We seem to be going back and forth lately on what to serve for dessert. Some restaurants are completely ignoring the “clean eating” healthy food movement and continue to serve massive sundaes, towering slices of cake and thick, delicious milkshakes. Others are completely on board and opting for healthier alternatives like fruit bowls, light mousses, and smaller portions. Then there are some who simply don’t have the resources or space to create lavish dessert menus and often outsource for their offerings.
With colder weather here, why not offer your guests something warm, rich and cozy that won’t make them feel as though they over-indulged, but still satisfies their sweet tooth?
Here’s how we suggest you building the ultimate warming dessert drink:
Step 1: Pick the ultimate mug. You don’t need to get very fancy, but for those well-versed in hot beverages, the vessel makes all of the difference. While I do own one of those plastic insulated mugs that keep my drink warm way longer than I need it to, it is not very inviting or cozy to drink from. Pick a ceramic mug that both hands can wrap around and hug as your guests take their sips. Also, something with a little weight and thickness will hold heat and keep you from having to replace them as often as a thin, standard restaurant coffee cup.
Step 2: Create your hot liquid. This could be as simple as a hot chocolate or you could infuse various milks with cinnamon, green tea, nutmeg or another tempting winter flavor. Try not to make it too heavy or too thick that will create sediment at the bottom of the mug if the beverage isn’t consumed immediately.
Step 3: Create a contrasting topper. The classic example here is hot chocolate with whipped cream. It doesn’t need to be hot, like the base, but should be a topper that gives the base a little life and brings out its flavor.
Step 4: Pick you garnish. Again, we are back to the classic example: chocolate shavings on top of the whipped cream. This is where the drink can get really fun. Think nuts, cookie crumbles or even get a little wild dried chili.
Here are some combinations we’ve seen and some that we haven’t, but think would be a great soothing, warm dessert. Let us know if you have something like this on your menu, we’d love to hear about it or help you create your own.
- Green Tea Latte – Lemon Vanilla Marshmallow – Matcha Powder
- Hot Chocolate – White Chocolate Mousse – Raspberry Drizzle
- Spiced Apple Cider – Granny Apple Slices – Cinnamon Brown Sugar
- Spiced Chai – Vanilla Whipped Cream – Cinnamon Churro
- Dark Chocolate Cream – Chocolate Dipped Orange Peel – Ancho Chili Dust
Ray Camillo – CEO, Blue Orbit Restaurant Consulting