir in the melted butter and vanilla. Beat well until smooth. Add the remaining milk, cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before using. The batter should be the consistency of light cream. Heat a well greased 6-inch skillet. Add 1/4 cup batter. Tip skillet from side to side until batter covers bottom. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, turn and remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining batter. Spread a thin layer of chocolate hazelnut spread onto crepe and place banana slices down the center. Roll or fold crepe. Just before serving top with whipped cream.

7 layer ice cream cake


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Martha Stewart knows how to do warm weather desserts. I’ve made my own ice cream in an ice cream maker the day before and used a Sara Lee frozen pound cake for this treat. It’s by far my kid’s favourite dessert, and it’s a show stopper when you have friends over.

Ingredients:

1 frozen pound cake (10 3/4 ounces) in aluminum loaf pan, unthawed, or 1 homemade 4 1/2-by-8 1/2-inch pound cake, room temperature

2 cups raspberry sorbet, softened

1 cup vanilla ice cream, softened

1/2 cup coarsely chopped chocolate wafer cookies

2 large egg whites

Cream of tartar

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Directions

Remove cake from pan and cut horizontally into 4 slices. Line pan with plastic wrap, leaving 6-inch overhang on two sides. Build cake layers in pan in this order: bottom cake slice, 1 cup sorbet, cake slice, 1/2 cup ice cream, cookie crumbs, 1/2 cup ice cream, cake slice, 1 cup sorbet, top cake slice. (If necessary, return ice cream to freezer as you work.) Wrap in plastic and freeze at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days).

In a heatproof bowl, lightly whisk together egg whites and pinch of cream of tartar. Set bowl over (not in) a pan of simmering water and whisk until whites are foamy. Slowly whisk in sugar and cook, whisking, until sugar is dissolved (to test, rub some between your fingertips).

Remove bowl from heat and, with an electric mixer, beat on medium-high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Add vanilla and beat 1 minute. Remove cake from pan, trim sides if desired, and dollop meringue on top.

I don’t know about you, but I’m actually enjoying hanging out in a hot kitchen. It’s so nice to enjoy the sunshine and warmth after winter, so stock up on a few warm weather small appliances and get ready to experiment with no-bake desserts this warm weekend.

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Ice cream cake is the best when it’s made with homemade ice cream
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Before dessert, your BBQ will take care of your main course
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When the kitchen is warm, a toaster oven will be your best friend

Main photo from Nessi blog