Ina Garten's Simple Dessert Idea That's A Tasty Way To Use Up Frozen Berries

Beloved TV personality and chef Ina Garten uses her 18-year-long career as a specialty food store owner as fodder for her Food Network show and series of successful cookbooks that guide you through countless recipes, hacks, and dinner party ideas. In her book, "Barefoot Contessa at Home," Garten shares a recipe for frozen berries with hot white chocolate that's an easy and delicious way to use up frozen berries. If you're tired of using frozen berries in compotes or smoothies, this recipe, shared on her website, demonstrates that frozen berries are as tasty and juicy as their fresh counterparts. 

This dessert is as simple as berries and cream, with a major texture and flavor upgrade, thanks to the frozen berries releasing an abundance of juice upon contact with the hot, creamy drizzle of the white chocolate. Berry juice creates gorgeous blue, purple, and pink tributaries throughout the pearl-white ganache, making this dessert as stunning to look at as it is to eat. The delicate berries provide a cool and pleasant mouthfeel and temperature contrast to the warm, creamy ganache.

The beauty of this dessert is that it's quick, delicious, accessible, and budget-friendly — since frozen berries are less expensive than fresh berries. They're also more durable than fresh berries, so you don't have to worry about losing half of them to mold or bruising. Furthermore, while berries are summer fruits, you can enjoy this frozen berry dessert in the dead of winter.

How to make berries and white chocolate ganache

This recipe is an easy, four-ingredient dessert that you can whip up in minutes. Ganache is a simple blend of equal parts heavy cream to chocolate. You can make the ganache by bringing the cream to a low boil before pouring it over a roughly chopped white chocolate bar, blending the two together as the chocolate melts. Another method is to place the cream and white chocolate into a double boiler, stirring to combine. You can also adjust the ratio of cream to chocolate to produce a thicker or thinner ganache; for a thicker ganache, you'd add more white chocolate and less cream.

Garten's recipe uses the sweet, non-chocolatey taste of white chocolate as a blank slate to receive berries' flavors. She also adds a dash of vanilla to flavor the ganache. Considering vanilla is a key ingredient in white chocolate — and chocolate, for that matter – vanilla extract enhances the vanilla flavor inherent in white chocolate. That said, you can use other flavoring agents, like almond, coconut, or mint extract.

For this dessert, you should let your frozen berries thaw while you make the white chocolate to rehydrate them and assume the soft texture of fresh berries. The last step is to pour a shot of hot white chocolate over the berries. You can use this recipe with any leftover frozen fruit you're trying to use up, from peaches to pineapple.