Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Cheat to Win

Okay, so I'm a big believer in cooking and baking from scratch. Why? It not only tastes better but it's much healthier - you don't have to worry about nasty chemicals and preservatives. However, at times I am willing to bend the rules to prevent slaving in the kitchen for an entire evening. So when you have to make a dessert at a moment's notice (or you're lazy), I recommend a recipe that I discovered in Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Cookbook. It's called Chantilly Cream and it tastes as good as it sounds without the guilt you may experience after eating anything with cream! I'm not usually a fan of swapping out full-fat for low-fat ingredients when baking b/c more often than not, if effects the taste and texture. And seriously, when's the last time you really enjoyed those cookies made with applesauce or prunes instead of BUTTER. Yes, yes I enjoy eating healthy but it's okay to enjoy treats occasionally. But I digress.....

Anyway, so here's the recipe for Chantilly Cream. The recipe serves the cream atop sliced pears but that didn't sound appealing to me in the least, so I bought some angel-food cake, blackberries and blueberries.

Chantilly Cream

1 container Cool Whip, thawed (the recipe says the regular flavor but I bought Vanilla and loved it)
4 instant packs of vanilla-flavored pudding (the kind you find in the dairy aisle that's already pre-made in the 6-pack plastic cups)
1 t. almond extract
1 loaf of angel-food cake (or pound cake)
1 container of blackberries
1 container of raspberries (or any other fruit)
toasted sliced almonds for garnish

Mix the thawed Cool Whip and pudding packs in a bowl till smooth. Add almond extract. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice cake, add berries. Spoon or pour cream over berries and cake. Sprinkle toasted almonds on top.

Serves about 6.

P.S. I plan to experiment next time and try this recipe with rum extract or some other kind of liquor - maybe Grand Marnier. And I'm sure the recipe would work well with different kinds of fruit.

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