Ingredients
This summer, ice cream served in exotic cones is a popular trend with chefs and restaurants around Canada and the United States. Croissants, Cruffins (croissant-muffin hybrids), and even traditional Hungarian chimney cakes are seen in bakeries, pop-up shops and food trucks.
Summer is a time where consumers desire healthy, refreshing and fun food and beverage options to enjoy with their friends and families. Here’s a perspective on satisfying summer flavour trends:
Aquafaba, the fancy, latinate term for “bean water,” is a cost-effective egg substitute that lends itself well to vegan and allergy-free pastry. Rebecca Coleman, the author of “Aquafabulous! 100 + Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafaba,” was first introduced to this versatile ingredient through social media.
Inclusions and topping add flavour, colour, texture and elegant design elements to baked goods and desserts. Dried fruit, fresh fruit, a variety of nuts and candies are popular options. So, just how can bakers and pastry chefs use these items for product development and to enliven their menus?
Canada Day means celebrating the inclusion of many people into our country.
There is just something magical about the summer fruit from the lush Niagara Region, in Ontario. It has inspired many bakers to make their very first pies. In fact, some have gone on to become professionals, with thriving businesses, using the techniques they have learned along the way to make perfect pies.
Over the last decade, we’ve seen a significant rise in the demand for natural alternative sweeteners in the products we make, buy and consume. Some of these natural alternatives are well-known like honey and maple syrup, while others such as palm sugar and monk fruit, are less familiar to consumers.
Once, it would have been unthinkable to create baked goods without eggs or dairy. As  diets continue to change, so do the variety of available products. Some customers seek out vegan baked goods because of allergies. For others, it’s because they simply don’t eat anything from animals.
New Canadian labelling laws that affect the way sugar is measured may change the way customers and manufacturers view the bakery shelf. But, what is sugar? Where do consumers’ perceptions go wrong? And why is this ingredient so prized in baked goods and also so indispensable?
Matzingen, Switzerland – Swiss manufacturer Veripan has developed a biopreservative it calls a "breakthrough" in giving bakery products long shelf life without the use of chemical preservatives, dough conditioners or undesirable off-flavours.
Frankfurt, Germany – Barry Callebaut has developed five types of chocolate and several sugar-substituting technologies aimed at reducing sugar while retaining taste in confectionery products.
London, U.K. – Four ingredients are piquing consumers’ interest and expected to excel in 2018: chaga mushroom, green banana flour, hemp and blue algae.
A delicious dessert has a balance of flavours and textures. Texture is created by a change in pressure or sensation in our mouth making the eating occasion more interesting. In baking, it is most commonly created by adding ingredients that produce crunch. It can also be generated from ingredients that fabricate crispy, creamy, bubbles and even heat from spices.
A book recommended to me by a food scientist over a decade ago, A Perfect Red by Amy Butler Greenfield, conveys the history of the grand obsession of intrigue, empire and adventure in pursuit of the most desirable colour on earth. In the 16th century, one of the world’s most precious commodities was cochineal, a legendary red dye treasured by the ancient Mexicans and sold in the great Aztec marketplaces, where it attracted the attention of the Spanish conquistadors.
As salt is to savoury, vanilla is to sweets. Salt enhances a dishes flavour, as does vanilla, but have you ever had anyone say "oh I don't think you have enough vanilla in this brownie?" No. But salt? Oh you bet!
There are diet trends that become quite popular then subside from front page news. The Atkin’s diet comes to mind; it was a real blow to bakers and its low-carb sentiments have sure stuck around. These trendy diets often seem rooted in weight loss or addressing a specific health challenge.
As a precipitously carnivorous person, I find myself in a bit of a quandary these days. I used to think nothing of eating a blue T-bone steak the size of a dinner plate — with pride. Now it seems a bit savage. My cupboards house lentils and black beans; former mere acquaintances to my intestinal abode.
In recent years, you have likely seen amazing laminated dough pictures posted online by many great bakers. Lately, the layers are thicker in the finished products. The result is very defined layers of dough separated by the butter.
Bagels are like The Beatles of baking: an original rock star with legendary backstory and legions of enduring fans. Much like The Beatles experimented with sounds that strayed from their early days, the bagel is also finding its own version of Sgt. Pepper’s.
Many consumers welcome ingredients they can see and pronounce on food packages. They value ingredient declarations that do not contain long lists of chemical-sounding words.
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