The Lexingtonienne


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Have you ever hosted a dinner party? You know how it goes: you want to be really impressive so you slave away in order to make something fancy and involved. And then you’re like, Crap, what about dessert? You can’t serve slice-n-bake cookies, now can you? Embarrassing. But you don’t have half a day to bake a cake or a tart or a torte. You need to stick with simple, but the old berries-and-whipped-cream stand-by seems so… obvious. Lean in closer, my friend. Let’s talk.


Adapted from the Joy of Cooking
1 pint fresh raspberries (you can also use frozen – just make sure there’s no sugar added)
3 T sugar (or more)
2 T fresh lemon juice (or orange juice, or a combination of both)

oranges and lemon

Coulis (coo-LEE) is a fancy word for sauce. That’s it.

spoonfla sugar

You put everything in the food processor and pulse till it’s smooth. That’s it.

about to be coulis

pureed coulis

Then you use a rubber spatula to push it through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.

how the strainer gets into the bowl

coulis into the sieve

pushing coulis through

Do this twice just to make sure you really get all the seeds. That’s it.

coulis drip

coulis in the bowl

raspberry seeds

coulis in a pyrex

Pour your pretentious raspberry coulis over a brownie sundae (hello!), or leftover Key lime pie, or I’ll show you what I did after we talk about…

Adapted from the Joy of Cooking (perhaps you are starting to notice a pattern with me)
3/4 C heavy cream
8 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 T liqueur or 1 t vanilla (optional)

ganache ingredients

Ganache (gan-AHSH) is a French term that refers to any combination of chocolate and cream.

chocolate chopped

cream pour

boiling cream

Bring the cream to a boil. Remove from heat and add the chocolate. Stir until most of the chocolate is melted. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir or whisk until completely smooth. Stir in liqueur or vanilla if using.

ganache 1

ganache 2

ganache 3

For a pourable glaze, let your ganache stand at room temperature until the mixture cools slightly. For frosting, let stand until spreadable. If it gets too stiff, you can pop it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. It keeps for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 1 week refrigerated.

smooth ganache

This makes a fabulous cake frosting, or you could spread it over brownies made from a store-bought mix, or you could stand at the counter and eat it all with a spoon, or you could keep it even simpler and do this:

coulis drizzle

ganache drizzle

That bottle of Magic Shell in your fridge is going to feel really bashful. And it should. You are going to feel really fancy. And you should. 🙂

Tell your book club friends to tune in tomorrow for a Q&A with one of the stars of the soon-to-be-filmed movie adaptation of The Help!!!


1 Comment

  • Comment by Maggie Duffy — July 7, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

    mmmm….raspberries and chocolate…the ultimate dessert. PS…I loved the book THE HELP

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