AJAR.id – Hello Ajarian! Most desserts are served with a sweet sauce that compliments the dish. Sauces can be served hot, warm or cold and use different methods of thickening such as fruit pectin, butterscotch or caramel sauce.
Dessert sauces are touches that really make the dessert memorable. They are usually served on the side in a sauceboat or presented on the plate and enhanced with a piped design, the sauce can add a tremendous amount to the presentation as well as to the flavor of the dessert. Dessert sauces can be generally categorized as follows, although there are many variations of each, as well as hybrids that combine two or more types:
1. Caramel Sauces
Caramel sauces are prepared by melting and caramelizing sugar to the desired color, then by adding a liquid (in most cases water) to thin it to a sauce like consistency.
For the most basic caramel sauce nothing else is added. For a richer caramel sauce, cream and/or butter are incorporated (referred to as a butterscotch sauce). Other flavorings can be added to a basic caramel including spirits such as calvados and rum.
2. Chocolate Sauces
Chocolate sauces are of course, used extensively. They may be hot or cold, and either thin for masking a plate or very thick and rich, as a fudge sauce. A basic chocolate sauce is made from chocolate and/or cocoa powder, sugar and water cooked together. Richer versions contain the additions of cream and/or butter.
In the pastry kitchen, the term coulis is used for berry juices and fruit purees that are sweetened as needed, usually strained, then served as sauces. The term coulis has been used for as long as 600 years to refer to strained gravy or broth served with savory dishes. It comes from an old French word ‘coleis’, meaning straining, pouring, flowing or sliding.
Coulis are usually served cold, as a sauce or part of a compote. A well-made coulis should not separate when poured on a plate, the sauce should be cooked sufficiently to enact the pectin and therefore thicken the sauce.
4. Custard Sauces
The foundational custard sauce is crème Anglaise, also known as vanilla custard sauce. It is considered the mother sauce of the pastry kitchen. Not only can many other custard sauces, such as chocolate or coffee flavored sauce, be prepared from this base, but the ingredients and method of preparation for crème Anglaise are the starting point for many other dessert preparations.
5. Fresh Cream or Sour Cream Sauces
Crème fraiche, clotted cream and sour cream are all used as dessert sauces and toppings, sometimes thinned and/or sweetened. They most frequently accompany fresh fruit but are also served with warm baked fruit desserts, such as an apple tart.
These may be flavored with vanilla or a spice such as cinnamon. Fresh cream is used as a sauce both in the form of a heavy cream that is lightly thickened by whipping and whipped cream, or Chantilly cream, which is really more of a topping.
6. Sabayon Sauces
Sabayon sauces can be hot or cold and are made by thickening wine by whipping it over heat together with egg yolks and sugar. Sabayon sauces are served with fruit and with soufflés. Sabayon is also served as a dessert by itself. The Italian version of sabayon, zabaglione, is made with Marsala.
Sauces need to be made in sizes that can be managed. Some sauces can be made into larger batches and then frozen. Do not freeze in one large container. Break down into smaller container to more manageable sizes. If frozen in one large batch it will need to be thawed in one lot, cannot be re-frozen.
Read also: The Variety of Dairy Products Used to Make Desserts
Nurturing You to Grow®
Written by: Alan Hickman, Garry Blackburn
Subject Matter: Prepare hot, cold and frozen dessert