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Updated: October 18, 2013 18:51 IST

It’s quirky time

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The latest dessert trend is all about innovative combinations. Photo: Aiswarya Murali
The Hindu
The latest dessert trend is all about innovative combinations. Photo: Aiswarya Murali

With oodles of creativity out there, makers and takers are equally experimental. Fusion dessert is the flavour of the season, the author says.

If one must eat dessert first because life is uncertain, the only real problem is what one’s pick should be, given the innumerable varieties of dessert on offer in today’s market. On the occasion of National Dessert Day, we track one of the biggest dessert trends of our times - fusion desserts.

Caramel popcorn and alcohol-based desserts found a fan following among the masses, and the Ice Cream Sandwich had the world intrigued when it was invented. But now, you would be surprised to know of the host of other, more offbeat fusion desserts that are gaining popularity.

Not too long ago, the cronut craze was getting out of control. And if this sounds like Greek or Latin to you, the cronut is a croissant-doughnut pastry attributed to Chef Dominique Ansel for Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City. Being the first invention of its kind, in May 2013, the bakery trademarked the name! American baker Bea Vo’s duffin, a muffin doughnut filled with jam is another example. She also gave the muffle (muffin and waffle) and townies (brownie tarts) a successful shot.

With oodles of creativity out there, makers and takers are equally experimental. Home baker Misha Gill says: “Gone are the days of red velvet cakes and cupcakes. Waffles in this flavour are a hit in Bangalore especially.”

Another fusion dessert that has caught the world by storm is the cake pop, an amalgamation of cake and the ubiquitous lollipop. “The thing about cake pops is that they are so versatile. While the Angry Birds and Hello Kitty ruled the roost a couple of years ago, in the Yuletide season, Christmas tree and snowman cake pops are extremely popular. Of late, I’ve been conducting classes where one learns how to make iconic cartoons, baby faces, animals, and ice cream cone cake pops. And the turnout is amazing,” says pastry chef Joonie Tan of Lavonne.

“I am a huge fan of yoghurt and of popsicles so I combined the two and made my own dessert. I experiment with different flavours of yoghurt and though strawberry is always a safe bet, the pomegranate yoghurt popsicles I make are quite a hit among my friends and colleagues,” says Anusha Bheeman, an engineer and foodie.

Mixing two very different flavours of ice cream is also something that’s catching up. When it comes to puddings, innovative confectioners are leaving no stone unturned. “When I was holidaying in London, I found a quaint joint that dished out an almond pudding with fresh litchis and a range of fresh fruit cupcakes,” recounts travel blogger Vivek Rai

The cheesecake too has been given various makeovers in recent times. For example, The Tuck Shop, a new café in Koramangala, is gearing up for its cheesecake festival (Oct 14-21) where they will be offering 15 varieties of the dessert, the red velvet and maghai paan variations being among them. Mayank Agarwal, partner and chef, says: “For a chef, doing fusion desserts is all about being innovative and it also serves as a good way to market one’s café or restaurant.” And how does one decide which two ingredients or combos work best? “Fusion desserts delete memory of taste to develop something new and fresh. But at the same time we have to draw a line with our combinations and not pair any two items which we know for sure won’t work together to enhance the flavour of the dish.”

Going by what kitchen across the world are churning out, the appetite for mash-up desserts is only increasing and before you know it chocolate dosas, chutney ice creams, cup idlis and fresh fruit pizzas will be as common as curd rice!

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