The Unusual Ingredient You Should Sprinkle On Desserts

Although it might seem counterintuitive to add salt to your baked goods, you should never skip the salt in sweet recipes. A little bit of salt brings out the other flavors in your dessert, which means it makes them even sweeter and tastier. Besides salt, there's another common ingredient that you should be adding to your desserts — in fact, it's probably sitting next to the salt on the dinner table.

While salt and pepper go together in plenty of savory dishes, you're probably not putting pepper in your dessert. But a Delish article explains that pepper can actually bring out and add flavors to desserts like vanilla ice cream. Wondering what this might taste like? Writer Felicia Lalomia describes ice cream with pepper as "a dance of spice and creamy fat" and says that "tiny flecks of pepper offered both a delightful crunch and a slight sting that was quickly mellowed by the cold ice cream."

The summer might be the perfect time to try out black pepper on desserts. Epicurious offers a list of fruits to add black pepper to, like grilled peaches or strawberries. Although strawberry rhubarb pie also has a complex tart and sweet flavor, if you're feeling adventurous, we think that our strawberry rhubarb pie can be taken to the next level with a little pepper.

What other desserts does pepper pair well with?

Although a bit of black pepper can go a long way on ice cream and fruit, it can also be the star of the dessert show. If you want to go all in with the black pepper flavor, there are even desserts that make the common seasoning one of the main components. For those who are tired of lemon icing, Taste of Home has a recipe for a black pepper pound cake. This recipe calls for coarsely ground pepper, and we recommend grinding the pepper fresh so there's more flavor in addition to being able to control the grind. Chocolate lovers might prefer this devil's food cake with black pepper icing, which is a recipe from Bon Appétit.

Want a dessert with even more of a kick? Instead of adding black pepper to desserts, you can add more heat to baked goods by using other types of pepper. For example, try putting a pinch of cayenne in chocolate chip cookies, or give your candy a new twist by adding plenty of chili powder.