Whether you’ve found yourself reading this article to learn something different or you just got yourself a new kitchen gadget, we all know sous vide cooking is having a moment. For some quick background, sous vide is a cooking technique that uses a temperature-controlled water bath to precisely cook food. To be able to cook properly in the water bath, the food is first enclosed in a vacuum sealed bag. This makes sense given that, in French, sous vide means “under vacuum”. We’ve seen that meats and fish do well cooking sous vide as people are able to easily cook them to a certain, controlled temperature while remaining juicy and tender. What many may not have realized is that it is not only just possible, but ideal, for making delicious, mouthwatering desserts using the sous vide method. From custards to pie filling, sous vide desserts turn out perfect every time. Here’s a few to try out!
Our 3 Best Sous Vide Desserts
For all of these recipes you will need a sous vide, which is an immersion circulator to heat and temperature control your water, a large pot of heat safe water container, and sealable plastic bags or jars.
1. Sous Vide Cheesecake
Placing a cheesecake in a water bath while baking is a known way to get the perfect creamy consistency every time. Given this, it only makes sense to make one in a sous vide.
This sous vide cheesecake is great for a small dinner with friends because it makes individual cheesecakes in jars. It is a surprising and exciting dessert to bring out at the end of any dinner party! This sous vide cheesecake is made similarly to a traditional cheesecake but is slightly “deconstructed”. It is topped with a graham cracker crumble instead of using them to make a crust and adds some extra flavor with a strawberry compote made also in the sous vide!
- 8 oz. (226.8 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 8 oz. (226.8 grams) sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup (144 grams) strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Graham Cracker Crumble:
- 7-8 Graham crackers
- 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the water bath to 178 degrees F / 81 degrees C.
- Whip your cream cheese, sugar, salt, sour cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and eggs together as you usually would. Instead of adding it to a baking tin, the mixture gets evenly distrusted among 4 jars.
- Being sure to leave a little space in the jars for any expansion, close the jars and place them into the sous vide water bath for about 1 ½ hours.
- While they are cooking, you can prepare the compote, which is also made in the sous vide by adding the cut strawberries and sugar to a sealable bag. This bag then can be added to the same water bath cooking the cheesecakes for around 30-40 minutes.
- Finally, the only thing actually baked in this recipe is the graham cracker crumble. Simply crush up some graham crackers and mix them with sugar and melted butter. Once fully combined, spread them out on a lined sheet tray and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- Once the cheesecakes have finished, remove the lid and top the cheesecake with some crumble and strawberry compote.
2. Sous Vide Crème Brûlée
Unlike the cheesecakes which, as mentioned, cook well in water baths, this is typically not the case for crème brûlée . This dessert, however, is known for being a creamy custard that can be a little tricky to master because of the need to temper eggs. Many people have failed while making this dessert because the eggs can easily curdle when the temperatures are higher than they need to be. The temperature controlled sous vide changes this completely, giving you the perfect crème brûlée every time.
- 5 large egg yolks
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 cups (464 grams) heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar, about 1 ½ teaspoons per crème brulee
- Optional: fresh berries, to serve
- Make your custard by whisking together egg yolks, sugar, water and vanilla. Once combined, slowly whisk in the heavy cream.
- Strain the mixture, to ensure that the end result will be silky-smooth and divide evenly amongst the jars and let them sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Place the lids on the jars, ensuring they are not too tight and lower the jars into the water with tongs. Placing the jars into the water before it heats up helps to avoid the jars from cracking. Heat the water to 179 degrees F / 82 degrees C and cook the crème brûlée for 1 hour.
- Once it is finished, remove the jars from the water bath with tongs, remove the lids and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Afterwards, tightly secure the lids on the jars and chill the custard in the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight.
- Right before serving, sprinkle the top of each custard with sugar and caramelize it with either a torch or by using the broil function on your oven. Please note, the sugar will caramelize quickly.
If you do not have glass jars to make this recipe you can sous vide the custard in sealed plastic bags. Once finished, pour the custard into ramekins and set – a fun little trick that can be used for other recipes as well!
A quick tip for the above two recipes, if you are using glass jars to cook something sous vide, ensure that the lid is only just barely closed. It needs to be secure enough to hold and make sure no water leaks in but when it is closed too tightly, pressure begins to build up in the jar and any excess air cannot escape from the jar. This can cause the jar to crack.
3. Sous Vide Chocolate Truffles
For something a little different than jarred desserts, try out these sous vide chocolate truffles. Tempering chocolate to the perfect consistency is another thing that people find tricky. Using a temperature-controlled water bath, the difficulty gets taken away and then hard work gets done by the sous vide. Although you could use this method of plain truffles, you can also easily infuse the chocolate with your favorite flavors. This recipe, for example, includes cinnamon and orange for a little something extra!
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 275 grams 60% dark chocolate
- 100 grams double cream
- 100 grams honey
- 25 milliliter orange juice
- Zest from ½ orange
- Begin by breaking up the cinnamon sticks and place them in a small bowl with boiling water. Leave it to soak for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the sous vide water bath to 186 degrees F / 58 degrees C.
- Place the cinnamon sticks, cinnamon infused water, dark chocolate, cream, honey, orange juice, and zest into a vacuum sealed bag. Place it in the water bath for 4 hours.
- Once done, shake the bag from side to side to make sure the ingredients are well combined then strain through a sieve and place the ganache into a small bowl, discarding of the cinnamon and orange zest.
- Prepare a roasting tin or large bowl with cold water and place the smaller bowl of ganache in the water. Stir it until the temperature of the ganache drops to 82 degrees F /28 degrees C.
- Once cooled, transfer to a piping bag and pipe into 3cm balls onto a nonstick baking mat. If you do not have a piping bag, you can scoop balls with a spoon and drop them onto the baking mat.
- Allow them to set then roll the ganache into balls and coat in tempered dark chocolate. Finish by rolling in cocoa powder.
Sous Vide Desserts: Summing Up
There you have it, sous vide desserts! We know that sous vide is great for cooking meat to perfection but give it a try for some of our favorite desserts. A sous vide creates a faultlessly temperature-controlled water bath that are great for finicky desserts like custards or chocolates. Instead of requiring a ton of attention to make sure desserts don’t break to curdle, a sous vide offers you the opportunity to basically set and forget with consistent results every time. Search a little deeper for some recipes to try and you may even surprise yourself with the number of desserts you can make.
If you're loving the idea od sous vide cooking here are some delicious recipes for you to try;
The Best Sous Vide Salmon
Delicious Sous Vide Steak Recipe
Moroccan Honey Lamb & Date Tagine With Butternut Couscous