Timely timesaverIf you're looking for fast but fabulous finales, candlelit dinners for two, family suppers, or elegant evening parties, Lauren Chattman's Instant Gratification: Amazing Desserts in 15 Minutes or Less is your ticket. She offers 110 recipes for divine desserts that can be whipped up in less than 15 minutes, and if that's not instant enough, I don't know what is. Her Mango Rum Fool saved the day (and a very hot day) when unexpected, but expectant, guests arrived, and Chocolate "Crepes" with Kahlua Cream wowed a crowd at my last party. How sweet it is to save time and serve something sublime.
Sybil Pratt has been cooking up this column for more than five years.
*****RECIPEChocolate "Crepes" with Kahlua CreamEgg roll wrappers, sold in the produce section of the supermarket, make a very good substitute for homemade and time-consuming crepes. Filled with chopped chocolate and pan-fried in butter with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar, they get wonderfully crispy. Kahlua-spiked whipped cream complements the "crepes" in both flavor and texture. Makes four servings.
INGREDIENTS1/2 cup heavy cream2 tablespoons sugar1 1/2 tablespoons Kahlua4 ounces bittersweet chocolate1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon8 egg roll wrappers3 tablespoons unsalted butter1. Place the heavy cream, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, and the Kahlua in a large bowl and beat with a mixer (with whisk attachment) on high speed until it holds soft peaks.
2. Finely chop the chocolate. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon in a small bowl. Place some of the chocolate in a 1/2-inch-thick line across the bottom quarter of each egg roll wrapper. Roll up tightly.
3. Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Carefully add the "crepes" (once they crisp up, they won't unroll) and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Cook until golden brown on the bottom 1 to 2 minutes. Turn with a spatula and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 1 minute.
4. With the spatula, place 2 "crepes" on each of four dessert plates. Garnish with the whipped cream and serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from Instant Gratification: Amazing Desserts in 15 Minutes or Less (William Morrow, $22, ISBN 0688169104) by Lauren Chattman.