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Show-Stopping Make-Ahead Desserts

Build your repertoire of make-ahead techniques to create knockout desserts for any occasion.
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Spend less time stressing over swoon-worthy desserts and more time enjoying the company of your guests! James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Gale Gand shares make-ahead strategies to help you create a range of desserts – while balancing your busy schedule. From a rich Irish coffee cake to orange-infused chocolate truffles, conquer any dessert challenge with confidence!


Gale Gand



Gale Gand is the pastry chef and partner of Chicago's Spritz Burger, and a partner in the Michelin one-star restaurant Tru. She served as host of Food Network's long-running show "Sweet Dreams" and is also the author of eight cookbooks, including “Butter Sugar Flour Eggs” and “Short and Sweet.”

By This Expert

Impressive Layer Cakes

01: Impressive Layer Cakes

Chef Gale Gand begins by showing you how to make two jaw-dropping layer cakes: a rich Irish coffee cake topped with chocolate curls, and a decadent toasted coconut cake adorned with crystallized petals.

45 min
Lemon Meringue Cake

02: Lemon Meringue Cake

Watch as Gale prepares her twist on the classic lemon meringue pie: a buttery cake with a lemon curd filling. Discover two ways to decorate with meringue using a palette knife or piping bag, and a blow torch, for a dramatic finish.

31 min
Blueberry-Strawberry Frangipane Tart

03: Blueberry-Strawberry Frangipane Tart

Up your pastry game as you learn how to transform classic pâte brisée dough into a blueberry-strawberry frangipane tart. And, find out how to add gold leaf for an extra-special finish.

25 min
Orange-Infused Chocolate Truffles

04: Orange-Infused Chocolate Truffles

Both rustic and refined, Gale's orange-infused chocolate truffles include crème fraîche for an extra pop of flavor. Gale shows you how to coat your truffles, then shares ideas for a range of finishes.

27 min
Cuccidati Cookies

05: Cuccidati Cookies

Be the star of your next cookie swap with Italian filled cookies! In this lesson, Gale shares the secrets to making cuccidati, traditional Sicilian fig-stuffed cookies.

24 min
Bourbon Mousse in a Rolled Chocolate Shell

06: Bourbon Mousse in a Rolled Chocolate Shell

Wrap things up by learning to make one of Gale's favorite recipes: bourbon-chocolate mousse in a rolled chocolate shell. Watch as she combines airy, boozy mousse with bittersweet chocolate, milk, and white chocolate to create a harmonious blend of flavor.

24 min