Off-the-rack dessertPublished on March 29, 2011

  • (Photo by Mark Holleron)

Dessert on the fly can be a stylish treat by turning a simple store-bought cheesecake into a plated beauty. Apply three principles (shape, colour & texture) and let your creativity flow.


Serves 6 to 8. Prep time 10 minutes. Cooks in 5 minutes.


Use an interestingly-shaped dish that is close in size to your dessert.  Charger plates in varying shapes and colours are available everywhere from your grocery store to local kitchen boutiques.  


A few frozen cranberries, raspberries or blueberries will dress up a basic dessert instantly. Fill a squeeze bottle with white or dark chocolate to apply a stylish swirl to the plate. Make a simple coulis and pour over plated pieces as you serve.


Smooth and creamy, basic vanilla cheesecake begs for a crunchy maple sugar topping that is easily bruléed with a butane torch. Torches aren't just for the garage - check out kitchen specialty stores for a selection that will add a professional flair to your dessert.


- 1 frozen New York style cheesecake (any size, defrosted)

- Maple sugar - enough to lightly coat the top of the cheesecake (you can use granulated or brown sugar as well)



Place cheesecake on serving platter, pat with paper towel to absorb any moisture and sprinkle with sugar. Use torch to melt and brown the sugar (it's a good idea to do this near the hood fan as it will smoke a little). 


Raspberry Coulis

Makes: About 1 cup (250 ml)

Prep time: 10 minutes 


- 1 (10-oz) package frozen raspberries in syrup

- 2 tbsp (30 ml) sugar

- 1 tsp (5 ml) fresh lemon juice, or to taste


Purée raspberries with syrup, sugar and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Pour mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids. Transfer to squeeze bottle and refrigerate for up to 3 days.


Note: If using fresh berries - mix 2 Ĺ cups (625 ml) fresh raspberries with 1/4 cup (50 ml) sugar.


Korey's Tip

Dig through cupboards to find interesting serving plates you may have forgotten about.


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