Vanilla Poached Plums and Blueberry Granola Goat Cheese Cream Verrines

by Meeta Wolff

This chapter is a free excerpt from What's For Lunch, Honey?.

Usually when we have invited friends or family for a dinner, I look forward to the entire planning process of the evening meal. Maybe it’s the hotel background that triggers these buttons, but browsing through cookbooks or my recipe notebook, musing over the choices and selections, makes me really makes me happy and content. But I think my absolute favorite part of meal planning is definitely deciding on dessert. Dessert makes me happy! So I admit to often paying just a little more attention to detail with the selection and preparation.

Having said that, does dessert really have to be restricted to the end of a meal? Can we not have dessert when we like and even instead of a meal? How about dessert for breakfast? This dessert idea is one of my favorites, simply because you can find any excuse to indulge into it any time of the day. I often like using ingredients in my pantry and pairing it with fresh fruit, a smooth and delicious cream. Playing with different flavors and textures is something I enjoy—sugar and spice, chocolate and cream, crunchy and smooth, so many ideas get me into the swing of things in the kitchen. And this has it all: there’s granola, fruit and quark making it the perfect breakfast or in-between snack.

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Usually when we have invited friends or family for a dinner, I look forward to the entire planning process of the evening meal. Maybe it’s the hotel background that triggers these buttons, but browsing through cookbooks or my recipe notebook, musing over the choices and selections, makes me really makes me happy and content. But I think my absolute favorite part of meal planning is definitely deciding on dessert. Dessert makes me happy! So I admit to often paying just a little more attention to detail with the selection and preparation.

Having said that, does dessert really have to be restricted to the end of a meal? Can we not have dessert when we like and even instead of a meal? How about dessert for breakfast? This dessert idea is one of my favorites, simply because you can find any excuse to indulge into it any time of the day. I often like using ingredients in my pantry and pairing it with fresh fruit, a smooth and delicious cream. Playing with different flavors and textures is something I enjoy—sugar and spice, chocolate and cream, crunchy and smooth, so many ideas get me into the swing of things in the kitchen. And this has it all: there’s granola, fruit and quark making it the perfect breakfast or in-between snack.

Both Soeren and I are very fond of such desserts, as they brings together a lot of our favorite ingredients in one bowl. The beauty of verrines is that you simply get a plethora of flavors, a variety of different elements, and the imagination can run wild. So we push our spoons right to the bottom, knowing as we pull them back out again that each spoonful will be taking us to a different flavor high.

These verrines are made using the berry nut chocolate intense granola I made a while back. The cashews, poppy seeds and dark chocolate added a delightful crunchy texture pairing incredibly well with the creaminess of the the quark-goat cheese cream.

Method:

  1. Prepare the cream by whisking together quark, goat cream cheese and maple syrup in a bowl until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness by adding more maple syrup if desired. Place in the refrigerator to cool and thicken.
  1. To poach the plums, add the sugar into a saucepan with approx. 110ml water and vanilla. Gently heat until the sugar dissolves. Slide the fruit into the syrup. Bring the pan to the boil, then let it simmer for 5-10 minutes, depending on the ripeness and size, until the plums are soft. Leave to cool.
  1. In clean bowls or glasses begin layering your verrines: first add a handful of the granola, then top with some blueberries, spoon a tablespoon or two of the goat cheese-quark cream. On top of this spoon a good tablespoon of the poached plums and more granola. Finally spoon some more cream over the top and sprinkle with some granola and blueberries.
  1. Serve the dessert immediately and while the granola is still crunchy. Enjoy!
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
Why not for breakfast? You could mix the goat cheese half and half with Greek yogurt.
OCTOBER 7, 2010 6:57:00 AM GMT+02:00
Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf.ch
YES dessert definitely makes us happy. who better to agree to that than... me! :) dessert for breakfast, love it too. and YOU, my dear, who just had dessert for lunch the other day too - sticky toffee pudding! mmm, if that's at home, i'd say it's impossible to resist, breakfast lunch or dinner!

only, i tend to agree with jamie here, this isn't quite dessert. lunch for jamie. but for me, it resembles what is often my afternoon snack. i usually have quark with jam and dates, or other dried fruit and homemade granola, the latter often sneaking in some chocolate from time to time too, as you make as well.

i guess it's not such a bad thing when the lines begin to blur between meals, healthy snacks and desserts...! whatever and whenever, it's always delicious! :o)
OCTOBER 8, 2010 10:25:00 AM GMT+02:00
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