Recipes

The One Ingredient Missing From Your Desserts? Salt

The marriage of salt and sugar is one of the most sophisticated—and simplest—ways to add a burst of flavor to desserts.

It’s a stealth ingredient pastry chefs swear by: a smattering of salt in a dessert. The seasoning can do quiet work in the background, balancing the intense sweetness of a caramel, or the soft crunch of fleur de sel can take center stage. Bring salt out for the dessert course, and you’ll find the main course workhorse performs as it did at dinner—rounding out flavors, finishing a dish, and making tastes pop.

Salt + Chocolate
Take a classic, crowd-pleasing dessert, add sea salt, and a brownie goes from after-school snack to dinner party star. Our Walnut Sea Salt Brownie, shipping this month, is dusted with delicate pyramid-shaped flakes, and they add a light, crunchy texture that shines against the backdrop of intense chocolate. The same principle works in chocolate chip cookies.
(Image: Plated)

Salt + Caramel
An idea cooked up by the French some 400 years ago, salt in caramel is divine all on its own. But this recipe for salted pumpkin caramels is both elegant and earthy. Crisp, nutty pepitas add texture, canned pumpkin adds depth, and the entire affair manages to encompass everything we love about fall in one sweet-salty bite. If you want to take the fall vibe in a different direction, try salted caramel apples.
(Image: Food52)

Salt + Ice Cream
When you want sweet, salty and creamy all in one bite—but have a bare cupboard and no ice cream maker—whip up this three-ingredient sea salt ice cream, inspired by a charming shop on the coast of Ireland. When you’ve some more time and more ingredients on hand, salty ice cream bon bons are calling your name.

Salt + Honey
Just as honey and spice work so well together
, so too do honey and salt. Here, in a salty honey pie made famous by Brooklyn’s beloved Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie shop, what could be a treacly-sweet honey custard filling gets a hit of salt…and then everything’s fine.
(Image: Hummingbird High)