While nostalgia, traditional recipes and Mad Hatter imagination all play a part in the pastry chef's creative toolbox, more often than not, dessert inspiration starts with flavors. PreGel AMERICA, the pantry force behind any savvy pastry chef, is currently spotlighting three flavors—Coconut, Peach-Mango and Cinnamon—with their new line of 5-Star Chef Pastry Select compounds. StarChefs.com has seen these inspirational flavors in our recent tastings, from comfort food in Chicago to modernist cuisine in the United Kingdom.
Let's talk about nuts. Pastry chefs love to use them for cakes, mousses, gelato, and ice creams. And they're expensive—very expensive. Harnessing nut flavor via infusion can also be quite cumbersome. Fortunately, PreGel has created some wonderful nut pastes, including 100% Pure Sicilian Pistachio, Peanut and Hazelnut, to help pastry chefs utilize these wonderful flavors without breaking their backs or draining their wallets.
At the 2nd Annual StarChefs.com Pastry Competition, 11 semi-finalists found a creative way to incorporate PreGel's Pistachio Superior Paste into their plated desserts. From Frangipane, to Veil, to creams, cakes and ice cream, PreGel's 5-Star Chef Pastry Select Superior Pistachio Paste took the stage in a variety of forms.
Whether it's citrus in January, juicy pears in June, or mulberries in August, pastry chefs change their offerings with the seasons. PreGel's large variety of gelato, soft serve and pastry flavorings give pastry chefs access to a vast variety of fruit flavors year-round. PreGel ingredients also eliminate the arduous task of adjusting recipes due to the varying sugar contents in fresh fruit. They're ideal for consistency and large batch production.
In 2011, we saw the revival of a childhood classic–soft serve ice cream. The trend popped up everywhere, from food trucks to the dessert section of fine dining menus, bringing soft serve ice cream back to the forefront, along with never-before-seen flavors and textures. PreGel's Tenero (Soft Serve) is helping pastry chefs explore this new territory by providing them with a complete palate of flavors.
Need some inspiration? Check out some pastry chefs who are thinking outside the box when it comes to creating sophisticated soft serve creations:
Chef Graham Elliot
of Grahamwich - Chicago, IL
Cinnamon Stick Soft Serve, Roasted Apple, Salted Caramel and Pie Crust
Chef-owner Jenn Louis
of Sunshine Tavern - Portland, OR
Magical Shell: Honey Ice Cream, Chocolate, Salt and Olive Oil
Chef Bill Kim
of Belly Shack - Chicago, IL
Soft Serve Vanilla with Vietnamese Cinnamon Caramel Topping
Chef Takashi Inoue
of Takashi – New York, NY
House-made Madagascar Vanilla Soft Serve Ice Cream with Hoji and Green Tea Syrup
Chef Graham Elliot of Grahamwich - Chicago, IL
Greek Yogurt Soft Serve, Pomegranate, Glazed Chestnuts, and Dark Chocolate
What is it that makes an affogato so irresistible? Some might argue it's the battle between hot and cold. Others love the marriage of sweet ice cream and bitter coffee that at once soothes the stomach and awakens the senses. Italy's traditional affogato is now appearing on menus all over the United States, and has become a new fixture as an afternoon pick-me up.
PreGel's newest line of coffee-friendly, frozen desserts and beverages, Caféttone, comes in classic flavors like Mascarpone, Fior di Latte (Sweetened Milk), Dark Chocolate, and Salted Caramel, all ideal for updates on the espresso-ice cream creation. Inspired by the textures of an affogato, PreGel created Fruittone, a line of fruit flavored frozen desserts and beverages that lend themselves to infused-syrup and fruit juice reduction toppings. Try some interesting fruit flavor combinations such as Pear Fruittone with a cranberry reduction or Pink Grapefruit Fruittone with raspberries or tarragon syrup. Yogurttone completes the line by providing chefs a tart frozen dessert and beverage perfect for building salty or sweet confections.