Quick Recipes and Easy

Dessert Sauces and Ice Cream Sundae Toppings – 6 Common Terms Explained

Ever wonder what the difference was between a syrup, sauce, spread, cream, butter, or curd? These creamy creations can really enhance desserts other than ice cream. Below are a few of the common terms associated with dessert sauces and ice cream sundae toppings, along with thoughts on how to use dessert sauces with your favorite recipes. They are listed in order from thinnest to thickest consistency.

1. Syrups. Syrups are thinner than a sauce and are pourable out of a bottle. The consistency of fruit based syrups is thicker than maple syrup. It will pour off of a spoon, but leave the spoon coated. Some syrups have nice huge chunks of fruit infused in them such as apple cinnamon and wild blueberry. Some common flavors are maple, vanilla, apple-cinnamon, wild blueberry, red raspberry, strawberry, apricot, cinnamon pear, and chocolate. Pour over pancakes, crepes or waffles. Syrups are also work well drizzled over a fruit cobbler or pound cake.

2. Sauces. Dessert sauces have a slightly thicker consistency and will cling to a spoon if not warmed. They are soft and can be stirred. Once warmed, a dessert sauce will be able to be poured. Favorite flavors are chocolate, hot fudge, white chocolate macadamia, caramel, cheesecake, strawberry rhubarb, red-raspberry, and chocolate peppermint. Use as an ice cream sundae topping, drizzle over pound cake, top brownies, a slice of warm apple pie, or strudel a la mode. Can also be used to dress up dessert breads, cheesecake and fresh fruit. Add your favorite flavor dessert sauce and make an outstanding shake or malt.

3. Spreads. A spread is thicker than a dessert sauce and when scooped with a spoon, will stay on the spoon. As the name implies, spreads are smooth, rich, silky, creamy and spreadable with a knife. Common flavors include chocolate, hazelnut, and caramel. Spreads are wonderful when used for topping brunch and breakfast foods such as toast or bagels.

4. Creams. A dessert cream has a soft, smooth spreadable consistency. It is slightly heavier and more stable than a dessert sauce and will hold its shape well. Common Flavors include maple cream, maple walnut cream and vanilla cream. You can also spread it with a knife onto pancakes, waffles, crepes, turnovers, croissants and muffins. Another possibility is to whip it into fresh whipped cream for a tasty spread to fill layer cakes. Fill tarts, turnovers, blintzes and cookies for a delightful treat.

5. Fruit Butters. Fruit Butter is slightly similar to a spread, but will have chunks of mashed whole fruits in it. It is more of a spread in its consistency. Common flavors include cherry butter, apple butter, pumpkin maple pecan butter, and cranberry-pear butter. Fruit butters are more traditionally thought of as breakfast or brunch complements. They are a nice complement for toast, bagels, scones, biscuits or muffins.

6. Curds. Curds are traditional fruit based English spreads, made from fruit juice, butter, sugar, eggs, and flavorings. They are cooked on a double boiler until the curds thicken and then strained through a mesh strainer to produce a very smooth, creamy product. Once cooled the curd is ready for use or storing. Curds are thick enough for a spoon to stand up in a jar on it’s own. Common flavors are lemon, cranberry, orange, raspberry, strawberry, mango, key lime, and even banana. A personal favorite is lemon curd on ice cream. The smooth flavor vanilla and the tartness of lemon make an outstanding combination. Curds can also be warmed and used to glaze cream puffs and ice cream pies.

Laura Warnke is owner of an online gourmet retail store, the-topping-shoppe.all-about-dessert-sauces.com The Topping Shoppe LLC. Here you will find a fantastic selection of dessert sauces and ice cream sundae toppings to buy. If you want to know more about how to use different types of dessert sauces in your recipes please visit my website at all-about-dessert-sauces.com all-about-dessert-sauces.com

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