#LeithsLoves - Our top tips for dessert styling at home

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#LeithsLoves - Our top tips for dessert styling at home

When creating food, at home or professionally, flavour should always come first, but we can't deny that eating begins with the eyes. Styling your food to ensure it looks beautiful and appetising doesn’t have to hog your time or involve a lot of expensive ingredients. Here's a few simple tips to help you elevate your desserts and impress your guests…

  • Keep it simple. In this case the cliché applies; less is more. Don't over-complicate or overload your dessert with decorations, keeping it clean and simple will ooze sophistication.
  • Think in odd numbers. It can be tempting to present in even numbers because we associate them with neatness. However, presenting in odd numbers (i.e number of elements/ingredients on the plate) is easier on the eye and thought to be more effective at capturing someone's gaze.
  • Portion size. Don’t be afraid to serve whole desserts to the table for your guests to take from. Many desserts lend themselves to looking more elegant displayed this way, for example, a pavlova dressed with flowing fruit. But if you would prefer to serve your party their dessert individually, smaller portions are easier to make look appetising - you’re not stopping the guests going back for seconds!
  • Bowl/plate choice. An attractive, interesting plate/bowl can complement and give dramatic effect to your food. For example, a black plate with a raspberry based dessert lifts and accentuates the lovely colour of the fruit. Shopping for plateware doesn't need to break the bank either, keep an eye out in h&m home, ikea, habitat, anthropologie, Sainsbury’s homeware, TKMaxx, Nom living.
  • Finishing garnishes. Garnishes can elevate a dessert hugely if you keep them relevant to your creation; they should be edible and work with the dessert itself. This can be as simple as using baby mint leaves from the top of the spring to add a little colour, toasted chops nuts for a little crunch, cocoa nibs to add texture and bitterness (great with fruit and chocolate based desserts), and you can't go wrong with a drizzle of melted chocolate over a pavlova or tart. A number one chef garnish used to give impact to a range of desserts is freeze dried raspberries; blitzed/crushed to add colour, impact, and a punch of aroma and flavour.


If you have a keen interest in food styling and want to take your skills to the next level, we have a two-day food styling course coming up, led by two industry experts Jayne Cross and Rebecca Woollard.

Jane Montgomery

Author: Jane Montgomery

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