Generally, there are two types of home cook – those who follow a recipe to the letter, and those who are happy to just take a look in the fridge and make something up. Both schools of cooking have their benefits, but with desserts (especially baking and pastry), it’s key to learn the basics if you want consistently good results.
Once we start to rely on recipes, however, it can be hard to move away from them and start experimenting on our own. It’s even more tough to create an original dessert from scratch – something even professional chefs struggle with. As one of the UK’s top pastry chefs, Daniel Fletcher has made more than his fair share of new desserts – one of which helped Gordon Ramsay retain two Michelin stars in New York.
‘I was given the task to create a new dessert by Josh Emett, the executive chef for Gordon in New York, after just one month of working there,’ he tells us. ‘I spent a few of my days off at work testing and creating, and eventually came up with a dessert of rum, white chocolate, mango and basil. It was quite classical in presentation, layered in a martini glass, but it ate really well and the team were very impressed. It went onto the menu and when the Michelin guide came out we kept our two stars and my dessert was listed as one of the standout dishes on the menu.’