Chef Secrets: 5 Simple Tips For Delicious Desserts

by Travelling Peach

1. HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
Recommended by:
Anthony Marshall. Executive Chef at The Hilton Hotel, Park Lane
Anthony says ‘To make your own chocolate ganache, add 125g double cream and 125g Valrhona chocolate – trust me, it’s definitely the best and has the most incredible depth of flavour. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want another type ever again - to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Mix well until all the chocolate has melted and formed a ganache. Use to top cakes or cool and roll into delicious truffles. It’s literally that simple.’


2. SWEET PASTRY
Recommended by:
Brian Grigor. Executive Chef at Number One restaurant in Edinburgh’s The Balmoral Hotel
Brian says ‘To save time, make your pastry the day before and fill the tart itself on the day. You can blind bake the pastry case the day before and then, on the day, make your chocolate (or other) filling and cook it. It works just as well.’ 

But… ‘Even once it’s cooked, don’t store your tart in the fridge. So many people do but it’s never the same, especially the fillings, which often set hard. If this happens, you’ll need to remove the tart from the fridge and bring it back up to room temperature before serving but that plays with the consistency. Whereas, if you leave it at room temperature, it will still set and you’ll be able to cut it but for my Valrhona chocolate tart, for example, you’ll retain a lovely light mousse flavour and texture. It sounds simple but it makes a massive difference.’


3. USE SUGAR, NOT SALT, TO STABOLISE EGG WHITES 
Recommended by:
Amandine Chaignot. Executive Chef The Mirror Room restaurant in Rosewood London Hotel
Amandine says ‘When whipping egg whites, for meringues, soufflés, omelets or anything else, most people tell you to add a little salt (even my mum used to tell me that!) but actually it doesn’t do anything; what does work is sugar. As the sugar melts, it gives the egg whites a much better, more stable texture. They’ll start to resemble a soft meringue and will last longer too.’


4. MAKE YOUR SOUFFLÉ BASE MIXTURE THE DAY BEFORE
Recommended by:
Simon Young. Executive Chef at Jumeirah Carlton Tower, Knightsbridge 
Simon says ‘Soufflé bases used to be made from pastry cream and flavourings. Quite heavy so in order to prevent the soufflé from collapsing you had to make the mix just before cooking but these days you don’t need to. New style soufflés are made using a fruit purée and corn flour so are a lot lighter and can hold up for longer, meaning that it’s perfectly fine to make your base in the morning, store it in the fridge, cook it at 8pm and it will still rise.’ 


AND FINALLY… YOU CAN’T HAVE A DESSERT WITHOUT SOME BUBBLES TO ENJOY SO…

5. THE SECRET TO SPARKING GLASSES
Recommended by:
Anthony Marshall. Executive Chef at The Hilton Hotel, Park Lane
Anthony says ‘For perfectly clean, sparkling glasses crack an egg and separate the white from the yolk; then wipe the yolk on the glasses and wash it off.’ 
 




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