Ina Garten's Delicious Trick For Amplifying A Single Slice Of Cake

If you love hosting a party, you are probably always looking for new ways to elevate your skills. Decor, ambiance, music, and entertainment are all important aspects of a good party, but one of the most important factors is the food. According to many event and party planning sites, like CRBC Entertainment, food is the heart and the soul of a party and it's what people will talk about long after the party is over. Of course, the type of food you serve is important, but the way you present that food may be even more crucial to your guests enjoying it.

You can serve food via a buffet style, or you can have a sit-down dinner where food is passed around the table. Either way, the plating and presentation matters. According to the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, food that is presented well is more attractive and it sets the tone for the meal. It gets attention and makes people excited to try the food you are serving. 

Celebrity chef Ina Garten agrees — to a point. In fact, she states in an Instagram post "Nobody remembers what you serve for dinner but they always remember dessert." 

How to elevate your food presentation

Imagine that you have a buffet table for food at your party. It may seem boring, but there are things you can do to fix that. You can decorate the spaces between the food on the buffet to fit the theme of your party, but you can also vary the height of the dishes, clearly identify the foods with decorative labels, and add small dishes for sauces, dessert toppings, and garnishes, according to tips from SocialTables.

You can also dress up the actual foods you serve and if you want to really wow guests with a simple cake display, take a cue from the Barefoot Contessa herself. Garten has a great tip for taking a homemade sheet pan vanilla cake (or even a basic store-bought cake) and bringing the wow factor up a notch. Your guests will think you've spent hours making and plating the cake for your next party when you try Ina's trick for amplifying your cake's presentation.

Making your cake look its best

What does Ina Garten do to make a single slice of cake look its best? It's actually quite simple. Before plating the cake, spread a couple of spoonfuls of jam in a circle on the plate, then lay the slice of cake on its side on top of or inside the circle of jam. To ensure that the jam is smooth on the plate, use the back of a spoon to spread it. Then you garnish it with berries or other fruits, sauces, and even herbs like mint.

Garten details this in a video on her Instagram account where she uses a raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries as the decor for her famous coconut cake. The additions add both a pop of color to the cake's presentation and more flavor to the dessert.

You can use different flavors of jams and sauces to spice up the taste of any basic cake. If you want to experiment, try strawberry jam with a lemon-flavored cake, and garnish it with sliced strawberries and lemon slices. You can also add raspberry sauce to a decadent chocolate cake, a sprig of mint with chocolate sauce to an ice cream dish, or melted caramel to a simple cannoli. Enjoy the freedom to match your party's theme and keep your desserts simple, yet beautiful.