Dessert in a Glass

by Eddy Van Damme on September 14, 2010

Cherries topped with chocolate Port sauce and hazelnut streusel

One of the things I like about serving a dessert in a glass or verrine is that no special equipment is needed. All you basically need is a modern style glass and you are set to go to make a contemporary dessert. The other and most important reason is that a glass allows options which may not be possible if the dessert is made other than in a glass. Take for example mousses and creams of all kinds, if made into molds these usually will need a higher amount of setting agent (gelatin, chocolate, cocoa butter, agar, eggs etc) compared to a cream destined to go directly in a glass.  Softer creams are always more wonderful on the palate, no one can argue with that.

For this dessert I covered the cherries with a delicious chocolate Port sauce. Cherries pair wonderfully with chocolate and the Port enhances and deepens the flavor of the cherries beautifully. Something else that works perfectly with cherries is hazelnuts and therefore the cherries are topped with hazelnut streusel. For the vanilla cream I selected a Panna cotta flavored with Kirsch liquor but a Bavarian cream or a vanilla gelato would be just great as well.

Getting It All Together!

Panna cotta can easily be made a day ahead and kept in the refrigerator. The chocolate port sauce will last for at least a week in a refrigerator and the streusel can be frozen unbaked. Simply bake what you need.

Chocolate Port Sauce

Yield: -4 -6 servings

1 Cup (8 oz) Ruby Red Port 240 g
3 Tablespoons (1.5 oz) Extra fine granulated sugar 45 g
1 oz (1 oz) Bitter sweet chocolate 30 g
2 teaspoons (1/3 oz) Unsalted butter 10 g
1 pinch (1 pinch) Fleur de sel pinch
  1. In a saucepan bring the Port to a boil and reduce to at least half. Remove from heat.
  2. Whisk in the chocolate and let cool for a few minutes until the temperature is near 120°F (49°C).
  3. Whisk in the butter and salt.

Hazelnut Streusel

Yield: 8 oz (240 g)

4 Tablespoon (2 oz) Unsalted butter, cold 60 g
4 Tablespoons (2 oz) Brown sugar 60 g
½ Cup (2 oz) Hazelnut flour/meal, cold 60 g
½ Cup (2 oz) Pastry or all purpose flour, cold 60 g
1 pinch (1 pinch) Fleur de sel pinch
  1. In a food processor or mixing bowl fitted with a paddle, mix the ingredients until the mixture resembles large bread crumbs.
  2. If the mixture has formed to dough place it in the freezer and when hard use a grater to grate flakes.
  3. Bake the streusel on parchment in a 375°F (180°C) oven until golden brown.

13 comments on “Dessert in a Glass

  1. Simple and beautiful! What I like about your work and articles is that they are always relevant. A wealth of inspiration.

  2. kenn Johnson on said:

    Can’t wait to make this. All your recipes come out great.

  3. I love cherries and I can already see that this is a winner. Thanks for sharing another recipe.

  4. Looks just beautiful as always 🙂

  5. Diana Wallace on said:

    This looks beauiful! I can’t wait to try it!

  6. Hilary Adams on said:

    Looks amazing!! I’ve tasted the streusel and the panna cotta and I know how amazing those turned out!

    I am not a “prt” person, really… so, as a person who really doesn’t know much about it, is there anything I should know before I buy port to do this? Is there a brand preference or anything I should look or watch for on labels (so that I can get a flavor in the finished product that closely resembles yours)? Thanks! ;0)

  7. Anahi Chandler on said:

    I´ve just came across to your amazing website. I´m a Chef, just 3 years since i left school and i´ve decided to study and dedicate my time to pastry and chocolate. Is so inspiring to read your recipes. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR TIME AND KNOWLEDGE !!!
    Have a great time 😉

  8. i loved that sauce. it is just out of this world. Can we make it with white chocolate without adding the butter?

  9. Eddy Van Damme on said:


    I have not tried making the sauce using white chocolate. It sounds like your suggestion may work. Give it a try.

  10. Karen Llorens on said:

    Chef Eddy,
    I love the idea of making dessert in a glass and I absolutely agree that doing so would cut out the need for all of the fancy equipment we usually use in class. I am definitely going to try making something in a glass. Not much of a cherry person so I’d try this recipe but substitute it for some other berry ….but just beautiful really!!!

  11. Lee Ann Romero on said:

    Chef Eddy, can’t wait to try this with some of my home-state Traverse City, Michigan cherries! Is that chrystalized ginger on the cherry stems? I’d like to know how to make the chocolate (?) garnish.

  12. Ben Davenport on said:

    Chef Eddy,

    Panna cotta and cherries are wonderful combination. The fresh cherries really amplify this desserts flavor.

    Ben Davenport

  13. What a beautiful presentation! One of the most requested dessert my family asks me to make is usually vanilla bean panna cotta and I always present it in a simple plastic cup. Next time around, I’m going to have to dress it up like your beautiful piece of artwork, thanks Chef!

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