The sweet sauces!

Sauces draws our mind to the ubiquitous tomato sauce, chilli sauce, soy sauce or may be continental sauces such as bechamel, mornay, mayonnaise. However there are sweet sauces, used to enhance various pastry products! Let’s have a look at those.

Vanilla Sauce / Creme Anglaise

It is a made similar to a custard, however it is stirred constantly as the eggs thicken over heat as a result the custard stays loose and pourable instead of setting firmly. Vanilla sauce is used as a sauce accompaniment to many desserts, and also serves as the base for other classical and contemporary applications such as Bavarian cream & ice cream.


Sabayon is a rich, substantial sauce of foamed egg yolks, sugar and wine (Marsala is used in the making of the traditional Italian version, zabaglione). Sabayon, however, may also serve as the base for a mousse and may be stabilized with gelatin and used as a cake or torte filling. The sabayon is a rich sauce and is traditionally served with fresh fruit, berries, or other lean or acidic ingredients. chocolate may be added to the sauce towards the end of cooking, however this will result in the loss of airiness of the sauce.

Chocolate Sauce

It is important to use the good quality chocolate to make a chocolate sauce that is smooth, & richly flavoured. Dark chocolate sauce can be made from unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate or a combination of the two. To get the most intense flavour, add a measure of cocoa powder, but be sure to adjust the sauce’s flavour and sweetness with sugar.

Fruit Sauces

There are basically two varieties of fruit sauces. coulis & compote. coulis are made form a smooth puree mixture made from fresh or frozen fruits.

Compote are made from either dried , fresh or frozen fruits and it is a chunky mixture. Both the sauces may be cooked or uncooked. However, coulis are typically cooked or heated only slightly to facilitate the full incorporation for sugar.

Compotes on the other hand may be simmered for a period of time to infuse flavours, soften dried fruits, or reduce liquids. Only the ripest, most flavourful fruits will yield a good quality sauce.

Fruit sauces may be used as a base for flourless souffles, or to flavour bavarian cream, butter cream, and other fillings and frostings.

Caramel Sauce

There are two basic types of caramel sauce; clear & enriched. Clear caramel sauce is made by cooking sugar to a deep, richly flavoured caramel and then adding a liquid.

A good standard ratio for making clear caramel sauce is two parts by weight of sugar to one part liquid. The liquid added to the caramel to make the sauce may be anything from water to fruit juices to liqueurs or any combination thereof, to get a desired flavour profile. clear caramel sauce does not require that any enrichment be added; however a small amount of butter is often used to finish the sauce by stirring it in after the addition of liquid.

Enriched caramel sauces are made by adding butter, and some type of liquid dairy product, usually heavy cream, added as an enrichment. The fat and emulsifiers present in the butter and cream add body and flavour to the sauce. It is important to the liquid to be added to the caramel should be warm to prevent spattering of bot liquid or sugar.

Both the types of caramel sauce can be enriched in flavour by adding ingredients such as spices, teas, or coffee beans to the mixture after liquid has been added. These ingredient must be allowed to steep with the sauce for a few minutes to impart their full flavour and then strained from the sauce before serving.

Caramel sauce can also be used as the filling for a confection, for decor, or as the base or flavouring for a filling, apart from its use as an accompaniment.

Reduction sauces

Reduction sauces have a coating consistency. Reduction sauces are prepared by simmering juices, wines, or other alcoholic beverages over low to moderate heat to thicken and develop their individual characteristic flavours. Reducing liquids to create this type of sauce not only serves to enhance the desired flavour of the ingredient, but may also concentrate undesirable characteristics, hence the selection of ingredients for reduction sauce should be carefully done.

Mastering the art and craft baking & pastry - Second Edition by Culinary Institute of America (2009)
Further reading 

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