The importance of salt in savory dishes can’t be overstated, so why has the idea of using it in desserts been overlooked until now? Credit the salted caramel craze for launching the trend you can employ to do everything from making chocolate chip cookies new again, to elevating the flavor of fresh fruit.
Any type of salt can be flavored with methods like smoking, or infusing with ingredients like herbs or citrus, and even bacon, chocolate, or wine. Flavored salts can be added to cookie and cake batters, fondue, and caramel before or during cooking, but since they’re precious (and pricey) commodities, they’re most often used as “finishing salts” for completed dishes.
Salt not only lends flavor, but can add texture too. Shapes and sizes range from tiny, sand-like grains to solid squares, light flakes, and delicate pyramids. Control the size of the crystal by pinching pyramids or flakes between your fingertips, or use a mortar and pestle to crush hard chunks.
Salted Baked Goods & Confection
Add large flakes of fleur de sel, Maldon, or sel gris to the top of cookies just out of the oven, frosted cake tops, tarts and pies, ice cream, chocolate bark, caramels, or brittles.
Add vanilla or plum salt to fresh or roasted stone fruits dolloped with whipped cream or mascarpone, or try bacon salt on a bowl of fresh peaches. For healthy but decadent desserts, top sliced cantaloupe or watermelon with chunks of pink Himalayan salt. Or grill up tropical fruits like mango and pineapple and add a crunchy dusting of salt smoked with guava or Cyprus wood, or infused with spicy chiles. Try adding a few crystals of pinot noir salt to elevate a pile of fresh berries.
Slabs of the pink Himalayan variety are another great way to impart seasoning to delicate foods, which pick up flavoring from the surface. Use the blocks to serve fruits like strawberries and figs, or freeze blocks for serving sorbet, ice cream, or other frozen treats.