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When you think sous vide, desserts may not immediately come to mind. But what if I told you that sous vide desserts are some of the best desserts?
You'll probably think I'm full of it, but while the sous vide can't cook things like cake or pie (the crust would never cook!), it does wonders with anything custard or cream based.
Being able to easily make desserts that can take time is another benefit of sous vide cooking!
Because we're able to set the sous vide at a specific temperature, you don't have to worry about sugar getting to hot, burning, boiling, curdling, separating. No more using a double boiler or tempering to get that ultra creamy texture....so easy, so perfect.
Why Sous Vide Desserts?
Sous vide desserts offer several advantages that make them ultra appealing to home cooks (and chefs too - yes guys, restaurant chefs use these same easy techniques):
- Precise temperature control: Sous vide cooking allows for precise temperature control, which is crucial when making desserts that require specific temperatures for optimal results, such as custards, crèmes brûlées, and cheesecakes. It helps achieve consistent and precise cooking throughout the dessert. Enter ultra delicious creaminess!
- Enhanced flavor and texture: The gentle and even cooking process of sous vide can help retain the natural flavors and moisture of ingredients, resulting in desserts with enhanced taste and texture (so moist and delicious!). It can also help avoid overcooking or undercooking, leading to perfectly cooked and tender desserts.
- Consistency and repeatability: With sous vide, it's easier to achieve consistent results every time. Once you find the perfect cooking time and temperature for a dessert, you can replicate it precisely, ensuring the same delicious outcome repeatedly. This is really great when you want to impress 😉
- Time and convenience: Sous vide desserts often require minimal hands-on time and effort. You can prepare the dessert components, vacuum-seal them (or use small canning jars), and cook them in a water bath while attending to other tasks. This makes it convenient for busy individuals or even professional chefs who want to multitask in the kitchen.
- Versatility: Sous vide can be used for a wide range of desserts, including custards, puddings, poached fruits, infused syrups, and alcohol. It opens up possibilities for experimenting with flavors and textures while maintaining precision in cooking.
Overall, sous vide desserts provide a reliable and efficient cooking method that yields consistently delicious results, making them an attractive option for home cooks looking to make amazing desserts, or restaurant chefs looking to achieve consistent delicious desserts.
What Can't be Cooked Sous Vide?
Any dessert that needs to have evaporation of excess water/moisture is not a good candidate for sous vide.
For instance, meringue is made of mostly egg whites and sugar (like these almond meringues). The water from the egg whites musta evaporate for the meringues to get that crispy outer shell.
Also, pie crust and/or puff pastry needs air to help the water evaporate to allow it to rise and crisp. Same with cake. Basically, anything that needs to be fluffy and/or dry.
But custard....anything custard related works great. Mousse, pots de crème, crème brulee, so many options you can still make sous vide.
Sous Vide Dessert Recipes
Below are some amazing sous vide desserts that you 100% should try. Scroll down to see which one is my favorite (and comment below to let me know which one is your!).
This is a basic recipe for crème brulee using a touch of vanilla extract. I would encourage you to try some of these other options to expand your repertoire:
- Citrus Crème Brulee: Use a food processor to mix 1-2 teaspoons of lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit zest together with the sugar and let it set for 10 minutes then follow the rest of the recipe.
- Boozy Crème Brulee: Add 2 tablespoons of bourbon for a nice boozy crème brulee (great for holidays!).
- Lavender Crème Brulee: Add 1 tablespoon of dried culinary lavender to warmed cream and let it steep for 20 minutes. Strain the lavender out before using.
- Almond or Hazelnut Crème Brulee: Replace the vanilla extract with almond extract or hazelnut extract.
- Chocolate Crème Brulee: Stir in 3-4 ounces of melted semi-sweet chocolate.
- Cinnamon or Cardamom Crème Brulee: Add a cinnamon stick and/or a couple cardamom pods to the warm cream and let it steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cinnamon stock and cardamom pods before using.
- Use one of these flavor variations (most will require you to warm the cream so you can infuse it with flavor):
- Add 1 teaspoon of citrus zest (lemon, lime, orange) to the cream. Warm it and let it sit for 20 minutes before whisking it into your egg yolks. Strain before pouring into the jars.
- Add 2 tablespoons of bourbon or rum to the cream for a boozy custard.
- Add 1 tablespoon of dried culinary lavender to warmed cream and let it steep for 20 minutes. Strain the lavender out before using.
- Add a cinnamon stick and/or a few cardamom seeds to warm cream and let it steep for 20 minutes. Strain before pouring the mixture in jars.
- Steep a green tea bag with the warm cream for 10 minutes. Remove before using.
- Replace the vanilla extract with almond extract, peppermint extract or coconut extract (or any other flavored extract you might like).
We really love a good homemade from scratch baked cheesecake like this incredible strawberry shortcake cheesecake (or this fluffy Japanese souffle cheesecake), but the little individual sous vide cheesecakes are so easy to make, can be made in advance, and just come out so great!
This is a basic recipe, but you can make all different kinds of cheesecake:
- Chocolate Cheesecake: mix in ½ to 1 cup of chocolate chips, or 1-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder together with a teaspoon of instant coffee for extra chocolatey goodness. If it seems dry, add a touch of cream to loosen the batter.
- Lemon Cheesecake: Add 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the batter. Top it with sous vide lemon curd (below) for extra lemony goodness.
- Lavender Cheesecake: Add 1 tablespoon of culinary lavender to the sugar and process in a food processor.
- Oreo Cheesecake: Replace the graham crackers and brown sugar with crushed Oreos in the crust. You can also crush 5-7 Oreos and store them directly in the batter.
- Salted Caramel Cheesecake:
- Raspberry Cheesecake (or any berries): Mix in 1 cup of fresh raspberries. Can also use strawberries or blueberries.
- Pumpkin Cheesecake: Add 1 cup pumpkin puree, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ⅛ teaspoon cloves plus 1 teaspoon of flour to thicken the batter.
- Peppermint Cheesecake: Substitute peppermint extract for the vanilla extract and stir in ¼ to ½ cup crushed peppermint candy (or candy canes). This is really good made with a chocolate graham cracker crust (instead of the honey graham crackers).
Pure chocolaty goodness here. If you're into decadence, this recipe is for you!
You can stir in 1-2 teaspoons of orange zest, lemon zest, peppermint extract, almond extract, or anything else you might like to make these!
Forget about the tempering, constant stirring, and worry that the curd will come out chunky and gross. The sous vide make it ultra ultra easy and you can make different kinds:
- Lime Curd: Replace the lemon zest and juice with lime zest and juice.
- Orange Curd: Make with ½ cup orange juice and ¼ cup lemon juice and 1 teaspoon orange zest and 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
This is a more traditional flavor, but you can use this base recipe to make all different flan flavors:
- Almond Flan: Replace the vanilla extract with almond extract.
- Coconut Flan: Replace the vanilla extract with coconut extract and mix in ⅛ to ¼ cup shredded sweetened coconut.
- Chocolate Flan: Mix in 4 ounces of melted semi-sweet chocolate and ½ teaspoon ground instant coffee.
- Cinnamon Flan: Mix in 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
- Lavender Flan: Mix in 1-2 sprigs culinary lavender and let it sit for 20 minutes. Remove the lavender then continue with the recipe.
Ok, maybe not a dessert in everyone's eyes, but I personally think it can be dessert-like when you add fresh fruit, honey, granola, chocolate chips, coconut flakes....whatever you heart desires.
So you see? I beg you to try these recipes because I promise you will be blown away with how easy they are to make and how amazing they turn out.
Did you make any of these recipes? Leave a comment below and let me know how they turned out!