Delicious - and simple - desserts that will wow your dinner guests with minimum effort
These stunning recipes use just three ingredients to make a variety of grown up treats
Puds include decadent Baileys ice cream, easy Eton Mess and a perfect choc mousse
Sponsored by Baileys
Martha De Lacey For Mailonline
02:13 EST, 1 October 2015
03:28 EST, 3 October 2015
In the world of dinner parties there's precious little more spectacular than dimming the lights, softening the music, and re-emerging from your kitchen half-hidden behind a fancy dessert.
Macaron mountains… lavender ice cream…. leaning towers of croquembouche…. Yes, these presidential puds are an impressively dramatic bunch, but if you've had a long day, you won't have time to knock up a pud worthy of the Great British Bake Off.
If you've been in the office since 7am and haven't managed to create 14 brandy snap baskets with accompanying sugar work in the hour between arriving home and greeting guests, relax. Put your feet up!
Here are 15 super-easy puddings that may call for only three paltry ingredients – but will look - and taste - good enough to knock Mary's socks off, let alone your guests.
And because we really like to spoil you (and we know how you like to spoil your friends), a few of the more gorgeously grown-up ones feature that perfect after-dinner treat, Baileys Original Irish Cream, and other indulgent blends in the range.
Just make sure you warn all pregnant ladyfriends, children, and designated drivers that some of these decadent desserts have a dash of delicious Baileys….
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A Flat White coffee made with Baileys is fabulously indulgent - take it a new level by adding a shot of vodka
These super-easy puddings that may call for only three paltry ingredients – but will look - and taste - good enough to knock Mary's socks off, let alone your guests
1. Flat White Martini
Ingredients: Coffee, Baileys, vodka (and ice)
The Flat White is the hipster's drink of choice, but if you'd like the coffee kick with an edge, how about making one by adding a dash of Baileys to the espresso to make a delicious, and very grown up, Baileys Flat White?
And if you're having friends over and in the mood to ramp things up a notch then go one further and take it up a notch with some vodka. Et voilà - the Flat White Martini!
To make, tip 50ml of Baileys The Original Irish Cream into a cocktail shaker with a shot of freshly ground coffee and one of Smirnoff vodka, top with ice, give it a heady shake, then strain (over the shoulder, while wearing winklepickers and a top hat, for added Hackney drama) into a martini glass.
Fish three coffee beans out of the bean grinder and lay poetically on top of the creamy foam. Sell to your mates for £25 a pop and get ready to party until Monday lunchtime.
You don't need an ice cream maker to whip up homemade banana ice cream with cinnamon and Baileys
2. Baileys cinnamon banana ice cream
Ingredients: Bananas, cinnamon, Baileys
No ice cream maker? No biggie. This cheat's version of scrumptious banana ice cream is not only super easy, it's also supremely delicious.
Just leave a bunch of unpeeled bananas in the freezer for a few hours, then remove and peel, whiz in a blender or food processor with four or five shots of Baileys (depending on how fruity you're feeling) and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon.
Put the bowl back in the freezer for a couple of hours, then remove, stir and serve with another dribble of Baileys, some sliced fresh banana and another small pinch of cinnamon. Have you met Bob? He's your uncle.
3. Peanut butter cook-ease
Ingredients: Peanut butter, egg, sugar
We'd like to give a medal to the first person to realise the magical power of eggs. I mean, which stupendous caveperson cracked open their first one and instead of going 'Crikey, what fresh hell is this?' and lobbing it straight in the trash, thought 'I know, I'll mix it with flour to make cake, oil to make hollandaise, sugar and cream to make mousse, and then use just the whites to make meringues'. We'd like to pat that dude on the back.
This simple recipe for wonderfully chewy peanut butter cook-ease (see what we did there?) is another seriously clever way of using eggs to make companion ingredients burst with joy. Mix 225g of peanut butter, 225g of caster sugar and one beaten egg, mould into little blobs, flatten on a baking tray with a fork, and then bake in a 225C oven for 12 minutes. Perfect for the gluten-free brigade, too.
Deliciously chewy - and moreish - peanut butter cookies need just three ingredients and 12 minutes in the oven
Good news! There is a way of making whipped cream healthy: blend it half-half with Greek yoghurt. Bad news! We're going to teach you how to make the mix sinful once more: add crushed Crunchie bars.
Put the sparkly, speckled honeycomb gloop into a pretty bowl (to elevate the cheeky trio somewhat), take the phone off the hook, dim the lights, close the curtains, lie back, and have someone beautiful feed it to you with a spoon.
Take crème brûlée to a new level of indulgence by making it with a dash of Baileys The Original Irish Cream
5. Baileys crème brûlée
Ingredients: Custard, Baileys, Demerara sugar
If you don't have time to get your sugar-coated apron strings in a twist making custard from scratch, you can still make a pud to serve with pride using a good quality tub of the shop-bought stuff.
Stir 75ml of Baileys into 600ml of custard and pour into individual ramekins. Put the ramekins on a baking tray and pour enough hot water onto the tray to reach halfway up their sides. Bake in a 150C oven for 40 minutes.
Once the custard is set remove and cool. When ready to serve, sprinkle each ramekin with Demerara sugar and pop under a grill until golden and crisp. Crack open with a spoon and wait for the 'oooooh!'s.
Healthy brownies, made from dates, nuts and cocoa powder, are perfect for before or after a gym workout
6. Raw brownies
Ingredients: Dates, mixed nuts, cocoa powder
Ideal for vegan pals, yoga bunnies and superfood-scoffing sugarphobes, these mega-healthy raw brownies will guiltlessly sate your sugar cravings while giving you a great big natural energy boost.
Great to nibble before or after a workout - and the recipe is so easy you'd have the energy to make them even after nailing an Iron Man contest.
Simply blend 250g of your favourite mixed nuts, 420g of pitted dates and 60g of cocoa powder in a food processor. Remove the mix and flatten on a tray lined with baking parchment, then leave in the fridge until really cool. Chop and scoff. Now, where did we leave our running shoes?
Rich and decadent truffles made with Baileys Chocolat Luxe are a sophisticated after dinner treat
Baileys Chocolat Luxe isa luxurious drink made with molten Belgian chocolate, Irish whiskey and cream
Chocolate truffles are usually made by mixing melted chocolate, cream, butter and sugar, then dusting the cooled spheres with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings – but if you used all your butter basting the chicken and your daughter served the last of the cream to the cat, here's a nifty hack.
And the killer ingredient here is Baileys Chocolat Luxe, a super-indulgent blend of molten Belgian chocolate, Irish whiskey and cream that gives these truffles a decadent air.
Stir 250g of cream cheese into 250g of melted chocolate, add two shots of Baileys Chocolat Luxe and mix well.
Leave to cool in the fridge until you have a malleable mix. Roll into little balls and dip each into a mix of melted chocolate (100g) and Baileys Chocolate Luxe (one shot). Cool in fridge until outer shell is crisp. Tada!
Home-made chocolate croissants are easy to make and make a perfect treat for lazy weekend breakfasts
8.Easy-peasy chocolate croissants
Ingredients: Puff pastry, milk chocolate chips or chunks, egg
Pre-made puff pastry: what a babe. Just open pack, unroll, add some stuff, roll back up, glaze with an egg wash and BAM! You're a French pastry chef.
Eton Mess is stunning but takes just minutes to make using ready-made meringues, strawberries and cream
One of our all-time favourite uses for the stuff – and one that will basically guarantee marriage when served to a sleepy new squeeze in bed alongside a frothy coffee, a glass of freshly squeezed and the Sunday papers – is the DIY chocolate croissant.
Cut the puff pastry into triangles and sprinkle a spoonful of chocolate chips or chunks in the middle of each. Roll each into a coiled croissant shape, brush lightly with a beaten egg, then bake on a tray in a 180C oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. (If you're feeling particularly creative, you can drizzle melted chocolate over the top to make them look even prettier, but we wouldn't bother).
You COULD spend your time whisking egg whites into stiff peaks, carefully folding in a blend of caster and icing sugars, then baking a tray of creamy blobs in the oven until crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside…
OR you could pour yourself a second glass of wine, put your feet up, watch Bake Off, and then grab a pack of ready-made meringues out of the cupboard at the last minute, bash them up (possibly using the bottom of the wine bottle) and muddle them together with whipped cream and chopped strawberries to create the perfect 'cheat-on mess'.
The praise you receive from guests will be enough to assuage your pre-packaged guilt.
Comforting bread and butter pudding is taken to a new level of indulgence when made with brioche and Baileys
10. Brioche'n'Baileys butter pudding
Ingredients: Brioche, custard, Baileys
Another good way of using ready made custard to impress is by pouring 600ml onto a baking dish lined with triangles of brioche, drizzling with Baileys (we particularly like using Chocolat Luxe here), and then baking for 40 minutes at 180C. Some cry 'cheat!'… we cry 'sweet'.
11. Mint chocolate chip ice cream
Ingredients: Vanilla ice cream, After Eights, Baileys Chocolate Luxe
Poor old After Eights have a bit of a rep as the kitsch 80s petits fours of choice.
But bin the little black envelopes and use them as an ingredient to make your own mint chocolate chip ice cream, and they're given a whole new lip-smacking lease of life.
Crumble up a few handfuls into a big bowl of soft vanilla ice cream, dribble with four shots of Baileys Chocolat Luxe for an added chocolate kick, then bung back in the freezer until ready to serve to allow the flavours to do their happy little frozen dance. Delirious stuff.
Ice cream flavoured with After Eights and Baileys Chocolat Luxe and tangy lemon posset are simple to do
12. Lemon posset
Ingredients: Lemon, sugar, double cream
This creamy treat is the perfect dessert if you've given up chocolate, or if you want to fool yourself into thinking a pudding is good for you if it features one of your five a day (despite also featuring seventeen metric tonnes of sugar and cream).
Whisk together 600ml of cream with 150g of caster sugar, bubble in a pan for a couple of minutes, then add the juice and zest of two lemons when slightly cooled. Pour into individual ramekins and chill in fridge.
Tangy, sweet and the perfect pick-me-up.
Made with condensed milk, a good glug of Baileys and dessicated coconut, these macaroons are a doddle
There is so much joy to be found at the bottom of a tin of condensed milk. Especially if you pour the tin into a pan along with a good glug of Baileys, then add enough desiccated coconut to make a relatively stiff, malleable mixture. Lay blobs of the mix on a tray and leave under a pre-heated grill until gloriously golden.
Chocolate mousse is a dinner party crowd-pleaser, and this one is made with just chocolate, sugar and eggs
14. Perfect chocolate mousse
Ingredients: Chocolate, sugar, eggs
To make your own fluffy pud, melt 120g of chocolate in a bain marie then leave to cool. While you're waiting, whisk four egg whites into soft peaks, and then fold in four teaspoons of sugar. Into the cooling molten chocolate add four egg yolks, then very gently blend into the egg white mix, being careful not to lose all the wonderful bubbles you've created by over-stirring.
Cool the mix in the fridge, either in individual ramekins or one big bowl if you're not planning on sharing. (We're not.)
Frozen yoghurt made with three shots of Baileys and a squeeze of runny honey is lower in fat than ice cream
15. Grown-up fro-yo
Ingredients: Yoghurt, Baileys, runny honey
For a lower fat version of Baileys-drizzled ice cream, combine three shots of Baileys (any flavour you like, but we're particularly fond of Orange Truffle) and a generous squeeze of runny honey with 400ml of good quality yoghurt.
Then either pour into an ice cream maker or, if you don't have one, put the mix in a plastic container in the freezer and remove every 45 minutes to stir well, until creamy and frozen.
Find more Baileys dessert recipes here: from cheesecake to macaroons, there's something for everyone.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit her at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.