Different types of plated desserts can cover a wide range of dishes, all of which are usually served in a way that is aesthetically pleasing. These desserts are often prepared individually, or can be prepared and then plated in a way that adds to them dramatically. Crème brûlée, for example, is one of the most famous types of plated desserts and consists of custard that is torched on the top to form a hard sugar shell. There are many other types of dishes that can be extravagantly presented and served including chocolate mousse, sorbet, and even slices of cake and ice cream.
The primary elements of certain dishes that qualify them as plated desserts are their sweetness and preparation on a plate in a way that makes them really stand out. These dishes can be made and served in many different ways, though they usually include sauces and garnishes that include fruit slices and zest. It is this presentation that establishes them as plated desserts, since they are placed on a serving dish or plate that is prepared to make the dessert more unique.
Crème brûlée is a common and famous example of these types of plated desserts. This is a dish that is prepared in a small ramekin or serving cup. It is basically custard that is baked in this dish and then served in it. Prior to serving, however, a torch is used to burn sugar on top of it, which then caramelizes and forms a hard shell that is cracked before eating.
Other types of plated desserts include dishes like chocolate mousse or sorbet. A mousse is a type of light, airy custard that can be prepare and served quite easily. It is often used for platted desserts, however, since it can be enhanced and improved in numerous ways. Small cookies, for example, can be used to hold the mousse, making the entire service more visually striking. Sorbet is often used in similar ways, typically made into a quenelle, which is an oblong shape, through the use of two spoons to mold it prior to service.
Even ice cream and cake can be served as plated desserts with some planning and attention to detail. A slice of cake can be placed onto a plate and then drizzled with sauce and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Much like sorbet, ice cream is often served in a quenelle shape, giving it a more delicate and interesting appearance. Other additions such as small cookies or multiple sauces can be used to further enhance the presentation.