Friday, April 22, 2011

Custard Sauces-Fresh Herb Inspired

It is often a tremendous challenge to choose a cake flavor that is personal, interesting and appealing to your many guests. The tendency is to choose a flavor that appeals to the lowest common denominator, but why have anything common at your wedding? Adding to a dessert plate with a few berries or a dollop of whipped cream is lovely in and of itself- but why not add another layer of flavor and interest to your cake?

Here we have put together three different fresh herb inspired custard sauces. The base for all three of these sauces is the classic Creme Anglais- that creamy sauce that is luscious enough to coat a spoon, but not weigh heavy on your palate. Imagine- soft tender cake soaked with lovely custard- heaven!

The first combination is Fresh Mint Custard Sauce. In the warming milk fresh mint is steeped to draw out the oils to infuse the sauce with a light delicate mint flavor. Cream and mint have been good partners and so too are here. Click here for Fresh Mint Custard Sauce recipe.

The second is something most people don't think of when talking about dessert- Sweet Basil Custard Sauce. Basil is a proud member of the mint family, and when you taste this sauce, the sweetness of the sugar pulls you toward that minty-ness in a way you don't usually recognize. But not to be confused with a mint at all- there is a beautiful herbaceous quality that rounds out this sauce so nicely. Click here for Sweet Basil Custard Sauce.

Lastly is French Tarragon Custard Sauce. Tarragon has a unique anise, or licorice taste (though I am not quick to make that strong connotation), that is so elegant and so sweet that it makes a remarkable accent to cake. Click here for Tarragon custard sauce recipe.

In this case we have paired these sauces with a Dark Chocolate cake filled with a basic cream filling to allow for the character and qualities of each sauce to shine- But with our Lemon Cake, Golden Yellow, or Almond cake these would also be a fantastic pairing. Fill the cakes with Raspberry, or Triberry Compote and you have an even more dynamic flavor profile.

Placing the on a tray on each table allows your guests to mix, match and enjoy.

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