Choosing the best gourmet desserts depends on who will be making the dessert. Picking recipes for homemade desserts of gourmet quality should involve consideration of the skill of the chef as well as the tools required to make the dessert. When choosing desserts at a restaurant, the best way to pick gourmet desserts is often to look at the restaurant's specialties, as these items will often be made with special care. If you are looking to buy a particular type of dessert and choosing a vendor based on reputation, it is best to look at reviews and ratings for that restaurant. Even a good restaurant may fail in some areas, so tasting the desserts before making a large purchase is always a good idea.
Many people enjoy making gourmet desserts at home, but some recipes require significant amounts of skill and expensive equipment. Gourmet desserts must not only look attractive but also taste delicious, which can be difficult to accomplish without quality ingredients. In order to make the best desserts at home, it is a good idea to stick with relatively straightforward recipes that primarily involve composition rather than molecular changes. Pastries and pies, for example, are notoriously difficult to master without extensive practice, so unless you have experience, it is better to start with something simple like chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Choosing desserts from an available menu at a restaurant is fairly straightforward because the options are limited. Asking the waiter if any item is particularly tasty can help narrow down choices. Most of the time, any food ordered from a gourmet restaurant will be of high quality, but some desserts of this type are made to be interesting or impressive rather than tasty. Steering clear of gimmicky desserts like those that involve large quantities of gold leaf is one way to make sure that the item will be focused on taste rather than presentation.
When looking for a particular gourmet dessert, such as meringues or croquembouche, it is sometimes useful to consider the offerings of multiple chefs. A restaurant that makes amazing chocolates may not be very good at making cookies, so simply choosing the highest rated dessert restaurant is not a good idea. Instead, it is better to look at reviews of specific items in the chef's repertoire. For the truly discerning gourmand, it may even be worthwhile to choose a dessert specifically because it was invented by a famous chef.
Gourmet desserts for small groups must often be ordered on reputation alone, but when catering large parties, samples may be available. This is particularly valuable when choosing wedding cakes or other memorable desserts. In some cases, the budget may allow planners to choose custom gourmet desserts based on the tastes of the organizers. Even so, it may be better to go with more traditional desserts because they are the products of years of refinement.