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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Surprise Your Guests With Unique Desserts

Happy hump day everyone! Did you see the Geiko camel commercial today? Love it! Today I'm bringing you a few ideas that will help you create desserts in new and exciting ways. These recipes will keep curious guests begging for more!

"Carrot Cake" Cream Cheese
Daniel Richardson, Waffle and Wolf, 2011

  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup currants or raisins
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • tablespoons granulated sugar
  • teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • cups softened cream cheese
  • Waffles, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. 
  2. Combine the carrots, walnuts, brown sugarraisins, orange juice, oil, granulated sugar, cinnamon and cloves in a bowl and mix. Spread out into a 6-by-6-inch cake pan or a pan of similar size. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate, stir and then cook for an additional 15 minutes. Let completely cool, and then fully combine with the cream cheese. Refrigerate and use when ready. Spread on your favorite waffle recipe. 
  3. This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

Melon Carpaccio with Lime
Michael Laiskonis


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 sprigs mint plus small leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon thinly sliced fresh red chile (such as jalapeño or Fresno)
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 5-lb. melon (such as honeydew), peeled, halved, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/4" slices
  • Coconut, mango, or lemon sorbet (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest


  1. Bring sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add mint sprigs and chile. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Remove syrup from heat; cover and let steep for 15 minutes for flavors to infuse.
  2. Strain syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl; stir in lime juice. Do AHEAD: Syrup can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled.
  3. Arrange melon slices in a 13x9x2" glass baking dish. Pour syrup over melon in baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours to allow flavors to meld.
  4. Divide melon slices among plates, over-lapping them decoratively. Pour remaining syrup in dish into a small pitcher. DO AHEAD: Melon carpaccio can be made up to 5 hours ahead. Cover and chill melon and remaining syrup separately.
  5. Drizzle some of syrup over melon. Place a scoop of sorbet in center of each plate, if using; garnish with mint leaves and lime zest.

Banana and Blueberry "Ice Cream"
Bon Appetit

  • 4 firm ripe bananas, cut into chunks, frozen overnight
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Pinch of kosher salt
Purée bananas, blueberries, and salt in a food processor, scraping down sides as needed, until smooth and creamy.

DO AHEAD: Ice cream can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and freeze. Let sit at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.

Happy baking!

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