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Book Review: ‘150 Best Desserts in a Jar’ by Andrea Jourdan

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Jars are back and better than ever. An incredibly popular restaurant trend is now easy to replicate in your own home.

Take a look through the jars in your cupboard; whether it is a beautifully beveled antique or a classic Mason jar at the back of your kitchen cupboard, any jar can become a sparkling, creative, and beautiful way to prepare and present delightful desserts. 150 Best Desserts in a Jar makes it easy for you with single serving treats. The recipes are a perfect ending to your next family meal or dinner party, and they are so charming and pretty, they make the perfect gift. Need something to take along with you? These treats stay fresh and travel well, so they’re the perfect make-ahead option.

Andrea Jourdan has developed recipes that are fun to create, from puddings and cobblers to pies and cakes. The jars are easy to put into the freezer, so setting layers is simple and gives your desserts wonderful colors and textures.

The “From the Fridge” section includes some basic ingredients like fruit, chocolate, Jell-O, and creams. The “Warm and Comforting” chapter shows off custards, cakes, and bread puddings. And the “Deliciously Different” chapter features innovative and inspired recipes.

As you try the different recipes you’ll discover useful information on choosing the right type of jar, helpful baking tips, and techniques. You’ll be the hit of any event when you use Andrea Jourdan’s recipes that have been developed over 25 years in Europe honing her skills in both traditional and modern cuisine.

This is a nice addition to your dessert cookbook collection.

Iced Mocha Syllabub, page 208

For coffee lovers, this is the ultimate dessert with a punch.

Use homemade or the best-quality coffee ice cream for this recipe. To soften, place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

Do not substitute regular instant coffee for the espresso powder, because instant coffee does not have the same rich, aromatic flavor. Instant coffee would result in a bitter taste.

•    Four 8-ounce (250 mL) tall jars, buttered
•    Blender
•    Electric mixer

31⁄4 oz    dark chocolate (70%), melted    100 g
1⁄4 cup    granulated sugar    60 mL
2 tbsp     instant espresso powder (see Tips) 30 mL
1⁄2 tsp     vanilla extract    2 mL
Pinch      nutmeg    Pinch
1⁄2 cup    brandy    125 mL
1⁄2 cup    mascarpone cheese    125 mL
2 cups     heavy or whipping (35%) cream    500 mL
2 cups     softened coffee ice cream     (see Tips) 500 mL
1 tbsp     unsweetened cocoa powder    15 mL

1.    In blender, process melted chocolate, sugar, espresso powder, vanilla, nutmeg, and brandy until smooth.
2.    In a large bowl, using electric mixer at medium speed, beat mascarpone for 2 minutes, until creamy. Add cream and beat until stiff peaks form. Gradually add chocolate mixture, beating constantly. Fold in softened ice cream.
3.    Spoon into jars and refrigerate for 30 minutes. When you’re ready to serve, dust each jar with cocoa powder, dividing equally.

Makes 4 servings

Excerpted from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar by Andrea Jourdan © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher permission.


Burnt Orange Crème Brûlée, page 59

Burnt Orange Creme Brulee

Burnt Orange Creme Brulee

The best crème brûlée I ever tasted was at the now defunct but still memorable Léon de Lyon restaurant in France. I could never reproduce the exact texture and, unfortunately, was never allowed to learn their secret. After years of trying to create the perfect crème brûlée, I finally came up with a recipe that I like enough to share. As for Léon’s crème brûlée — well, it might just have been the sweet Muscat wine I drank with it that made it taste so good.

If you do not have a kitchen torch, preheat broiler. Place jars on baking sheet; sprinkle with a little brown sugar and place under broiler until golden. Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining brown sugar, top with orange slices and place under broiler for about 2 minutes, until sugar browns to a dark color.

•    Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C)
•    Four 8-ounce (250 mL) wide-mouth jars, buttered
•    Baking pan large enough to accommodate the jars
•    Kitchen torch, optional (see Tip)

6    large egg yolks    6
1⁄2 cup    granulated sugar    125 mL
11⁄2 cups    heavy or whipping (35%) cream    375 mL
2⁄3 cup    whole milk    150 mL
2 tbsp    finely grated orange zest    30 mL
1 tbsp    orange-flavored liqueur    15 mL
3 tbsp    packed brown sugar, divided    45 mL

1    orange, sliced thinly    1
1.    In a bowl, whisk egg yolks, and sugar until pale and thick. Set aside.
2.    In a saucepan over medium heat, bring cream, milk, and orange zest to a simmer. Gradually add to egg yolk mixture, whisking until incorporated. Stir in orange liqueur.
3.    Pour custard into prepared jars, dividing equally. Place jars in baking pan, spaced evenly apart and not touching the sides of the pan, and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the jars. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes or until center of custards is still wobbly. Remove from oven and transfer jars to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Cover jars with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
4.    Place jars on a baking sheet. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over each custard. Using kitchen torch, burn sugar just until it melts. Place orange slices over melted sugar. Sprinkle with remaining brown sugar, dividing equally. Using torch, heat until sugar has caramelized and orange rind is a little burnt. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Excerpted from 150 Best Desserts in a Jar by Andrea Jourdan © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Robert Rose, Inc. provided a copy of this cookbook for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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About Kathleen Riley-Daniels

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