Developing a Plated Dessert

I spend a lot of time both in coaching sessions and in class yammering on about what makes a good plated dessert in a restaurant. There are lots of opinions on this in the Pastry Industry I’m sure, but this is the guideline I like to use. I’ve included my “dessert mother sauce” list because if you are developing a plated dessert for competition or for a menu, I find these sauces are a good jumping off point. Start simple, then work your way into a more complicated flavor profile, just changing one thing at a time and assessing after each change.

Components of a Plated Dessert

  1. Creamy
  2. Crunchy
  3. Acidic
  4. Warm/ Cold (temperature variation)
  5. Visual appeal

Every plated dessert has:

-Main Items







Visual Impact


My Dessert “Mother” Sauces

  1. Crème Anglaise
  2. Fruit Coulis
  3. Caramel
  4. Pastry Cream
  5. Ganache

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