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What are Some Difficult Desserts to Make?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Feb 15, 2024
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Difficult desserts can be worthwhile to make if the end result is a delicious one. A dessert that is considered difficult to create often takes many hours or even days of preparation. Some desserts that are time consuming or otherwise considered difficult include chocolate souffle, baklava, kakanin and wedding cakes.

Not only must a wedding cake look perfect for the big day, it is also one of the most difficult desserts because it must usually be large enough to serve hundreds of people. Unlike smaller cakes baked in the home for a family dessert, frosting is not just spread onto traditional wedding cakes. Rather, fondant usually covers each cake tier of a wedding cake to give a smooth look. Fondant is a candy filling or covering usually made from sugar syrup that takes up to 40 minutes of constant stirring to get to a thick enough consistency. Of course, once the cake tiers are baked, cooled and covered with fondant, many hours of decoration are still needed.

Kakanin is a traditional Filipino delicacy that takes a lot of work to make. It is made with both white and purple glutinous rice. The purple rice must be soaked the night before and fresh coconut must be grated. Kakanin is the Filipino word for rice as well as the verb meaning "to eat." The cakes of rice are sweetened with caramelized sugar and coconut and topped with a mixture of cane sugar and coconut milk.

Baklava is a Greek dessert that is one of the most difficult desserts to make as the baker must work with at least ten or twelve layers of phyllo pastry. Each layer of pastry must be brushed with melted butter before adding honey, nuts and spices such as cinnamon. The baklava is cut into diamond shaped pieces and baked until golden brown. Syrup to spoon over the baked baklava must also be prepared.

Chocolate soufflé is considered one of the more difficult desserts to make because it is so delicate and may not rise properly unless the egg whites are beaten to stiff enough peaks. The egg whites are beaten separately and then carefully folded into a mixture containing bittersweet chocolate and egg yolks. Even if chocolate soufflé rises perfectly, the dessert begins to fall within a few minutes of being out of the oven, so it needs to be served immediately.

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Discussion Comments

By Lostnfound — On Jan 22, 2014

Laugh if you want to, but I failed miserably with pound cake. Yes, I said pound cake. I know I mixed it too much. When I tried to turn it out of the pan, I found out it had a tunnel through the middle big enough for a subway train!

It just seemed like I never could get all the ingredients mixed well, and yes, I have a stand mixer. I'm an experienced baker and I screwed it up.

Baklava doesn't require any complicated cooking techniques; there are just a lot of steps.

I would put candy making in the "difficult" category. Even with a good thermometer and a watchful eye, something as seemingly minor as the weather outside can result in candy that will not set up. Candy is always a crap shoot, as far as I'm concerned.

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