The 2 Desserts Andrew Zimmern Says Are Deceptively Easy To Make

Watching chefs on TV make everything look easy, you might be inclined to ask, "Is there anything they can't cook?" One social media user took the opportunity of a recent YouTube "Ask Me Anything" session with chef Andrew Zimmern to ask that exactly, posing the question, "What's your favorite dish that you can't make?" Zimmern had a lot to say on the subject, suggesting that many dishes people believe to be very hard are actually rather easy to make, while other very popular pastries are challenging.

Although Zimmern admitted he can make them, he said he "chooses not to" make "the entire world of laminated pastries" like croissants because he finds the precision required to be incredibly frustrating. He shared the same sentiment towards French macarons, stating, "It's not that I can't do it and haven't, I'm just lousy at it." While Zimmern admitted those popular confections as personal weak spots, he also cited two desserts most cooks fear as being easier to make than people realize: Baked Alaska and soufflé.

Easier than they look

Baked Alaska is the ultimate combination of hot and cold in a dessert as it is essentially a flambéed ice cream cake. While that sounds like it should be an incredibly complicated effect to achieve, Zimmern says it is "super easy." The "Bizarre Foods" host told his YouTube audience, "I don't know why it's on everyone's list of toughest dishes to make. But it's alternate layers of sponge cake and ice cream and then I just coat the whole thing with Swiss meringue and torch it, easiest thing in the whole world, and then pour some [Bacardi] 151 or Kirsch and light it on fire."

He also said that soufflés — the notorious whipped egg dishes that can be either sweet or savory and are known for their towering fluffiness — are easier to make than people expect, though he acknowledged that preparing the ramekin does take some finesse. "You just have to make sure it's well buttered, well coated, and that the sides are smooth and clean so that the soufflé can actually rise out. That's the tough part," he explained. He also debunked the claim that the dishes are so delicate you can't even walk too much around them, calling that belief "more myth than reality" and noting that the dish is about combining the components of the whipped egg back together properly.