Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sweet Berry Bruschetta

When I decided to make Sweet Berry Bruschetta for my dear friend's going away party, I didn't realize that I would unintentionally convert my oven into a bonfire pit.

My dear friend, Ingrid, is moving to the Middle East next month, and I decided to bring Sweet Berry Bruschetta to her going away party.

Sweet Berry Bruschetta has become one of my favorite desserts. The crispy, sweet toast; rich, creamy schmear; and sour, juicy berries form a tantalizing trio in your mouth bite after bite. Best of all, as far as desserts go, it's quite simple to make, and it looks beautiful served on a big platter.

Yesterday, as I was broiling the little toasts for the dessert, I smelled burning and threw open the oven door to save the bruschetta only to discover the bowels of Mordor within my oven. (That reference was for you, Ingrid.) I quickly slammed the door shut and ran around the house throwing open every window hoping all the while that the fire would run out of oxygen and die on its own. The house filled with smoke setting off the smoke detector which in turn set off the napping baby. I ran back into the kitchen to see the status of my oven bonfire. There was black smoke pouring out of the back. As my poor kids frightened cries sounded through the baby monitor, I grabbed the nearest large towel which happened to be her hoodie bath towel, drenched it with water, opened the oven, and smothered the flames all the while muttering to myself, "Just be safe."

The fire died, I sighed, the smoke detector silenced, and my baby soothed herself back to sleep. With my confidence deflated, I asked Michael to come home early to make the little toasts for me. They, of course, came out flawlessly golden brown and made perfect Sweet Berry Bruschetta.

Now it's time for you to try your hand at Sweet Berry Bruschetta. Just be careful when you use your broiler. Like most recipes I post on this blog, these are really just guidelines with lots of wiggle room for creativity. Have at it and have fun!

  • French bread sliced into about twenty pieces
  • About fifteen ounces of cream cheese or Mascarpone
  • A few teaspoons of sugar
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • Two cups of sour berries (I did blackberries and raspberries)
  • A few tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • Mint leaves

For the toast:
  1. Arrange bread slices on a cookie sheet. Spray a light coat of cooking spray on them and toast them in the oven under the broiler for a few minutes until golden brown.
  2. Flip the bread, sprinkle them with about three teaspoons of sugar, and toast under the broiler for about a minute until they are golden brown, not until they are on fire!
  3. Set the toast aside to cool.
For the schmear:
  1. Mix the cream cheese or Mascarpone with sugar (about four teaspoons) and vanilla. (In place of vanilla, you could try lemon zest. I think that would be delicious, though I haven't tried it yet myself!)
  1. Just before serving, spread a generous amount of the cream cheese schmear on the little toasts. Top with berries. Garnish with mint. Dust with powdered sugar. (Alternatively: skip the mint and top with toasted slivered almonds and drizzle with chocolate syrup.)
  2. Eat immediately.

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