India’s dessert scene is no longer just about the usual cakes and pastries – it’s getting healthier, more savoury and innovative, and totally “on the go”.
TOP TEN DESSERT TRENDS OF 2021
Today, innovation is a constant requirement in the food industry. Chef Nicholas Fernandes, executive pastry chef, The Ritz-Carlton, Pune points out that the biggest change seen in response to the pandemic is that consumers are seeking comfort in the food they eat - and of course wellness and specialised diets. This is resulting in the growth of free-from options, such as gluten-free and dairy-free, and plant-based options in dessert categories.
He says, “I’ve observed a distinctive need for a variety of new products to address specific dietary needs. While classics have a well-deserved spot on any menu, emerging trends like hybrid desserts, globally-inspired flavours, botanical elements and individual portions are also gaining traction, especially amongst the Gen Z and the millennials.”
Although people still want to indulge in sugary treats, there is a lot of attention that is being given to overall health. Executive pastry chef Stephenson Simson of The Leela Ambience Gurugram has observed that customers are keen to know the ingredients used and the health benefits they carry. Alternate ingredients are being opted for. For example, refined sugar has been replaced with jaggery or palm sugar. There is more usage of flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, super seeds, oats and cereals.
Today, innovation is a constant requirement in the food industry
LIVE AND GIMMICKY DESSERTS
Speaking of this trend, Chef Vikas Vibhuti, brand ambassador Callebaut India and cluster executive pastry chef, JW Marriott Pune says desserts are a real treat to the eyes, and when it’s given a touch of a gimmick and some live-action is included - it’s a stunning surprise. Then be it a well-made pinata cake to crack or a melting chocolate sphere revealing the actual dessert after melting — customers are bound to love it.
ON THE GO TREATS
Desserts “on the go” or “on the sticks” are trending; of course those with great packaging and those that are easy to eat. These include popsicles in raw fruit flavours, chocolate drenched doughnuts and toasted marshmallows.
REVISITING THE CLASSICS
Come-back of classics is here to stay but with a twist. Chef Santosh Rawat, executive pastry chef at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar says that they are presenting their classic desserts in a contemporary manner. “Chefs have been getting creative with desserts by adding spices, a nutritional value by incorporating nuts and seeds and even using enhanced techniques to offer visually appealing desserts.”
Local and seasonal ingredients rich in nutrients are now experimented with more says Chef Rishabh Anand – executive pastry chef, The Leela Palace New Delhi. For instance, jamun sorbet with black salt, litchi blended with lavender, yuzu with seasonal mango is some of the examples of innovative desserts which have been well received too. Using natural sweeteners without adding sugar is also a new trend.
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