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  • Writer's pictureTommy Centola

Try chilled desserts during hot summer

A day without dessert is like a day without sunshine. Sometimes desserts call for warm bread pudding or a hot piece of apple pie. During the summer months, I prefer a cool dessert.

With this in mind, I have collected three chilled dessert recipes to feature today. The first is fancy looking, Whipped Chocolate Cheesecake Parfaits. The second uses a family favorite ingredient, Peanut Butter Mousse. The third is a take on a light dessert, White Chocolate Mousse Pie. So gather up your ingredients, and Let’s head to the kitchen.

A parfait is a refreshing way to end a meal. You can dress it up by using different vessels to serve them in and various garnishes. Here’s one that combines the flavors of chocolate and cheesecake. Your family will be amazed.

Whipped Chocolate Cheesecake Parfaits

1 cup cold heavy whipping cream

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons milk

Using a stand mixer with whisk attachment, whip heavy cream to soft peaks. Set aside. Mix cream cheese, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and milk together until fully combined. Reserve enough whipped cream for topping. Add the remaining whipped cream to cream cheese mixture and slowly mix until combined. Serve whipped chocolate cheesecake in martini glasses. Top with whipped cream and grated dark chocolate. Fresh strawberries or raspberries make a great topping as well.

It’s no secret that I love peanut butter. I try to find different desserts to use it in. This is a recipe from my second cookbook. For a twist, try Honey Roast Peanut Butter. It will add another layer of flavor to your mousse.

Peanut Butter Mousse

1 18oz jar creamy peanut butter

2 8oz packages cream cheese, room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 cups chilled whipping cream

Bring the cream cheese to room temperature. Using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter and cream cheese in a large bowl to blend. Add powdered sugar and beat until well blended. Using cold beaters, beat whipping cream in a cold medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold (do not stir) into peanut butter mixture. Put into serving dishes and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Here’s a recipe that I put together one day. I wanted to do something different with White Chocolate Mousse. Since I’m not big on baking, the use of the chocolate pie shell made things easy. I jokingly call this Bullwinkle Pie.

White Chocolate Mousse Pie

1 pound white chocolate chips

4 egg yolks

4 tablespoons sugar

2 1/2 cups heavy cream, separated Chocolate pie crust

Chocolate sprinkles

In a large glass bowl, place the chopped white chocolate and set aside. Add the egg yolks and sugar to a small bowl and whisk until pale in color. In a saucepan, over low heat, bring 1/2 cup of the cream to a simmer, and slowly add the cream into the yolk and sugar mixture to temper. Pour the creamy mixture back into pan and stir with a wooden spoon until it coats the back of it. Pour hot mix through a strainer over the bowl with the white chocolate. Stir until completely smooth. In another bowl, whip 2 cups of the cream to almost stiff peaks. Fold half the whipped cream into the white chocolate mix to lighten and then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Spoon the white chocolate mousse into pie crust and refrigerate until set, approximately 1 hour. Top with chocolate sprinkles.

The summer heat calls for something refreshing at the end of the meal. These desserts fill the bill. They also require no heat to make them. So serve your family these chilled desserts while you try to stay cool in the kitchen. They will be happy you did.

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