This is sponsored content.
In summer, it is common to reach the dessert course of a meal with little appetite left, and just want something light and sweet. Here are seven desserts that won’t fill you up, but will leave you with a lingering taste of sweetness at the end of the evening.
For something truly light and airy, try making a pavlova. This is essentially a baked meringue cake that can be taken in many different directions but is often served topped with fruit. Pavlovas are prepared with whipped egg whites with sugar, salt, and flavorings of your choice. The flavored whipped egg whites are spread onto a baking sheet and baked at a very low temperature for a long time, so you are baking and dehydrating the meringue. When you take a bite, the cake disappears in your mouth in one sweet bite.
Yogurt Fruit Parfait
This is a slightly more filling dessert, but still light and healthy. A yogurt fruit parfait is a dessert that consists of layers of fresh or macerated fruit, yogurt, and whatever other mix-ins you’d like to include. Granola, dried fruit, and nuts are the typical mix-ins, but you can get as creative as you like. You could also use different flavors of yogurt for different layers, or include a layer of whipped cream or even ice cream to make the dessert a little more decadent.
Angel Food Cake
Angel food cake is a classic dessert that you can make from scratch if you are so inclined, or from a box mix if you are a little more impatient. It is a light, fluffy sponge cake that melts in your mouth when you eat it. Unlike other cakes, angel food cake is normally not frosted but instead served with fruit in syrup, chocolate sauce, or ice cream. Or all three together. Another unsung benefit of angel food cake is that it is lower in calories than other cakes, largely due to the fact that it uses less butter.
When only something cold and perfectly creamy will do, turn to panna cotta. The Italian dessert is made with cream that is heated with sugar and flavorings and then set with gelatin to create a cool, creamy, sweet treat. You can flavor your panna cotta with sugar and vanilla bean, or you can get creative and head off in any number of directions. Almost anything that makes a good ice cream would make a good panna cotta flavor and panna cotta is much faster to make at home, not to mention healthier with less fat and sugar than ice cream.
The French dessert île flottante (floating islands) also called œufs à la neige (eggs in snow) consists of meringue served on top of crème anglaise, a thin vanilla custard. The islands or eggs are simply whipped egg whites with some salt, sugar, and vanilla that are poached in boiling water, and the crème anglaise can be purchased from the store or replaced with vanilla pudding if you prefer something simpler. Usually, the creamy base is thin, almost liquid so that the islands can float in it. Talk about light, airy, and heavenly.
Fruit trifle is a classic dessert that consists of fruit, cookies, and whipped cream layered beautifully into a deep glass dish. You can use any fruit that is in season, though berries and stone fruit are the most common. The fruit can be fresh or soaked in syrup or liqueur, and you can layer different colored fruits in your dessert to create a beautiful presentation. The cookies used are often ladyfingers, but can be any kind of cookie you want – try molasses or sugar cookies for something unusual and delicious, or make an all-vegan trifle using cookies from HamptonCreek.
The icebox cake is similar to a fruit trifle in that it is composed of fruit, cookies, and whipped cream. The main difference is that the cookies used for an icebox cake are usually crispy like graham crackers, and after assembly, the whole cake is left in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow the cookies to soften and create a cake-like layer.
These seven desserts primarily rely on fruit and cream, and many are served cold, making them ideal desserts for summertime. Serve one at your next barbecue or family gathering and rake in the compliments.