When it comes to using your new sous vide circulator or water bath, the first things that you’re likely to want to try out are meat (evenly cooked from the inside to the outside), eggs (cooked exactly how you like them, every time) or vegetables (never over or undercooked).
However, did you know that you can also use a sous vide machine for creating desserts too? It doesn’t necessarily work for every dish, as desserts can be a lot more complex than savoury ingredients, with multiple steps and processes required, but there are many great dessert recipes out there which do make use of the sous-vide process.
Here’s our quick guide to which desserts you can and can’t cook with your sous-vide machine, as well as some of our favourite recipes.
Which Desserts Are Suitable for Sous Vide?
While sous-vide is a pretty versatile method, there are some things that it simply can’t achieve, so for this reason, there are certain desserts that you’re best steering clear of.
For example, the likes of cakes, cookies, and pastries all require steam to escape for the dough to rise, so typically aren’t best-suited to the technique.
In addition, any ingredients that need to boil not only won’t be able to reach a high enough heat to do so, but even if they did, they wouldn’t be able to evaporate into the air either.
This being said, there are still some great desserts that can be made sous-vide and we’re going to run through some of our favourites.
This is a very simple dessert but a very tasty one, especially for a summer’s day. All you need to do is coat some pineapple chunks in brown sugar and place in your vacuum pouch with some vanilla and Malibu rum (you could always swap the exact combination of fruit and spirit if there’s something else you’d rather try).
All you need to do is leave to cook at 85˚C for about twelve hours and you have the perfect boozy dessert to serve up at a summer get together.
Crème brûlée is one of the most popular dessert dishes to cook sous-vide, as it can be very tricky to get right through traditional methods, requiring constant attention to ensure that it sets properly.
Cooking your crème brûlée sous-vide eliminates the guesswork and ensure that you get the perfect results every time.
For a variation on the classic dish, why not try our Masala Chai Crème Brûlée, infused with Darjeeling tea, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaves.
Fruit is a very popular option for sous-vide desserts and this frozen watermelon treat makes for a nice summer alternative to our Malibu pineapple.
The difference here is that you don’t actually need to use the sous-vide machine to cook anything, all you need to do is place the watermelon cubes in a bag with some basil vodka and vacuum seal for about thirty minutes before freezing.
Making your own ice cream can be tricky over the stove, with the risk of the ingredients curdling if the mixture gets too hot in the pan, but this can be avoided by choosing to make your ice cream sous-vide at a consistent temperature.
Once you’ve made your base, you’ll need to gently mix in the cream and pour it into a fairly large vacuum bag.
It only needs about an hour to cook (make sure to move the bag around every now and then to agitate the mixture) before placing in a bath of iced water. Finally, you’ll need to mix by hand before churning with an ice cream machine and serving.
Another dessert which you can try with your sous-vide machine is soufflé. While you’ll obviously need to use the oven for this, once you’ve made the mixture and left it to chill, you can use your sous-vide machine to cook your cherries, sugar and water for about an hour before blending into a purée.
These are just some of the sous-vide dessert recipes that you might want to try for yourself, but we have a whole host of dessert recipes to check out on the Recipes section of our site too!