This week in Baking Questions with Mama Cocoa, we are going to talk about sweet treats that don’t require any electricity at all. Let’s face it, it has been a rough couple of days for most of us. And sometimes a little something sweet would perk you up for a bit. So Mama Cocoa is here to help whether you have power or not.
Have a sweet day!
Mama C. asks: My power is out but we are craving something sweet what can I do?
Okay we need some quick no bake and maybe no energy dessert solutions. The first thing I thought of is grilled fruit. I know we have all heard of grilled fruit but have we all tried it? And is there more to it then cutting a piece of fruit and slapping it on a grill?
Grilled fruit is actually pretty easy and the results are great! Which fruit should you use? Any of them some might require a little more effort but where there’s a will, there’s a way. The easiest fruit to use are super firm fruit, apples, pears, melons and pineapple. With softer fruits you want to leave the peel on to help the fruit maintain it’s shape while cooking. These fruits include, citrus, bananas, mango, kiwi, and stone fruit (peaches, plum, ect.). And yes you can grill berries, kind of, you just have to do it in foil. But hey if it’s on the grill it counts!
So now you know what fruit to grill, how do you actually do it? Cut your fruit and soak it in cold water and a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. I would give it 15 - 20 minutes in the water. Then lightly spray the cut side with pan spray and place on the grill cut side down. You want your grill to be at a medium heat for this. And clean your grill rack first, meat drippings don’t help this process at all (unless it is bacon drippings). How long you keep the fruit on the grill depends on the size and thickness and your preferences. I personally like to grill the fruit as long as I can. I love the smokey flavor the grill adds. And the char, oh the char!!
Now for berries. Add whole or cut berries to a bowl combine with a little brown sugar, a splash of vanilla and a pinch of salt. Place the mix in the center of a medium piece of foil and fold into a little packet. Grill for 5 minutes or so and serve.
Any of the grilled fruit can be eaten as is, served with ice cream or sorbet, or served over store bought cakes and cookies.
Mama C. asks: Okay Mama Cocoa it is way too hot to grill! What else you got?
So you want something different for dessert but you don’t want any heat at all. Okay! Let’s make some dessert salsas! Yay salsa!!
Everyone knows that pineapple and mango make great salsas, but what about strawberries? A mandarin orange and banana salsa is great, so are peaches and plums, and kiwi. Any fruit you have on hand can be quickly turned into a great dessert salsa.
For a dessert salsa I’m not going to give you a recipe. I’m going to give you the components and a few suggestions, so that you can build your own personal recipe. So let’s break down a traditional salsa. Salsa is made up of a fruit, (yes tomatoes are a fruit, a berry to be exact.) a pepper (chili, or sweet or both), onions, an herb (usually cilantro) and citrus juice (usually lime juice). So how do we turn that into a dessert salsa? Well first we get rid of the onions, and for some of you we will also get rid of the peppers. And we will add a touch of sweetness (honey, sugar, agave . . .). So below is our non-recipe recipe.
3 cups of diced fruit (any kind, any combination, the more the merrier!)
1/2 of a small jalapeno minced no seeds (if you don’t like heat leave this out!! Add more if you need to.)
2 Tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro (yep we are still using cilantro, trust me on this)
2 Tablespoon of finely chopped mint
Juice from 1/2 an orange or 2-3 Tbs
Juice from 1/2 a lime or 1 Tbs
2 Tbs of something sweet (honey, sugar, brown sugar, agave, what ever your sweet heart desires.)
Toss all of it together in a bowl, let sit for 20 minutes or so. And voila!! Dessert Salsa!!
Put this stuff on everything!!!! Store bought pound cake, those new sweet tortilla chips ( I had a sweet potato tortilla chip the other day, yum.), ice creams, sorbets, cookies. Or eat it in a bowl with whipped cream on top. The sky’s the limit!