FLASHBACK FRIDAY – Dessert sauces

In the culinary world, Escoffier’s five mother sauces are used as the base of many “daughter” or “secondary” sauces and are defined by their base ingredient and thickening agent:

Sauce Base Thickening agent Secondary sauce
Bechamel Milk White roux White sauces, cheese sauces, mornays, mustard sauce
Veloute White stock (e.g. veal, fish or chicken) White roux Supreme sauce, Allemande sauce, white wine sauce
Tomat Tomatoes White roux Provençale sauce, Creole sauce
Espagnole  Roasted veal stock Brown roux Demi-glace, red wine reduction, Lyonnaise sauce, Madeira sauce
Hollandaise Egg yolks and butter Emulsification Bearnaise, Dijon sauce, Mousseline sauce

But what about desserts? Are there a set of standard sauces for sweet dishes?

Well, there are a number of basic sauces that can be used to make secondary sauces or as bases for dishes like ice cream, souffles, caramels, etc.

Here’s my attempt at a dessert sauce hit list and some example recipes from previous posts:

Chocolate sauce

  • Comprising chocolate as its base and thickening agent, and cream or melted butter as its liquid.
  • Can be used to make different types of chocolate sauce (e.g. white choc vs dark) and then the base for ganache, truffles and fudge.

Fruit sauce

  • Using the fruit purée as the base and thickening agent, and water or juice as a liquid.
  • Can be used to make coulis and curds, or a base for sorbets and souffles.

Crème Anglaise


  • Using egg yolk as its base and thickening agent, and white wine as a liquid.

Stock syrup

  • Using sugar as the base, and water as the liquid – thickens through reduction.
  • Can be used to make caramel sauce, sorbets and toffee.

What do you think? Have I missed any?


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