What’s the point in adding only a pinch of salt to certain recipes? Specifically desserts.


What’s the point in adding only a pinch of salt to certain recipes? Specifically desserts.

In: 5

Many times, salt will enhance flavor. This applies to all sorts of foods and not just desserts. It’s amazing!

The salt enhances the flavor of sweet foods. You don’t need much. My mom skips salt in all her baked goods because she thinks salt isn’t healthy. Her chocolate chips cookies don’t taste as good that way. The little bit of salt with the chocolate chips is delicious.

Yes, what every one is saying! Salt is not mainly used to make things salty, but more to add a contrast that enhances another flavor

At low concentrations, salt suppresses bitter flavors and enhances sweet ones. So a little bit of salt in a dessert will give it a better balance of flavor, without making it actually taste salty. If you were two make two identical cake batters, but toss a bit of salt into one, you’d be able to taste the difference in the finished product – the salt will bring out the sugar and vanilla for a more flavorful cake.

Salt is also great as a contrast, when used as a finishing touch. It’s why people love salted caramel treats or salted chocolate chip cookies – larger flakes of salt, usually sprinkled right on top, provide a nice crunch and a contrast to the sweet flavors. Instead of blending in, it can stand out!

In addition to flavour, salt can also affect the physical properties of some foods. Cooking is a complex web of chemical reactions, and salt can affect how those chemical reactions occur, causing molecules to change in a variety of ways. Some of those ways are useful in desserts. Next time you cook pasta, you might want to put a bit of salt in the water (or not put it in if you usually do) and watch for any changes in how much the pasta sticks to the pan.

Salt enhances flavors, but desserts don’t need that much help. Even adding a teaspoon of salt to caramel will make it salted caramel, whereas a teaspoon of salt for say, burritos, would not nearly be flavorful enough. Sweet is easily overcome by other flavors. Fatty and umami flavors present in savory dishes stand up better.

In the case of yeasty goodness, salt tempers the proofing/rising process so the bread doesn’t get overproofed (which would make it not very good).

Life pro tip: a pinch of salt in a cup of terrible coffee will make it taste way better. It dampens the bitter flavors in food/drink. Especially noticable with coffee.

You’ve heard of the term “umami” right? The 5th major taste. So in short it’s similar to what you call “richness”, and there are a lot of ingredients that can help with enhancing this. One of the very known ones is msg, as well as bouillon powders. The extra sodium from what i know really helps add that richness, and salt does the same. This is why broth will taste like water until you add salt to it, and little goes a long way with salt (especially for sweets). Even when sprinkling a bit on top of pancakes makes it taste miles better with that sparkle from the salt.