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Unread 10-25-2006, 09:35 PM
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Default Halloween treats that come in a cup

Halloween treats that come in a cup

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

By LISA MESSINGER
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE

Why not drink your Halloween candy this year?

At your Halloween party, spike your beverages with your favorite sweets and you will undoubtedly hear much sweet talk from your guests.


This idea flowed through me as I sipped a Starbucks caramel apple cider. Why bob for apples at your Halloween party when you can relish a caramel apple candy treat like this? Steamed pressed apple juice is topped with buttery caramel sauce and whipped cream. The effect tastes like vanilla ice cream on hot apple pie.

If showing off this seasonal specialty at a party, buy it piping hot and serve immediately or, if serving slightly later, order without the whipped cream, reheat on low for about 30 seconds in a microwavable container in a microwave oven. Top it off with your own whipped cream.

The buzz I got from this candied cider inspired me to put together a buffet of Halloween candy beverage creations.

Tops on my list -- and, for decades, that of celebrity socialites like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Paris Hilton -- is the famous frozen hot chocolate from Serendipity 3, New York City's legendary ice cream parlor. Chopped melted chocolate is the main ingredient in this blender drink that is the consistency of a frozen daiquiri.

It's even better with finely chopped, melted Halloween favorites, such as Mars' Milky Ways and Hershey's S'mores, which add caramel and nougat or marshmallow and graham cracker bits to the mix.

Marshmallows have long been prized as a topping for hot chocolate. But how about for coffee? Because the trend is gaining speed in assorted coffeehouses, someone has even filed a patent application for "marshmallow coffee."

Melted marshmallows cause regular coffee to taste like prized Viennese coffee with whipped cream. At your Halloween party, try coffee topped with miniature marshmallows and, as they melt, drizzle the marshmallows lightly with butterscotch sauce.

Melted crushed peppermint candies also add wonderful flavor to party beverages. I recently heated store-bought pomegranate juice and melted semisweet chocolate and crushed peppermint candies within it. I topped it with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon and enjoyed an unusual treat that involved no tricks whatsoever.


Pomegranate-peppermint candy cocktail

4 cups store-bought pomegranate juice, plus more if needed.

20 hard peppermint candies, crushed

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup whipped cream

Ground cinnamon, for garnish

In a medium saucepan, heat pomegranate juice over low-medium heat until just hot, but not boiling. Whisk in crushed peppermint candies and chopped chocolate. Keep whisking until melted and smooth, about 1 minutes.

If consistency of beverage is slightly thick, stir in a little room-temperature pomegranate juice, to taste. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and cinnamon.

Servings: 4.


Frozen hot chocolate

3 ounces best-quality chocolate (variety of your favorites), see note

2 teaspoons store-bought hot chocolate mix

1 tablespoons sugar

1 cups milk

3 cups ice

Whipped cream, for garnish

Chocolate shavings, for garnish, see note.

Chop chocolate into small pieces and melt in small, heavy saucepan or in the top of double boiler over simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Add hot chocolate mix and sugar, stirring constantly until blended.

Remove from heat, slowly add cup of milk and stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature.

In a blender, place the remaining cup of milk, chocolate mixture and the ice. Blend on high speed until smooth and consistency of a frozen daiquiri.

Pour into goblets and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings or finely diced chocolate pieces.

Servings: 2.

Note: Any type of chocolate works well, including Halloween favorites like Mars' Milky Ways or Hershey's S'mores. For use in either the hot chocolate or as the topping, finely chop chocolate into small pieces.

From: "Serendipity Sundaes: Ice Cream Constructions & Frozen Concoctions," by Stephen Bruce with Sarah Key (Universe, $19.95).
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