No-bake desserts that are easy on your prep team and kitchen

No-bake desserts can work just as well in professional kitchens as they can at home. Consider these sweet treats whether you don't want to turn on your own oven or need to cut down on prep work at the restaurant.

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July 9, 2018 4 min read

Restaurant kitchens are always hot, and will be that way for some time to come. That doesn’t lessen the appeal of no-bake desserts for professional chefs, however. These easy-to-make treats reduce the pressure on your prep cooks, leaving additional time for more complicated tasks, and can be plated and presented in a flash. Students at Austin culinary arts schools can keep these recipes in mind whether they want to serve something at home to friends or their head chef is looking for a simple summertime dessert to add to their restaurant’s menu.


Cannoli and ice cream cones pair for a seasonal display

Cannoli are a classic dessert, happily found by legions of fans at bakeries and a variety of restaurants. The combination of sweet cheese and a crispy crunch, along with secondary flavors and textures such as chocolate, candied cherries and chopped pistachios, creates a palate-pleasing presentation.

Whether your kitchen doesn’t have a pastry chef skilled in making the tubular shells of the classic cannoli or you simply want to try a seasonal twist on this longtime favorite, consider the cannoli cone as a seasonally appropriate option. This recipe, shared by Martha Stewart, offers a classic preparation of cannoli cream, featuring a generous helping of riccota, and places the filling inside a standard sugar cone. The cone replicates the crunch of the cannoli shell while giving eaters a novel presentation that mixes a familiar forms and flavors into something new.

You can dress up this dish by making waffle cones in house – consider this recipe, also from Martha Stewart – studding the top of the cone with fresh berries and using pistachios and other garnishes to elevate the presentation.

Focus on the summer harvest with an updated peaches and cream dish

Peaches and cream is a dessert cemented in the pop culture consciousness, even if it’s not a constant on every restaurant’s dessert menu. Consider a slightly more sophisticated spin on the simple, classic combination of sliced fruit and whipped cream by adding a ginger syrup, a buttermilk-based cream and the crunch of waffle cone pieces to the mix. This recipe, offered by Bon Appetit, requires just a small amount of work. Boiling and peeling the peaches, making a simple ginger syrup and mixing buttermilk, sugar and cream cheese to make the whipped topping and crushing some waffle cones is all that’s required to get this dessert to the plating stage.

To put your own spin on this dish, you can add a crunch from a different source, such as granola, or developing some creative plating strategies. You can even experiment with using other fruits and base flavors for the syrup, taking the underlying concept into entirely new directions.

3 ingredients go a long way in this chocolate cheesecake

Cheesecakes are rich and filling, but also a good fit for the heat and humidity of summer. Their low temperature can cool off eaters as they enjoy the delicious mix of cream cheese, crust and a variety of other ingredients. This recipe from Food & Wine keeps the process especially simple, replying on just three ingredients – four, if you count the small amount of water needed – to make a delicious dessert.

Simply crush the chocolate wafer cookies, mix the cream cheese, chocolate syrup and water and follow the instructions for layering the ingredients to finish the job. This icebox cheesecake will keep for three days, further reducing the amount of prep work to be done. You can always add a flourish by incorporating some fresh fruit as a garnish or making more substantial additions to the recipe as well.

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