5 Useful Dessert Tricks

It’s a great idea to have some awesome techniques in your repertoire for desserts, especially when you need to bring a special treats for the holidays or to parties. These quick and easy techniques will ensure everyone thinks you’re a bakery chef extraordinaire, only you’ll know how simple your desserts really were to make. Utilize these tricks of the trade to make delicious desserts anytime! Learn these tips and you too will have an arsenal of dessert possibilities available.

1. Real Buttercream – this isn’t that much harder than the powdered sugar frosting most people know. However the taste is superior and the texture will melt in your mouth. The technique involves making a sugar syrup, cooking until it is a soft-ball stage, and whipping with eggs. Once combined you can just add in room temperature butter until it comes together. (See below for full recipe). This frosting can be used on any kind of cake or torte, and is so delectable everyone will want to know your recipe.

2. Meringue – light and fluffy, the crown on top of lemon meringue pie, this technique can also be used when baked at a low temperature to make meringue cookies. These delicate and airy treats are easy to make, and require very few ingredients. You’ll only dirty one bowl- what could be easier? Egg whites and powdered sugar are whipped until they a stiff, and hold a peak when you remove the beater.

3. Ganache – perhaps the most luscious of dessert techniques. Rich, luxurious chocolate ganache can be prepared in different textures for multiple recipes, but the base is simply dark chocolate melted in heavy cream. A light ganache (made with one part chocolate to two parts heavy cream) can be used to spread on top of chocolate cakes or tortes. A heavy ganache (two parts chocolate to one part heavy cream) has a much denser fudge-like texture.

Heavy ganache is utilized for a myriad of dessert recipes and makes a popular confection: chocolate truffles. Simply make the heavy ganache, refrigerate for an hour, and then scoop (use a melon baller or small dough scoop for best results) into small balls and roll between your palms. Once formed, roll truffles in your choice of cocoa powder mixed with powdered sugar, ground nuts, or flaked coconut and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

4. Trifle – this technique, based on the traditional English dessert, can lead to іnfіnіtе variations. A ѕtrіkіng dеѕѕеrt, trifle is characterized by the stacking of lауеrѕ of саkе, fruit, and whірреd сrеаm оr custard in a bowl. This tasty treat is a fabulous way to try different fruits, as well as use leftover cake (it’s original purpose).

 5. Gelatin – this humble ingredient, gelatin is best known as the base of jello-like desserts. However, it can be used in many other ways, creating elegant and unique desserts. The most important consideration in utilizing gelatin is technique- first it must be bloomed (prepped) by soaking in cold water. After a few minutes it then needs to be dissolved completely in hot liquid.

When bloomed and whipped with egg whites and sugar, it can also create homemade marshmallows; the taste and texture is far superior to store-purchased marshmallows. This is an especially impressive technique to use for parties or special family treats.

Gelatin can also be used to make panna cotta, the traditional Italian dessert. The name panna cotta simply means cooked cream, and this this luscious creamy dessert takes very little time to make. Simply take two cups each of cream and milk, reserve about 1/4 of this and bloom three teaspoons of gelatin. Heat the remaining cream and milk until just under boiling, and add the gelatin mixture. Stir over medium heat until dissolved. Cool, then pour in ramekins or other small dishes. Refrigerate until set, about four hours.

 

Recipe for Buttercream

5 eggs, separated (use 2 whole and 3 just yolks)
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
8-10 ounces soft butter

Start by whipping eggs in a mixing bowl until frothy and light colored. Cook sugar and water over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Raise to medium heat, until boiling. Do not continue stirring, but allow to cook until at the soft ball stage. Remove from heat, and pour into the eggs while whipping. Continue to whip this mixture for 1-2 minutes, then begin adding the butter one spoonful at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Once all of the butter is added in, the icing will come together as one thick mixture.

 

With these awesome techniques, you can make scrumptious treats quickly and simply. None of them require anything more than a bit of practice to make perfect. Try out any one of these tips, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.