Layers in a Glass Recipe

Layered Dessert

This is one of my favorite recipes when I want to make a light individual dessert that’s quick to make, yet looks nice and sophisticated. I served it the other night to end our duck confit meal, after which “light and refreshing” was definitely the way to go. This recipe lends itself to an endless number of variations, but I’ll tell you what I used this time as an example.

I used about 500g of fromage blanc, which is a sort of plain yogurt, with a thicker texture and a milder taste. In a bowl, I mixed half of the fromage blanc with about 4 tbsp of raspberry jam, which we had bought at a road-side stand (along with a basket of raspberries, fresh and sweet) during our week-end in the south-west of France. In another small bowl, I crumbled 6 small butter cookies, not too finely.

I then assembled the dessert, in four identical clear glasses. In each of them I poured a few drops of crème de cassis, a thick sweet blackcurrant liqueur, mostly used diluted in white wine to make kir cocktails. I dropped about 8 raspberries in each, on top of which I spooned a layer of plain fromage blanc, dividing it equally between the four glasses. I sprinkled the cookie crumbs, and spooned the raspberry fromage blanc. Through all this spooning and pouring, make sure not to stain the sides of the glass, so the layers appear neatly. The glasses were then stored in the refrigerator. Right before serving I arranged three pralines (crunchy sugar-coated almonds) on top, and balanced a Croquant de Provence, a finger-shaped crunchy almond cookie, on the rim of the glass.

The great thing about this dessert, besides the oohing and aahing it usually prompts, is that it’s fun to eat : one digs into the different geological strata, and each bite brings a different set of textures, keeping your taste buds on their toes!

In the past, I’ve made a blueberry and a cherry versions of this versatile dessert. The recipe can be adapted to use what goodies you have on hand. Plain or flavored yogurt, quark, cottage cheese, beaten mascarpone or ricotta could be substituted for the fromage blanc. Honey, chocolate or maple syrup can be poured in the bottom, you can include layers of toasted or glazed nuts, any fruit (berries or fruit cut in tiny cubes, fresh or dried) and any jam can be used, any type of biscuit, crunchy or soft, you can top the glasses with whipped cream, berries, shaved chocolate or nuts, … the limit is the sky!

The only rule to go by is to alternate colors and textures, and to accessorize with a cute biscuit that can be dipped in and nibbled on. If you try this, be sure to let me know what your variation was!

  • What a simple, pretty, versatile and tasty idea! The inspiration is endless here, Clotilde. (Can you tell I’m spending an early morning contentedly going through your archives? Don’t mind me…)

  • Jackie – I’m glad you like the idea and are inspired by it! It’s more of a concept than a recipe really, and I love that kind of thing, it lets your inspiration be guided by the contents of your fridge and cupboards!

    And I certainly do not mind your lingering around here, you are a very nice guest to have! :)

  • I was linked to your site, and throughly adore it! But you keep making me hungry! :)

    We had a lb of the most luscious strawberries, so I made a variation of your cup desert with ganache, strawberries, ricotta, and crunchy chocolate biscuits. Decadent and lovely.

    This recipe is also reminicient of my “berry-misu”, made the same way as a tiramisu, but with raspberries, chambord, and a rich chocolate cake substituting for the coffee, liquor and ladyfingers

  • hi clotilde,
    what can i use instead of rum for this recipe? (sth. non-alcoholic?)

  • oops! wrong post. i mean for vanilla pecan squares recipe.

  • Jenn – Your variation sounds luscious, and I love the name “berry-misu”!

    Hatice – Usually, in baking, when a recipe calls for alcohol (like rum here), you can omit it without endangering the end result. The taste will be a tad less complex, but it will still be good.

  • emma

    thanks, this is a real help in my layered dessert cookery project. :-)

  • mina

    Clotilde, I tried this yesterday and it was a big success !! By the way, I love your blog and all that comes with it .. ;-) muchas gracias

  • K

    Isn’t this just a parfait of sorts?

  • Annalee Porter

    I love your blog!
    I have used graham crackers, lady fingers, bits of white chocolate, mushed peaches, brown sugar, meringues etc. and all have been wonderful components of a gorgeous parfait!

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