gwenllian's Russian cream is awesome, and quite easy to make. I would like to add here some things to enhance your experience of this sublime treat.
Since this dessert is so nearly perfect, I have tried only three variations.
- Use less almond extract and more vanilla. Perhaps my almond extract was stronger than most, but the taste was just enough to be distracting rather than being the subtle background taste it's meant to be
- Substitute yogurt for the sour cream. The taste is nearly the same, but different enough to be distinct. It is also quite pleasant.
- Substitute cream cheese for the sour cream. If you do this, add the cream cheese to the warm mixture rather than cooling it first. This sets up a bit more firmly, and again has a pleasant and distinctive taste.
I also mix in only a half-cup of water at first, then stir in a half cup of crushed ice
to speed the cooling before stirring in the sour cream
The stated strawberry, raspberry or blackberry sauces are great, but there are additional toppings I have found to be quite wonderful:
- Lemon or Lime sauce (mix the juice with powdered sugar until thick)
- Flavored syrups - maple, berry, etc.
- Ice cream toppings - there are dozens that are simply perfect for drizzling over russian cream!
- Chocolate syrup - perfect for the cream cheese variant especially!
- Spoonable jams - tart jams and preserves work best - mix in a bit of apple juice to make them more "drizzleable" if necessary
- Caramalized sugar - melt sugar and corn syrup and heat until bubbling, dip in a spoon and dribble over the russian cream - makes a crunchy topping
- Colored sugar granules or large-grain brown sugar
- Whipped cream and nuts
- Jello powder - just dust the top lighly with your choice of jello flavor
- Pour the mixture into several custard cups after stirring in the sour cream. When it is set, you can remove it and make individual servings. A colorful berry or lemon drizzle with a mint leaf on the side makes an attractive dessert dish for fancy meals. You can also serve it with a side of diced fresh fruit as well.
- Pour the still-liquid mixture into a flat glass pan. When it sets, cut the russian cream into small cubes and fill serving cups with the cubes, pouring your topping of choice over it.
- Mold the russian cream in a bundt pan and fill the center with fresh fruit set in jello (pour the liquid mixture into the center and let it solidify there). Drizzle a matching topping over the dessert and serve on a fancy platter.
There are certainly many more variations on this theme, but these should get you started. Enjoy!