Hisham Wyne explores what is popular in the dessert sector...

1 Compact confectionary
A refined glaze has settled on consumer attitudes to pastry. Where more was historically merrier, consumers are now favouring collections of petite pastries. Bakeries and hotels have caught on, and are puffing up offerings with mini-bites.

Choix Par Pierre Gagnaire pastry chef Rodolphe Tronc agrees that assorted tiny treats are in fashion. “It has started to be very trendy because the guests would like to try different flavours and not only a big portion of something. Guests also have less time to enjoy one pastry and prefer to take different small ones to go.”

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Mini pastries can also be indulged in with less waistline guilt. According to Emirates Palace executive pastry chef Alexander Haebe, “as the population becomes more health-conscious, mini pastries become more appealing. You get the full flavour and satisfaction of enjoying your favourite desserts without the guilt of consuming all the calories. As opposed to grabbing that one croissant, a lot of our guests grab a selection of mini pastries.”

But for some, such as New York’s Clinton Street Baking Company, it’s about utility. As chef-husband and wife Neil Kleinberg and DeDe Lahman plan an opening in Dubai’s Burj Views, they say they’re not concerned with fashion, preferring to create classics that are long lasting in flavour and appeal. But they still find uses for smaller sizes.

“Mini pastries are something we do for catering in New York for ease, where quick bites are needed, not for trend.”

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