The unexpected evolution of dessert
Today’s chefs are going beyond carrot cake, zucchini bread, and sweet potato pie when it comes to making desserts with vegetables. In the November issue of Food Technology magazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), an in-depth article looks at the way dessert is evolving from the traditional to the unexpected.
Corn, tomatoes, cucumber, squash, eggplant, celery, beets, carrots, and mushrooms are showing up in desserts such as tomato sorbet, corn crème brulée, and chocolate-beet baked goods. Some vegetables cook in similar ways to fruits. For example, eggplant can be a substitute in many recipes for apple or pear.
“Incorporating vegetables in dessert recipes is more about creating a flavourful dish and realising that vegetables have various functionalities rather than using a particular one for “shock value alone,” said Michael Laiskonis, creative director at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York.
Vegetables can also be substitutes for high fat ingredients; the creamy texture and fat content of avocados make them a great substitute for fat in ice creams, gelato, and mousse. In addition, vegetables can be a colourful natural alternative to artificial colourings due to their pigments.