Trends in pastry arts.

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Where is the next "hot"trend is the sweet world.

I'm curious about how your developing your desserts/pastry work.

Are you leaning towards the multi facited plate display?Or comfort style desserts?

Many times when dining out I am impressed with the pastry chefs ability to combine very modern pastry work with more indenifiable dishes.

When you develope a particular dessert what is your initial thoughts in regards to the end consumer? I.E. Looks,Flavor,Temp?

Any thoughts.
 
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Good topic, CC...

I'm not making plated desserts professionally anymore, but my opinion has always been that desserts should be familiar to the consumer, or they won't be interested in trying it. The more adventurous consumer will appreciate whatever unusual twist is put on a classic. That said, obviously taste must rule, while the look of the food (and the plate it's on)- can be as funky and individual as I want it to be.

I don't believe that trends go in only one direction. There are as many fun things to try with desserts as there are people to taste them. And that's true with all food, or art, or music, etc. However, the one thing I have seen growing more and more popular over the years is finding new ethnic dishes from around the world. I think there is so many untapped cultures that we can learn from. The more open consumers become, the more they will demand the new, and the less they will fall into the same ol' creme brulee routine.

Also, I like to think that fresh, local, seasonal, and organic are trends, but not a fad. I'm hopeful that the mentality (and not just the words) will become more commonplace, and that people will seek out these types of foods. It would be wonderful if the typical consumer understood WHY chefs don't want to use berries in the winter. And instead of feeling deprived, they might LOOK FORWARD to trying what IS available. If only the supermarkets didn't perpetuate the issue by making certain produce available all year.

As for comfort foods, I don't think they'll ever go out. And I hope they never do. Except maybe jello molds.:D
 
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Great post Momoreg thanks.

I agree with you about seeing more and more ethnic foods availible to both the savoury side and the sweet side of todays kitchens.

What are some of the items you find yourself using.Dates,Cous cous,etc.

I made a cous cous kugel recently that really worked well. I used large Israely cous cous instead of noodles and used dry mission figs instead of rasians,although I served this with venison,I could see it somehow adopted to a dessert?!

BTW,What do you have against Jello ;) ?
 
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Having just eaten at Tru, this amateur will jump in. Gale Gand had "tastes" both on the plates and on the dessert cart. Much of it was familiar with a twist (lollipops with adult flavors like ginger, lavendar, etc.). She serves the spoons of creme brulee, of course; tiny truffles, tiny everything- but with all the flavor of cheesecakes, bundt cakes, sophisticated mulit-layered knock-out tortes... you name it. She makes her own root beer and serves it with her own ice cream in a smallish glass as a root beer float. The plated desserts are very elegant, with nice constellations of flavors. My dark chocolate tart was served with a small quenelle of mocha ice cream, a couple of swooshes of OLD balsamic vinegar, and a pile of diced, sweet strawberries. Nothing garish or oddly companioned- just perfect, IMHO.
 
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If I'm developing something unusual for dessert, I want the first bite to explode with flavor and texture in the diner's mouth. That first impression makes the difference between finishing the dessert because I ordered it and OMG, this is to die for an I couldn't leave a crumb if I mustered up all my self discipline.
 
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Actually, I enjoy playing with gelatin and making 'real' jello. It's just the old molds with canned grapes and pineapple that make me gag.

I recently took an oat biscuit recipe, and replaced the rolled oats with nubby steel cut oats. It has such incredible texture, and I love it! It can be applied to so many things, sweet and savory.

Another combo that I find amazing is anisette with vanilla beans and cucumber. It makes an amazing granita or salsa to garnish a light mousse, gelatin, or fruit dessert.

I enjoy crossing over to the savory side, but often times what I think is interesting, others think is odd. I developed these red bell pepper muffins once, that were delicious. The sound of it is strange, but anyone bold enough to taste it really liked it.

So now that you think I'm a total oddball...



:)
 
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Mezzaluna-
Ok- I am just jelous now that you ate at Tru. I fell in love with Gale Gand's Just a Bite cookbook. Although I do not do plated desserts professionally, I have tried many of her recipes for guests in my house and they have all been a big hit. It has inspired me to try many of my own tiny desserts. The other thing I like about this concept is that a little bit can be MORE satisfying. I have been a little annoyed at the restaurants I have eaten at lately- big huge pieces of delicious desserts, but after you've eaten a third of the dessert, it just seems overkill and glutonous.

I also have to agree with Memoreg- WHY are professional chefs serving fresh strawberries or melon in February? Have the palates of the general public become numb??

I love comfort desserts also (bread pudding is my favorite) but this is assuming (and I am sure this goes for everyone on this board) they are the best around. Nothing more dissappointing than mediocre comfort food.
 
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Momoreg,

I love the idea of the annisette,vanilla and cucumber granite.

Do you steep the vanilla bean in the annisette?

Anna,As a chef it also drives me crazy when i see all these out of season items on menus.Just the shear fact that berries are so expensive off season should send up a red flag.

Many chefs need to work more closely with there produce people to maximize the seasons.
 
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CC- I suppose I could steep the beans, but I use the vanilla syrup from Neilson Massey, which contains specks from the bean, and has a great vanilla flavor, which incorporates very well into the mix.
 
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To Anna _ Why are we using fresh strawberries in Feb? At least where I'm from they are in season and w/ the unseasonably warm weather we had in Dec. - Jan. the sugar content is awesome. These are by far the best early season berries I've had in many years. I pitty the folks in the midwest and east for many reasons the weather being one. And the lack of true quality fresh/local produce year around.

As to the original question, I tend to stay w/ the basics but maybe present them differently. Also, as I'm not a big dessert person in general, a dessert has to knock my socks off to be finished so I figured if I like it then so will everybody else. Keep it simple but do it good. Because even though I love root beer floats if it's not any good its going to be wasted.
 
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OK- forgot that it is not freezing in the entire US right now- but if you ever had a strawberry in Cleveland in right now you would probably gag. I agree with Kuan!!!!! ;)
 
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