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Anatomy of a Dessert: Make Sure It’s Simple

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The majority of modern kitchen desserts are made up of slices of pie, cake or tart, served on a plate decorated with whipped cream an lone berry or mint leaves. However, there’s more to a delicious dessert. As chefs spend their hours thinking about the various elements of their appetizers and entree presentation and menus, they should also give consideration to desserts.

Desserts must have the same balance and variety of tastes, textures temperature, forms, and colors as other dishes. To accomplish this, dessert presentation benefits from the following five components:

Base: usually crispy or cake-like
Filling: creamy or the ripe fruit
Sauce: complements the textures, colors and tastes of the other ingredients
Textural component: like cookies that are crispy or dried fruit chips
Garnishes: edible and useful

Its base as well as the filling

The foundation of a plate dessert may be anything from lemon pound cake, almond genoise infused with hazelnut-flavored syrup, to a crisp sugar-cookie base. Imagine the base as a edible container that can hold the primary element of the dessert such as the graham cracker crust of cheesecake as well as that flaky apple tart crust, or the soft and moist biscuit of shortcakes made of strawberries. The base must be delicious but shouldn’t overpower the other elements of the dish.

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The primary body, or filling for desserts typically includes creamy components like mousse or pastries, ganache, or Bavarian cream. The basic cream bases, as well as traditional savory sauces, can be flavor-infused and then flavored to create an endless variety of unique fillings or the main ingredient of your dessert. Simple pastry creams like bechamel sauce, can be made in bulk and use in a variety different ways to flavor desserts. It can be lightened by whipping cream, colored by fruit puree, or thinned using other liquids to create sauce. Chocolate ganache that is laced with cordials or liquors and mousses made with pureed nuts or fruits can be a tempting option. Also, make sure to be mindful of flavors.

Fillings could also be based on fruits with ripe, flavorful fruits that are in season. A variety of fruit benefit by “macerating” and flavoring them with tiny amounts of sugar and other flavors, for example, fresh strawberries with vanilla , and citrus zests and lemons. Some fruits also benefit from cooking before to serving in desserts. Grill pineapple, poach pears , or sauté apples to provide them with new and interesting flavors in terms of colors, textures and flavors. Be aware that the methods of grilling, roasting poaching,. are executed in exactly the same way for fruit as they are for meats. There’s not much you could perform differently grilling a fruit than you would when grilling an entrée.


Dessert sauces have a lot in common with the most renowned sauces from the world of savory. As we mentioned the pastry cream is the dessert equivalent to bechamel that is a starch-thickened dish consisting of eggs and milk that can also be used as a filling or binder. Creme anglaise is similar to the dessert hollandaise an emulsion that is thickened by eggs. Although caramel sauce isn’t thickened by roux, as an savory brown sauce could be, it has a deep rich, full-bodied flavors as a demi-glace reduction or Jus lie. Beurre blanc sauces are quite easily made sweeter to use in dessert applications and there’s similarity between sweet and savory coulis sauces. There are also chocolate sauces that could be a good fit for beurre blanc, which is an emulsion with fat that has been thickened.

No matter what your sauce’s base you choose, it’s just easy to modify extravagant sauces to desserts as you can in the world of savory. The Creme anglaise sauce can be made by using coffee beans, cinnamon sticks, or star anise in similar fashion to how the hollandaise sauce is flavored by tarragon. This makes the bearnaise. Caramel sauce is often topped with cordials. A demi glace is made with Madeira. Coulis can be spiced or flavored in the exact way similar to tomato sauces.

When selecting the right dessert sauce, follow the same thinking process when you choose a sauce to use for savory dishes. Prior to all else is the flavor effect. What flavor does the sauce add in the food? The next thing to consider is the color and texture. Sauces should play essential role in the dish and it must be sufficient. A suitable serving size of dessert sauces ranges from 1/2 to 12 oz and 1/2 ounces. There are many instances where the chefs “garnish” the plates with three or five tiny drops of sauce that amount to less than a teaspoon, but not enough to change the taste or texture of the food.

Textures and garnishes

A lot of desserts are made up of soft and creamy ingredients. Mousses, ganaches and ripe cooked fruits and sweet cakes all have a soft texture. Crispy elements can help delight the palate by providing a different textures, which may come from the foundation of the dessert it self. They can also serve as an ingredient, like thin tuiles that are cut or made into an attractive form or a toasted flavor grain or nut. Textural elements must also be scrumptious. Include toasted spices in the tuile batter or the cookie dough to create the right flavor and variety and help it be a better match to the food.

Another option for texture on the dessert plate is to use fruit chips. Slice fruit like pineapples, apples, or pears very thin. Cover lightly with flavorful simple syrup, then bake on silpats or parchment sheet in the oven in a lower (250o F) oven until they’re dried and crispy.

Other garnishes may be placed on the platter insofar as they’re practical. If you’re considering garnishes, think about “What is my guests to be doing with it? Are I expecting them to consume this as a part of the meal? Does it make the food taste better or be detrimental to the dish? If the guest did not eat the garnish as part of the meal will that alter the dish?” All too often desserts are garnished with edible , but not-essential garnishes. Are you sure that your guest will consume the entire mint leaf edible flower or sprinkle of sugar or cocoa powder around the edges of the dish? Garnishes must increase the flavor as well as the texture and temperature of the dish as well as their appearance and color.

Garnishing merely to give color to an item isn’t really useful.