Ideas for tarting up dessert menu

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by recky, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. recky

    recky

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    Hi,

    for some reason as yet unknown, desserts have been pretty unpopular at my place. I have tried offering basic stuff, fancy stuff, anything. For now I have resorted to items that I can pretty much produce "on the fly", e.g. crepes with roasted nuts and local honey. However, I haven't given up yet and am looking for ideas for sweet dishes which might make my menu more interesting and comprehensive, yet which don't go off too quickly or won't turn into costly waste if not sold.

    Any ideas out there?

    Thanks everybody,

    Recky
     
  2. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    There is a restaurant here called  the Keg (steakhouse) . They serve a dessert called the Billy Minor Pie. ........it's heavenly.


    What's nice about this dessert is that you can make it way ahead of time and keep them in the freezer.

    Line a couple of springform pans with oreo cookie base crumble, load and fill pan with mocha ice cream, freeze. Plating takes all of 15 seconds, toss some toasted almonds , drizzle with caramel sauce and chocolate sauce.  Voilà

    No waste. Cake stays in freezer, keep a container of toasted nuts, 1 bottle of caramel , 1 bottle of chocolate sauce. Easy plating, it's a hit with everyone.

    Petals
     
  3. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    What do you usually serve?  Have you asked anyone why they don't like the dessert?  Is it because it's too sweet, because that's usually the reason I don't like many desserts.  Is the meal so heavy that there is no room in anyone's belly?  Do you serve it at the right time, when everyone has had some time to digest before wanting dessert?  Are you serving the appropriate accompaniments with it of coffee, tea and digestifs?  It will be easier to help you if you can give us more information.
     
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    This has been an issue in some restaurants I have visited: the main entree was so copious that there was no way we were going to order dessert. I figured they're shooting themselves in the foot, giving away too much food AND losing a dessert order!
     
  5. coup-de-feu

    coup-de-feu

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    You could have a set menu with starter, main and dessert all included.

    Some restaurants are selling dessert parfaits in tumblers or even shot glasses, just a real little thing at the end of the meal for 2 bucks.  One restaurant I ate at brought out a display trey of 5 such parfaits each one different, so it was not a question of if I wanted one it was a question of which one I wanted.

    Here is an idea that blends fresh prepared and long storage life.  Fried ice-cream balls.  You could have 3 or 5 different flavors, prepare them in advance and keep them in the freezer for months.  When someone orders some they choose which 3 of the 5 flavors they want.  Out of the freezer, into the fryer and onto the plate, sauce and sold hot and cold.

    CDF
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  6. recky

    recky

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    Thanks a lot for your help! Petals, the "ice cream cake" is a brilliant idea and eminently doable in a tiny place like mine. Deep-fried ice cream less so, because I only have one deep fryer which is exclusively reserved for hand-cut chips (sorry, fries).

    My restaurant serves quality country-style fare, including new or different interpretations of local German dishes. Since we are in a touristy area, with late spring to early autumn being the main season, we have to try to cater for two distinct customer groups, namely "enlightened" city tourists and conservative villagers. The latter do like my food, but require relatively large servings and largely ignore starters (let alone desserts). For example, there's a local sports group with a pre-ordered menu booked in for Sunday evening. Nobody has ordered starters or dessert!

    The city people are more open to interesting stuff around the mains and do order starters, but by the time they're finished with their main, few of them will want a dessert.

    It seems to be a bit of a catch-22 situation.

    Koukouvagia: I normally serve things like pancakes/crepes with roasted nuts and local honey, Greek yoghurt with fruit compote, lemon posset, panna cotta etc. Those who do get to taste it love it and sometimes come back for more. It's definitely not too sweet (in the way many Mediterranean desserts might be), I get wife and staff to taste things, too.

    Cheers,

    Recky
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Ah so this is for a restaurant then, not a dinner at home.  That helps a bit. 

    Keeping your desserts seasonal and paying close attention to the holidays might work wonders for your dessert output.  For example, starting in October I have a craving for pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, apple pie.. you get the idea.  In December I look for gingerbread or warm bread pudding.  In the summer I want berries berries berries.  So offering seasonal desserts will entice people more.  I would not order greek yogurt with fruit compote this time of year because I think of it as a light summer dessert.  And every good dessert menu must offer some kind of cake, pie, ice cream, custard, and fruit option, and of course don't forget the chocolate, chocolate is a must.

    Something that some restaurants do is to have a dessert cart.  Instead of bringing a dessert menu to the table they bring a dessert tray where all the desserts are displayed beautifully.  It is very difficult to say no to a good looking dessert that is staring you in the face. 

    Also, for the crepes/pancakes why not do a table-side presentation?  When it is done well it has a theatrical effect and when I see someone making table-side crepes and flambeeing it I say to myself "I'm going to order that." 
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012
  8. kippers

    kippers

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    One of my fav traditional non tourist restaurant is in Nurnberg, they are famous for their strudels, I have never got past the sour cherry, my wife swears by the hazelnut crepe cake.