Dessert Sauces

Most dessert sauces fall into one of three categories.

1. Custard sauces.

Vanilla custard sauce, or crème anglaise, is presented early in this chapter. It is among the most basic preparations in dessert cookery. Chocolate or other flavors may be added to create varieties. See recipe on page 1008.

These are simply purées of fresh or cooked fruits, sweetened with sugar. Other flavorings and spices are sometimes added. Some fruit sauces are thickened with cornstarch or other starch.

Raspberry sauce and strawberry sauce, two popular items, can be made by simply puréeing frozen sweetened berries or by puréeing fresh berries and adding sugar to taste. See also the recipe for Applesauce,page 198.

3. Syrups.

This is a broad category that includes such products as chocolate sauce and caramel sauce.An understanding of sugar cooking is necessary to produce many of these sauces.

The following recipes are popular examples of this category of sauce.

Chocolate Sauce




500 mL 1 kg 190 g

Water Sugar Corn syrup

Combine the water, sugar, and syrup and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Boil 1 minute and remove from heat. Let cool 1-2 minutes.

S oz

2 oz

Unsweetened chocolate, melted Butter

Per 1 ounce:

Calories, 170; Protein, 1 g; Fat, 5 g ( 24% cal.); Cholesterol, 5 mg; Carbohydrates, 34 g; Fiber, 1 g; Sodium, 25 mg.

3. Melt the chocolate and butter together over low heat. Stir until smooth.

4. Very slowly stir the hot syrup into the chocolate.

5. Place over moderate heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 4 minutes.

6. Remove from heat and cool.

Caramel Sauce

1 lb 4 oz 112 tsp


Sugar Water

Lemon juice


1. Combine the sugar, water, and lemon juice in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

2. When the sugar is dissolved, cover the pan and boil for 2 minutes.

3. Uncover and cook to the caramel stage (see pages 1006-1007). Toward the end of the cooking time, turn the heat very low to avoid burning the sugar or getting it too dark. It should be a golden color.

4. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.

12 fl oz

375 mL

Heavy cream 5. Bring the heavy cream to a boil. Add a few ounces (50-100 mL) of the heavy cream to the caramel.

6. Stir and continue to add the cream slowly.

7. Return to the heat and stir until all the caramel is dissolved.

8. Let cool completely.

S fl oz

250 mL


Per 1 ounce:

Calories, 130; Protein, 1 g; Fat, 6 g (39% cal.); Cholesterol, 20 mg; Carbohydrates, 20 g; Fiber, 0 g; Sodium, 10 mg.

9. Stir the milk into the cooled caramel to thin it.


Hot Caramel Sauce

Prepare as directed through step 7. Omit the milk.

Clear Caramel Sauce

Substitute 5-6 fl oz (150-175 mL) water for the heavy cream and omit the milk. If the sauce is too thick when cool, add more water.


simple syrup dessert syrup crystallize crème anglaise pastry cream blancmange cream pudding baked pudding bavarian chiffon mousse ice cream Philadelphia-style ice cream

French-style ice cream ice milk sherbet granite still-frozen overrun parfait coupe

Peach Melba bombe


1. How can you avoid unwanted crystallization when cooking sugar syrups?

2. Light custard sauce and pastry cream both contain eggs. Why is it possible to boil pastry cream but not custard sauce?

3. Explain the importance of sanitation in the production of pastry cream.What specific steps should you take to ensure a safe product?

4. Light custard sauce, pastry cream, and baked custard are made with basic techniques that are also used for the following preparations. Identify which of the three techniques is used for each.

Coconut cream pie Baked rice pudding Butterscotch pudding Chocolate bavarian

French vanilla ice cream Pumpkin pie Custard pie Lemon meringue pie

5. Briefly describe the differences among bavarians, chiffons, mousses, and souffles.

6. When making dessert soufflés, what is the advantage of beating the egg whites with part of the sugar?

7. What difficulty would you encounter, when making a bavarian or a chiffon,if you chilled the gelatin mixture too long before folding in the whipped cream or egg whites?

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