Wednesday, May 25, 2011

2011 Dallas Dessert Trends

This video is a must watch for dessert lovers! The Food Network did research to determine the top ten dessert trends for 2011. Watch the video and read below to see how these trends compare to what I've seen going on in the Dallas dessert scene...

1. Cupcakes
We've got cupcakes and all of their variations. The first time I'd heard of bacon in cupcakes was when The Cupcakery opened in uptown over a year ago, so we're way ahead of the savory cupcake trend. We've also got mini cupcakes on a stick at The Frosted Art. What I want to know is, where can I get a cupcake fondue in Dallas?!
Mini cupcakes on a stick from The Frosted Art

2. Sweet, Heat, Salty and Tart
If you haven't tried one of these variations on sweet flavors I definitely encourage it. Dallas is no stranger to hot and spicy sweets, although where I've seen it escapes me now. We've also got the salty-sweet covered with Dude, Sweet Chocolate's chocolate covered bacon strips

Dark chocolate covered applewood smoked bacon strip from Dude, Sweet Chocolate

3. Wedding Cake Replacements
This is old news, but it's a trend that continues to grow and expand in new directions. Couples are selecting cupcakes and other bite-size desserts in place of a multi-tiered wedding cake. The last wedding in Dallas that I went to this year had a tier of cupcakes alongside a multi-tiered wedding cake. I've never heard of gourmet donuts or a "cheesecake bar" at a wedding though; someone please send me an invite to that reception! 

4. Protein for Dessert
Fortified protein smoothies have been around for years, but I have noticed more mid-priced bars and restaurants in Dallas offering gourmet cheese plates, such as Cock & Bull, The Libertine Bar, and The Cedars Social. I hope egg custards start showing up more in Dallas, but I haven't seen it yet.

5. Desserts for Grownups
Just add alcohol! This is definitely trending all over Dallas, at too many places to name them all. Whiskey Cake restaurant is leading the pack with none other than their namesake Whiskey Cake, which is all about the whiskey sauce. I recommend checking out the long list of alcoholic milkshakes at any Twisted Root Burger Company; they taste surprisingly balanced. I've also tasted Whipped Lightning alcohol flavored whipped cream at a couple of food events in Dallas this year, but I don't know of any Dallas restaurant using it yet.

The Whiskey Cake at Whiskey Cake restaurant in Plano

6. Whole Grains and No Grains
I can't say I've seen whole grains in desserts in Dallas, but we've got "no grains" well-covered with the recent opening of Company Cafe, which features an entire dessert case of truly delicious gluten free cakes and cookies

7. Raw Desserts
An uncooked cupcake? Unbaked cheesecakes? I haven't seen it yet in Dallas. The only place I've seen this kind of raw dessert was in Austin, when I had a Gourdough's donut whose toppings included—among other items—raw brownie batter. That donut was one of the best things I've ever eaten, no exaggeration, so I hope this trend hits Dallas soon!

Raw brownie batter (and other chocolate toppings) on a Gourdough's donut in Austin

8. Small Sweets All Day Long
I've seen bite-sized dessert balls and pops at a few new places in Dallas this year, including Zen Baking CompanyThe Frosted Art, and Q de Cheval Restaurant, but I don't think this trend has much to do with eating smaller desserts all day long in Dallas. Texas still likes to do it big, including most dessert portion sizes. :-(

Chocolate pops filled with different fruity gels at Q de Cheval restaurant's grand opening

9. Hints of Floral Flavors
I've seen lavender showing up in uptown cocktails, but cocktails don't count as dessert (usually). I've had lavender ice cream and rose macaroons in the past year, but they weren't in Dallas. These are good flavors, so I hope this trend makes it's way to Dallas this year.

10. Dessert Theatrics
Tillman's Roadhouse has been doing tableside smores for a few years in Dallas and Ft. Worth. Also, Rise No. 1 serves their sweet souffles by bringing a tray to your table and punching a hole in the top with a spoon, then pouring the dessert sauce inside and letting you spoon whipped cream on top. I can't think of any other famous tableside desserts in Dallas, although Four Lounge does some cool theatrical tableside cocktails, including magically dissolving cotton candy, applewood smoking bourbon, and flames on a crème brûlée martini.

11. No More Sharing Your Dessert
Yay! It's not fun to share germs, and it would be great to avoid that awkwardness of who gets the last bite. When desserts are smaller it makes it easier to have your own, so I wish our dessert portions weren't so big here. Do you still share your desserts?

Most Notably Not Trending
Macaroons and whoopie pies. No macaroons is especially sad to me because I got to eat the original, most delicious macaroons in Paris. NYC already has them, and I know if we had them in Dallas they would be hugely popular, especially with our high-end crowds. Whoopie pies are also sadly missing because Society Bakery on Greenville Avenue has a whole line of creative whoopie flavors that people love. They're definitely a trend in Dallas, but maybe not in the rest of the United States.

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