Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Southwestern Sweet Best of Flavor 2017

Chocolate Cola Cake with pepita crunch, caramel sauce and honey-lavender caviar
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Chocolate desserts always do well, but this one also stands out as a brand signature with its one-of-a-kind garnishes. The Chocolate Cola Cake at Kachina, a Southwestern-inspired concept, sees a Dr. Pepper- and cinnamon-spiked chocolate cake topped with “abuelita” chocolate ganache. A pepita crunch, made with toasted pumpkin seeds and agave nectar, gets sprinkled over top, followed by a drizzle of caramel and a finish of lavender caviar (tapioca pearls and simple syrup). “The cinnamon enhances the chocolate flavor, creating a dish that reminds us of a rich Southwestern chocolate dessert,” says Jeff Bolton, Executive Chef. “The contrast in textures are brought on by the pepita crunch and honey-lavender caviar, which give the dessert a crunch component as well as a soft ‘pop.’”

Trial and error brought his team to the winning, rich, brownie-like cake. When combining ingredients, the butter is melted with the Dr. Pepper and added to the dry ingredients. “We have learned in the baking process that the cake will overflow and bake improperly if the cola mixture is added in hot, so the butter-soda mix needs to be cooled to room temperature before mixing with the dry ingredients,” he says. “There are so many different textures and layers of flavor that make this dessert special. The unique ingredients give the dish a floral and aromatic essence that leaves the customers wanting more.”

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