From the Experts – Dessert Trends

New York Fashion Week has come and gone.  Honestly, all I wanted to know was – is it still okay to wear my sweatpants?  Phew!  I’m good until next season.  Okay, not really, but it did get me thinking about what’s new in the dessert world.  What catchy fad everyone will be eating over the next season or two or three.  So I went to the dessert experts and asked.

Back to Basics – Our favorite Sugar High guy, Duff Goldman (from Food Network’s Ace of Cakes & Sugar High) comments “I’m seeing a lot of Pastry Chefs steering clear of “the crap”.  We’re seeing less hydrogenated oils and fake flavors.  Pastry Chef’s are writing more recipes around flavorful seasonal fruits (who doesn’t love a big pile of ripe peaches this time of year?) whereas many menus before were heavy on the chocolate desserts.”

Duff at the Bread Pudding Shop in LA - Image courtesy of the Food Network

Retro flavors are coming back in style – anyone ever heard of Hummingbird Cake?  You’ll start seeing long-lost classics from the 40’s on menus.  Whatever dessert it is, if it’s Duff approved then I’m craving it.

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Gluten-Free – this seems to be the hot button for every one these days.  And I’m thrilled for my GF friends that now they have options, whereas they didn’t even just a few years ago.  Pastry Chef Jack Michelson from the Red Star Tavern in Portland, OR says, “Gluten Free isn’t just a fad, it’s turning into a way of life.  A lot of shortbread cookies or gluten crusts can easily be switched to almond, rice and other non-wheat flours.

Red Star Tavern's Coconut Creme Caramel, photo credit: Paul Wegman

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Drunken Desserts – What two buzzes compliment each other perfectly?  Alcohol and Sugar of course!  Our {new} friends Executive Chef Jose Delgado & Mixologist Ryan Maerz of Canard in NYC sees a big trend in edible alcohol.

Retro-Jello, Jello "shots" infused with a liqueur, then layered with spiked Bavarian Cream

“These treats are a subtle pairing of alcohol to food, and when eaten the result is much the same as when fine wines are paired with our favorite foods.  These kinds of foods always take center stage at events, and create the buzz and lasting impression that every party host wants.”

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Cakes – We can’t forget about cakes.  We’ve been creating celebrations for them, or vice versa (whatever) since the beginning of time.  I don’t see them going away.  What’s the spin though on a traditional cake?  Head Decorator for Carlos Bakery in Hoboken, NJ (yep, that is the “Cake Boss’s” crib) says  “The next big trend for cakes is non-traditional cakes. We have recently taken orders for brides requesting stadiums, Alice in Wonderland themed, and pet-themed wedding cakes. People are not afraid to take risks with the design.”  

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  • September 28, 2011


    Edible alcohol. My mind is officially blown. Bring it. Plus, I love the retro feel and real ingredients, and including a serving of fruit in my dessert is completely smart and acceptable. If Duff says it should happen, I must agree. Great post!

  • […] with THE Ace of Cakes.  Then, Jenny did an interview with Duff to get his take on the latest in Dessert Trends, and she too was smitten with Duff.  Sounds like we’re even up on Duff Points, […]