Whoever said that only cakes with fancy frosting and decoration are worth serving for a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party does not know dessert at all. Some of the best meal enders do not require baking. These are our 10 favorite no-bake holiday desserts. If you can measure and mix, you can make these.
Holiday dessert: banana, toffee and creamIt might look uber rich and the description might make this dessert seem cloyingly sweet but it isn’t. So long as you don’t pour in too much toffee sauce, everything is just dandy. Get the recipe!
Eton Mess (Strawberries, Whipped Cream and Meringue)One of the simplest and most luscious desserts ever invented. How does one make an Eton mess? By making a strawberry syrup and folding it with the whipped cream and crushed meringue to get a marbled look. Get the recipe!
Budino With Salted Caramel SauceBudino is Italian for pudding. But not the bread kind. It’s a custard — softer than leche flan, the consistency more like creme brulee and, in this recipe, adapted from Bon Appetit, the budino is served with crushed chocolate cookies and gooey salted caramel sauce. So, soooo wickedly delicious. Get the recipe!
Dark Chocolate TrufflesIn the confectionary world, a truffle is a small piece of sweet made by chilling ganache or something akin to a fudge, depending on which part of the world you’re in (see the three main types of chocolate truffles), shaping the chilled mixture and rolling them in cocoa powder, nuts or anything that fancies your imagination. You can even dip them in melted chocolate. Get the recipe!
Leche Flan (Steamed Crème Caramel)Leche flan is the Filipino version of crème caramel, not crème brûlée. The difference? Crème brûlée has a hard caramel top created by sprinkling sugar on top of the cooked custard then broiling or torching the sugar to caramelize it. Crème caramel has a soft and gooey caramel topping. Get the recipe!
Affogato: ice cream drowned in coffeeYou put scoops of ice cream in a glass, you pour in hot espresso (strong brewed coffee is fine) and you serve it. If the amount of coffee is generous, it will likely melt the ice cream and you can serve the affogato as a beverage. If there is very little coffee in proportion to the ice cream, the ice cream will soften but not melt right away — in short, it can be served as a dessert that requires the use of a spoon. Get the recipe!
Fresh Tropical Fruit SaladThere are no hard and fast rules as to what fruits can go into the salad. My family’s preferences include mangoes, melon, bananas, seedless grapes and apples. Papaya and pineapple are good choices too. You can even add buko to your fruit salad. Get the recipe!
Alex’s Mango Icebox CakeThis mango icebox cake was assembled with store-bought broas (lady finger cookies), whipped cream, cream cheese, powdered sugar and slices of fresh sweet mango. Adding bits of chocolate is entirely optional but chocolate does add a beautiful contrast to the sweetness of the mango. Get the recipe!
Tiramisu, Party Style Into the bottom of wine glasses, mascarpone sweetened with sugar and made richer with eggs is dropped by tablespoonfuls and topped with lady fingers broken into pieces and soaked in espresso. Another layer of mascarpone goes on top of the biscuits and the tiramisu in wine glasses are garnished with grated chocolate. It’s divine. Get the recipe!
Strawberry Panna CottaIt’s just gelatin, really. But cook gelatin in cream and it becomes nothing like those multi-colored snacks that you can find in groceries. And when you add chopped fruit… Well, the magic is complete. Where does this dessert get its name? Panna cotta is Italian for “cooked cream” so, as you may have guessed at this point, it is an Italian dessert. Get the recipe!