Even if you’re someone who cooks regularly, you might not even think about making your own desserts. Pastry is the most precise of the culinary arts, and it can be intimidating to tackle anything beyond a box of Duncan Hines brownie mix.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. To help you get your pastry legs underneath you. we’ve put together a list of our 20 favorite dessert tricks, including shortcuts to save time, and ingenious hacks you can use to impress your friends.
Some of these tricks sounds like pure alchemy—turning ice cream into bread, transforming a banana into ice cream (without any additions), and making hardened cookies soft again with just a slice of bread. Others are what we like to call “why didn’t I think of that” moves, like freezing whipped-cream puffs to use later with hot chocolate, or topping a cupcake with a marshmallow as it bakes in lieu of frosting. We’ve even got some surprising uses for items that have little to do with dessert, including dental floss for cutting cakes neatly, balloons as molds for edible chocolate cups, and a French press for making whipped cream.
Making dessert doesn’t have to be that hard—here are some home-cook pro moves that’ll take your pastry game to the next level.