Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Flavor & The Menu
October 3, 2019

When it comes time for desserts, many diners are looking for that sweet spot that balances familiar and comforting with creative and unique. For menu developers, that balance is the holy grail of dessert menus. An easy way to deliver that experience to diners is through familiar formats, such as cakes, ice cream dishes, tarts, crisps, etc., that are then differentiated through unique toppings, garnishes and finishes.

“The dessert category is just as important as savory,” says Robert LeSage, Corporate Chef for Haliburton International Foods, a specialty foods processor. “It is the last impression you leave with the customer, and it should stand out as a memorable, wonderful experience.”

LeSage and the team at Haliburton specialize in developing customized high-impact flavors and ingredients—both savory and sweet—enabling operators to easily offer signature flavor features for memorable menu items.

“Every dessert needs to have a balance of sweetness, acidity, richness, and texture,” he says, describing the flavor play in this White Chocolate Mousse Cake.

  • White chocolate mousse: sweet, rich flavor and creaminess
  • Mixed berry compote: acidity, brightness and varying texture
  • Chocolate pearls and candied pistachios: visual contrast and crunchiness
  • Vanilla crème anglaise: neutral sweetness
  • Chocolate hazelnut sauce: rich, slightly bitter and nutty element

Seasonal Switch-Ups

LeSage offers suggestions as to how an operator might move the cake, or other desserts like it, in different directions, simply by changing out the garnishes:

Winter: Use an orange-cranberry compote and add vanilla-citrus sauce on the plate; garnish with candied cranberries and toasted pistachios

Spring: Use a strawberry-lavender compote and add honey-apricot sauce on the plate; garnish with almond-lavender crumble and fresh berries

How can Haliburton help?

Haliburton provides custom product and menu solutions in the dessert category by working hand in hand with development chefs. “First, we listen to what their needs are on a specific project and develop the requested product accordingly,” says LeSage. “Then, we make adjustments/revisions to the product if needed until the customer is happy. We pride ourselves on being a trend-forward, innovative custom food product manufacturer with clear and concise communication and commercialization excellence from inception to execution.”

Some of Haliburton’s offerings in dessert sauces and toppings include:

  • Traditional fruit sauces: raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, blueberry, mixed berry, orange, lemon, peach, pineapple, passion fruit
  • Non-fruit dessert sauces: crème anglaise, caramel, chocolate, toffee sauce, salted caramel, bacon caramel, espresso sauce, bourbon-brown sugar, peanut butter sauce
  • Fruit compotes: raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, blueberry, mixed berry, mango, pineapple, peach, apple, cherry and any combination
  • Fruit curds: lemon, lime, passion fruit, orange, key lime

Clean Mission

With consumers being more aware and cautious of the foods they are consuming, one of our main goals when creating products is to keep the list of ingredients as short and clean as possible. Especially when developing dessert sauces, it is best to let the ingredients speak for themselves.

For more information on Haliburton’s dessert sauces capabilities, go to https://haliburton.net/products/dessert-sauces/.

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