This post is dedicated to those who want to make an elegant dessert without fuss. I’m thinking of the Chocolate Mocha Roulade commenters who loved the cake but said they couldn’t possibly make it. (They could make the roulade – really it’s not difficult – but that’s beside the point.) These chocolate-filled bites take just minutes to prepare, do not require baking, and provide all the elegance you’ll ever need for a party dessert.
These bite-sized delights have to be the simplest dessert ever: five ingredients (six if you add cute little decorations), five minutes, and no skill at all.
No, I did not make the little phyllo shells myself. I have nothing against semi-homemade and loved these delicate, already-baked shells found in the freezer section of the grocery. In my book, buying a pre-made base for dessert is a perfectly acceptable way to save your sanity. Especially at holiday time, sanity is high priority. Filling the store-bought shells with this homemade filling will garner you praise from your guests without sending you over the edge.
I used an orange-flavored liqueur to add a special touch. Feel free to substitute another type of liqueur (maybe almond-flavored Amaretto or coffee-flavored Kahlua) or use a non-alcoholic flavoring. The chocolate-filled bites look delectable “as is,” but I couldn’t resist adding sugar pearl decorations. Any delicate decoration with good color contrast to the chocolate works well.
This chocolate whipped cream was inspired by Alice Medrich’s wonderful post for The Splendid Table titled 10 Ways to Flavor Whipped Cream. I discovered dessert chef and chocolatier Medrich through her contributions to a one of my most treasured cookbooks, The Baker’s Dozen Cookbook. Since then I’ve enjoyed her recipes in that book and bought another book of hers Seriously Bittersweet. Although my chocolate whipped cream is more richly flavored than hers, I began with her technique and improvised from there.
If you don’t have pre-baked shells or want a gluten-free alternative, serve the flavored whipped cream in tiny cups. I have plastic shot glasses that work wonderfully for this purpose, with this whipped cream or lemon chiffon mousse.
Two Silly But Neat Tricks for Making this Recipe
- This recipe makes just 1/2 cup, enough for at least 12 tiny shells. Tired of cleaning up dirty dishes? If you use a liquid measuring cup for the heavy cream, you can whip it there with a hand mixer, without need to dirty another bowl.
- You can fill the shells with a spoon. However, to avoid messing up the shells, use an improvised pastry bag to pipe the filling. It’s easy to do and does not require any special equipment. Just spoon some of the chocolate whipped cream filling into a plastic sandwich bag, cut off one bottom corner and squeeze the filling into the shell.