Party favorites

Sweet treats that are guaranteed to please any crowd.

Party favorites (photo credit: Courtesy)
Party favorites
(photo credit: Courtesy)
STRAWBERRIES AND CHOCOLATE Makes 10 shot-size servings
You may prepare this dessert in advance and refrigerate, but remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. If you can’t find strawberries, use another fruit.
✔ 10 perfect strawberries ✔ 50 gr. white chocolate, broken ✔ 10 decorating sugar pearls (we like silver colored) ✔ 200 gr. bitter chocolate, broken ✔ 1 carton cream ✔ 20 gr. (11⁄2 Tbsp.) butter
Cut off the stems of the strawberries to make the bottoms flat. Place them on a plate and refrigerate.
Refrigerate 10 shot glasses or other small cups.
In the microwave, melt the white chocolate (30 seconds). If not melted, continue until chocolate is completely melted but be careful not to overheat. The time needed differs from one microwave oven to another. You can also use a double boiler to melt the chocolate.
Dip the tips of the strawberries in the melted chocolate, place back on the plate and top each strawberry with a decorating pearl. Refrigerate.
Melt the bitter chocolate, butter and cream in a small pot over low heat and stir until cream is smooth. Divide the chocolate cream equally among the 10 shot glasses, and top each one with a decorated strawberry. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Note: You can add brandy, whiskey or orange liqueur to the chocolate cream. Another option is to season the cream with 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon.
Instead of the strawberries, you can use canned cherries or crumbled chocolate.
Recipe courtesy of Orly Pely-Bronstein of Sugat sugar CARAMEL-PEAR PUFF PASTRY WITH CHEESE Makes 2
✔ Four 5 x 5-cm. squares of ready-made puff pastry ✔ 1 egg, beaten, for brushing ✔ 1⁄4 tsp cinnamon ✔ 2 Tbsp. 9% white cheese ✔ 2 Tbsp. white cheese for baking (Tuv Ta’am) ✔ 1 tsp. lemon or orange zest ✔ 1 pear, halved, cooked in red wine (see recipe below)
Heat oven to 180º. Line a small baking dish with parchment paper.
Using a sharp knife. cut a small square in two of the pastry squares, but don’t remove them. Place each cut square on top of an uncut square. Brush the pastry squares with egg and bake for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix cheeses together and season with cinnamon and lemon zest.
When the pastry shells are golden, remove from oven. Remove the small squares from the center, place half a pear in the cavity and a little of the cheese mixture next to it. Drizzle a little of the caramel sauce around the dish and on it and serve immediately.
Option: Use chocolate sauce or maple syrup and add a little mint to the cheese mixture.
Pear cooked in red wine
Halve pear and remove the seeds. Place in a small pot and cover with red wine, 1 Tbsp. sugar and 1 tsp. of mixed seasonings such as cardamom, cinnamon and ground cloves. Cook over low heat for 45 minutes, turning the pear from time to time.
Caramel sauce
In a nonstick pot, cook 2 Tbsp. of sugar over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When sugar is dissolved, slowly add 1⁄2 cup water and mix until sugar dissolves completely. Continue cooking until the caramel sauce thickens. Cool before tasting. Do not try to taste while cooking but only after the sauce has cooled completely.
Recipe and photo courtesy of chef Barak Horesh of Tara dairies