Crazy Dessert Ingredients to Try

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Sure, most bakers worth their sugar have at least contemplated working with Tahitian vanilla beans or Bourbon vanilla beans.  If you’ve been tempted, but shied away because you don’t know how to use this rare and wonderful spice, here’s some information for you:

How to Use Vanilla Beans
How to Store Vanilla Beans
How Long Vanilla Beans Last
How to Make Vanilla Sugar
How to Make Vanilla Extract

However, there are many, particularly baking bloggers, who yearn for a new challenge and are looking for cutting edge pastry ingredients.  Here are a few suggestions:

Ghost Chiles are incredibly spicy.  Each is as hot as 4-10 habanero chilies.  However, behind that incredible spiciness lurks remarkable sweet, fruitiness that lends itself well to desserts.  Used sparingly, you can bring heat to chocolate desserts without melting your mouth.

Black Garlic possesses a sweet, rich flavor tasting like a blend of roasted garlic and balsamic vinegar, with hints of tamarind and licorice.  It can be paired with chocolate (as in this chocolate truffles recipe), and I think it has potential as an ice cream ingredient if used carefully.

White Truffle Oil  olive oil ice cream is a cutting edge plated dessert element made using exceptionally fruity olive oil.  Why not try to do something similar flavored with (a small amount of) white truffle oil?

Specialty Salts intensify flavors in desserts, but you should only use them in situations where a slight saltiness would be welcome, like chocolate truffles, caramels, brittles or ice creams.

Specialty Sweeteners don’t have to be limited to granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and brown sugar.  Try using demerara sugar to top your crème brulee, maple sugar to bring intense maple flavor to your desserts, or granulated honey to add honey flavor to desserts without having to adjust for added liquid & viscosity.

For other ideas, why not browse all of our Dessert Recipes?




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11 Responses to “Crazy Dessert Ingredients to Try”

  1. 1
    Matthew says:

    Sounds like a good deal to me. 🙂

  2. 2
    maureen says:

    I would love to review your products. I am a former restauranteur and currently faculty member in the culinary arts program at a community college. I also have over 30 years experience and a librarian/researcher/editor.

  3. 3
    The Culinary Chase says:

    I’d love to sample the black garlic, vanilla beans & white truffle oil. Send me an email & I’ll forward my mailing address.

    Cheers!
    Heather Chase

  4. 4
    Sallie Ann Westbrook says:

    What interesting products. I cook a great deal with white truffle oil and vanilla. I like to use both in really unexpected ways. I’ve read recipes with black garlic, but never ghost chiles. Either of those would be really fun to create with.

    I am a food enthusiest; chef stalker, creative cook and vegetarian. My blog, http://www.bunny-bites.blogspot.com was created to promote fine vegetarian dining to weary travelers. I also share dynamic recipes that often include gourmet products. When you find a treasure, it makes throwing together something fine so much easier.

  5. 5
    Colton says:

    I have two recipes that I am perfecting for use with the ghost chilies, one a slow cooker, or all day simmer chili, and the other a Korean inspired spicy garlic chicken/pork with cabbage. Once to my satisfaction I will forward same. I would like to try the black garlic in my Korean dish.

    So far I have found the the ghost chili is everything y’all have claimed, I have a high tolerance for heat, pickled habaneros are like candy. I used three ghost chilies in a rather large pot of chili and could feel my heart beat through my chest after a bowl, which when I want spice…that’s what I shoot for. The average person could not have eaten it without considerable discomfort. I also found that the ghost chili adds a nice smokey flavor to the dish and look forward to further experimentation.

    Look forward to future biz and thanks

  6. 6
    janice nieder says:

    Hi,

    Wow,what a stellar lineup of tasty goods. I’ve been cooking with black garlic since it first came to my attention about a year ago. I love it blended into some creamy cauliflower soup.
    And there is absolutely nothing (even desserts) that doesn’t benefit from a little hit of truffle.

    I am a culinary tourism writer and write for a few differest sites…but the one that covers mostly food is http://www.examiner.com/x-14533-SF-Healthy-Restaurants

  7. 7
    jen says:

    i’m no gourmand or chef but i do love good food, this sounds fun.

  8. 8
    Chris says:

    I’d love to review them. I’d like the last probably, the salts and sweeteners, though I’m not sure if you mean one or the other. If that is the case, then the salts would be great.

  9. 9
    maureen says:

    The Black Garlic has an incredible intensity… flavors of molasses and figs and high in the nucleotide, Guanylate, that contributes to the taste, Umami.

    Try a tapendade with shitake and morel mushrooms, juice of Meyer lemon, parsley, olive oil, and drizzle with aged balsamic vinager. Blend in food processor and spread on toasted baguette. Talk about a Umami Fest!

    Pop a bottle of bubbly and enjoy this New Years Eve or any other evening.

  10. 10
    maureen says:

    The Black Garlic has an incredible intensity… flavors of molasses and figs and high in the nucleotide, Guanylate, that contributes to the taste, Umami.

    Try a tapenade with shitake and morel mushrooms, juice of Meyer lemon, parsley, olive oil, and drizzle with aged balsamic vinager. Blend in food processor and spread on toasted baguette. Talk about a Umami Fest!

    Pop a bottle of bubbly and enjoy this New Years Eve or any other evening.

  11. 11
    maureen says:

    Vanilla is the most popular flavor in the world and one of the most expensive (second only to saffron). True vanilla comes from the fruit (bean) of the climbing orchid of the genus Vanilla which there are only 100 species native to Central and South America. Only the V.fragens and V. tahiteris are crucial to the flavor of vanilla. The Spanish were the first to taste vanilla and named it from the latin word vagina meaning sheath.
    The French planted vanilla orchids off the east coast of Africa on an island known as Ile Bourbon and later in Madagascar, which is why it is known as Bourbon vanilla. It accounts for 80% of the world’s production. It is the richest and most balanced. Tahitian vanilla is one of the rarest that is low in vanilla and high in perfumed floral notes.
    Vanilla Roasted Pears
    Serves 8
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    1 cup water
    2 vanilla beans
    4 medium pears, peeled, halved though the stem and cored
    1 lemon halved
    1 pear, roughly chopped into 4 pieces
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 bottle Riesling wine
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the sugar in a small bowl. With a thin, sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise in half and scrape out the seeds. Stir the seeds into a 1/2 cup of sugar.
    Arrange the pears in a large baking dish, cut-side up. Drizzle the lemon juice evenly over the fruit, then sprinkle with the sugar. Nestle the vanilla pod and lemon halves among the fruit. Pour 1/4 cup of wine into the dish. Dot each pear with some butter.
    Roast the pears 30 minutes brushing them occasionally with the pan juices.

    While pears are roasting, pour remaining wine in a small sauce pan, add 1 cup of water, a cup of sugar, the roughly-copped pear, and a whole vanilla bean, cut into pieces. Simmer this on medium low heat until reduced by half or more. It should be thickened. As pears roast, add this syrup to the pan to prevent pan juices from drying out and burning, but they should become a caramel color as the pears finish cooking.

    Turn the pears over and continue roasting, basting once or twice, until tender and caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes longer (if the pears are small, test for doneness after 35 or 40 minutes of cooking; a paring knife poked into the thickest part of one should meet with no resistance).
    Place roasting pan on stove top and pour remaining syrup from saucepan into roasting pan. Scrape up any caramelized brown bits and cook juices until very thick and caramelized.
    Serve pears warm, spooned with the caramelized pear sauce from the pan and a dollop of whipped cream.