What’s the key to creating a hit dessert? Creative chefs have been focused on exploring this menu segment and in a nutshell, it’s coming up with a new take on an old idea. A great example of this is the cronut. Now the cronut isn’t as amazingly popular as it once was, but the idea of a new twist on a familiar favorite is the right combination of fun, excitement, and familiarity that hits the sweet spot of customer’s sweet tooth.
“Blending creativity and innovation without getting too complicated is key to leveraging existing dessert menu items into the ‘Wow!’ factor that chefs and operators constantly chase,” says Ken Darling, pastry chef and chief innovation officer of ThinkCake! dessert consultancy.
Here are some examples of the latest restaurant dessert trends:
Artisan Ice Cream: A relatively easy way to create a unique offering. Trentina chef Vince Griffith’s olive oil gelato is a great example.
Smoked and Savory Ingredients: Smoked meats have been around forever, but now the savory flavor of smoke is making its way to the dessert menu. Balanced with sweetness, these desserts are a great way to bridge the entrée into dessert. Cake-based items are the most popular in adding smoky flavor. From caramelized and grilled vegetables, to drawing flavor inspiration from barbecues, chefs are creating bold new flavors.
Bite-Sized Desserts: Sometimes your customers just don’t want to have a slab of triple chocolate fudge cake with caramel sauce. Bite sized options, such as mini-pie bites, are a great way to end the meal on a high note.
Feeling inspired? Start thinking outside the cake box by taking an old standby and coming at it from a fresh, new angle with White Balsamic Vinaigrette Peach Melba (shown).