13 Fancy Dishes You Should Never Try To Make At Home

13 Fancy Dishes You Should Never Try to Make at Home

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.

Baked Alaska

This multi-part retro dessert made of sponge cake, meringue, and ice cream, involves multiple stages of freezing and baking. Trying to force these two opposite forces to work together is, needless to say, extremely challenging. You have to hope that after several hours of hard work, the ice cream doesn't melt as soon as it's put in the oven.


Baumkuchen is a traditional Swiss cake, which is almost impossible to make at home, unless you have some incredible baking skills, and a lot of patience. This labor-intensive cake involves making multiple paper thin layers of cake, which are baked one at a time on top of each other under a grill, to create a cake which looks like the intricate grain of a tree trunk.

Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington is such a decadent roast dish, which can be the most perfect show-off dinner. However, it can also be the biggest disaster of a meal if the pastry is too soggy and the meat isn't cooked through, or if the pastry is burned and the meat is overcooked.

Charlotte Royale

Make a Swiss roll, slice it thinly, and use it to form the outer shell of this delicate cake. Filled with a set raspberry bavarois, this has the potential to be the lightest, sweetest dessert. It also has the potential to be a squashed mess, if the custard doesn't set quite perfectly, and the Swiss roll exterior collapses, which is why you should probably just skip trying this one at home.


The clarified bouillon, consommé, is a dish that even the most experienced chefs often struggle with. This labor-intensive process involves constantly skimming the impurities off the surface of the clear broth, until you have a perfectly transparent liquid.


Baking the perfect flaky, buttery croissant will take you at least two days. Two days of endlessly rolling, folding, resting, and chilling this rich dough. Making croissants is a drawn-out, delicate process, which no amateur baker should attempt to undertake without lots of guidance, step-by-step images, plenty of patience, and a significant amount of spare time.

Eggs Benedict

This seemingly simple breakfast dish has the ability to take a dramatically upsetting turn. Toasting the English muffin and slicing some ham is simple, but perfectly poaching the eggs, and making a hollandaise without it splitting are two rather more difficult challenges.


Mille-Feuille may look like a simple dessert with its three layers of pastry, separated by a vanilla pastry cream, and maybe some fresh berries, but it's far from easy to perfect. The pastry in this French treat is called pâte feuilletée, which the professionals deem to be one of the most difficult pastries to make. If the professionals say it's a struggle, we suggest you don't try it at home.

Oeufs Perigourdins

Anthony Bourdain's dish is a high-risk one to begin with, due to its expensive ingredients. An egg is stuffed with truffles, before being coated in an egg white batter and deep-fried in duck fat. There are numerous places where this recipe could go wrong, leading to lots of upset, and wasted truffles.

Princess Cake

This 14-stage, six-part recipe involves making marzipan, fondant roses, a genoise sponge, fresh jam, and vanilla custard, and is, in reality, distressingly difficult. We recommend that you don't waste several days trying to put this Swedish cake together, and take a trip to Stockholm if you want to try a slice instead.

Salt-Crusted Fish

A simple whole-baked, salt-crusted fish is one of the best ways to enjoy fresh fish. Peeling away the protective white shell to reveal a beautifully cooked fish underneath is a chef's favorite magic trick. However, if you don't pack the salt and egg-white shell together tight enough, the salt crystals can leak into the fish, imparting far too much of their flavor, so that your meal becomes inedible.


If you're making a soufflé, there are two fatal things that can go wrong: It could not rise at all and remain a flat, underwhelming mush of whipped eggs, or it could rise perfectly in the oven, only to fall flat into a sunken mess as soon as you take it out. Serving soufflés at a dinner party is a risky move, unless you have a professional oven, and the most delicate of folding techniques.


This decadent dish of a turkey stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken, is not a meal which should ever be seen in anybody's home kitchen. Not only will it likely not fit in your oven, but the delicate process of removing certain bones from the birds so that they fit inside one another perfectly, without losing their body shape, is a skill best left to the experts. If you do manage to slot them all together, you then need to somehow make sure they're all cooked through, but that nothing is overcooked. An impossible task.