Tiny, perfectly round butter cakes. Beautifully layered vanilla parfaits. Light, airy dollops of chocolate mousse topped with fresh berries and cream. What’s not to love? Single-serve desserts are visually appealing, fun, and skyrocketing in popularity. According to US Foods, mini desserts are at the very top of the list of recent dessert trends. This is one of the reasons why culinary programs such as the Culinary Arts Institute at Utah Valley University (UVU) include this as part of their pastry course. We interviewed Assistant Professor and CEPC (Certified Executive Pastry Chef), Meghan Roddy, to better understand the appeal of mini desserts: “Personally, I think that mini desserts are gaining popularity because of ever-increasing interest in flavors and different foods. It is less of a commitment to decide to eat a smaller, few-bite item rather than a full portion of any food, including dessert. The size also opens the chef up to more variety when preparing the dessert items, and they can offer multiple flavor profiles and component options but still keep the offerings very similar.” In her course, Baking and Pastry Skills, Chef Meghan trains her students to have a solid competency of basic pastry techniques that can be applied in different ways. These basics (pastry creams, mousses, meringues, etc.) make the foundation for the various components of the mini desserts that students can create for events that the school caters to.
Indulgence and Convenience
Mini desserts are indulgent. Even if they’re small, single-serve desserts are typically rich and luscious, and they feel much more like a luxury.
They’re also convenient. It’s hard to walk around and chat at a party with a big crumbly piece of cake or mountainous slice of pie. Sampling an assortment of mini desserts not only looks more sophisticated and elegant but lets others know that you are all about smart indulgence.
Setting up a mini dessert bar with Cambro’s Dessert Glasses is a great way to let guests customize their desserts–layering flavors and toppings of their choice. At the Culinary Arts Institute of UVU when the staff and students prepare for large catered events, Cambro’s Dessert Glasses often come into play. Students layer pastry creams, airy mousses, lemon curd, Italian meringue or exotic panna cottas with various combinations of colorful fresh berries, almond crumbles and brownie bites and top them with whimsical garnishes for appealing flavor variations. Pleasing to the eye, their mini desserts make selection oh so difficult!
The Right Way to Serve
With elegant yet practical equipment now readily available, restaurateurs and caterers can easily embrace the convenience of single-serve desserts. Cambro’s polycarbonate dessert glasses are designed to be filled with individually sized drinks or desserts. They have the look of glass yet are made of break-resistant plastic that is 50% lighter. Operators can rest easy knowing their desserts will not only look tantalizing but remain safe from any glass chips or shards. The other bonus? They’re re-usable and dishwasher-safe, cutting down on expenses for disposables.
Transporting hundreds of mini desserts to an event can be a tricky task, as is washing and storing them after the event. Using trays to hold the mini dessert glasses does not guarantee their safe and intact arrival at the event. After a bumpy van ride, glasses can tip over and create a mess. The smart way to hold and transport these small glasses would be with Cambro’s 49 compartment Camracks® (49S318). The small compartments are just the perfect diameter and height to protect each of the glasses. Camracks can be stacked on a dolly (CDR2020) and covered using dish rack cover (DRC2020) providing the most food-safe holding and transport system in the market. At the end of the event, the Camracks, filled with now empty dessert glasses, conveniently go right into the dishwasher and are stored in the very same system.
Efficient. Effortless…Simply Smart.
Single-serve desserts are proving so popular among consumers all around the country that investing in quality, sustainable equipment to serve them in are a smart decision for all serious caterers and restaurateurs. Life is too short not to savor, so embrace it with something sweet!
If you’d like a copy of UVU Culinary Institute’s recipes for the delectable layering components mentioned above–brownies, peanut butter mousse, pastry cream, almond crumble, lemon curd and Italian Meringue, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.