For all you ambitious cooks, hosting a dinner party is a great excuse to show off your culinary skills. The week before the party, you’ll be planning the menu, practicing dishes, and figuring out how best to impress your guests with your most decadent creations. However, you need to remember that your skills only go so far: You’re not actually an award-winning chef, you’re not cooking supported by a team of professionals, and you’re not in a fully-equipped restaurant kitchen. Consequently, there are some dishes that you should never attempt at home.
We’re not underestimating you’re cooking skills: We’re sure your extremely capable of making the perfect roast chicken, of baking a beautiful sourdough bread, and of frosting that cake in the most spectacular way. But we also know that you are only human, and you’re a human with a deadline, who also has a tendency to get stressed and upset when things don’t go your way. This is why we recommend you don’t attempt to serve a Charlotte Royale, a Princess Cake, or a Baumkuchen for dessert. The multiple components, the extensive time required, and the amount of patience you need to actually see these desserts through to the finish are far too much for any ambitious amateur baker to undertake alone.
Many fancy dishes — the ones where the recipes go on for at least three pages — are best left to the professionals. It’s rarely worth your time buying a complex piece of equipment for one recipe — that alone tends to be a sign that this isn’t something you should be attempting to make at home — or if it involves a niche essential ingredient that you’re struggling to get hold of, it’s definitely a sign that you should give up and try a different dish, before you even begin to waste your effort.
Some recipes are best ignored, to save your guests either from food poisoning, or from going hungry, and to save yourself from more stress, wasted time, mess, and loss of patience than they’re worth. From a tricky Turducken, to an elegant mille-feuille, these are 13 fancy dishes that you should never try to make at home —for your own sanity.