Mini Desserts in Restaurants Keep Growing (not literally)
Everyone’s been there – that relieving moment when you take the last bite from what was originally a mountain of food that appeared to be ten times the actual capacity of your stomach. The plate is finally cleared and you managed to avoid all mockery. But then, the bubbly waitress returns and politely asks, with a smile on her face, “Does anyone have room for dessert?” You begin to wonder how you could possibly fit another ounce of food in your stomach, but something sweet sounds so, so good.
But, dessert doesn’t have to be in the danger zone anymore. Miniature, bite-size desserts are all the rage within several restaurant classifications in today’s food industry. According to a 2012 Technomic study, 52% of dessert seekers will select an option if it is able to be shared, hoping to reduce sugar and caloric intake with a smaller portion size. This is where the miniature dessert comes into play; not only do these tiny treats accommodate for such a dietary preference, but they are also a great way to have a little something sweet without having to completely indulge.
Olive Garden offers their own form of bite-size sweetness with their Piccoli Dolci platter, which translates to, “little dessert treats,” and consists of different layers of cake, pastry creams, mousse and toppings. Other popular tiny treats include mini cheesecakes, mini cupcakes, bite-size brownies, the list goes on and on.
The MXP can make sure any kitchen is capable of keeping up with this trend while providing consistent results. Below is a recipe for miniature cheesecakes using the MXP, created by ACP Corporate Chef Sandy Gibilisco and ACP Food Application Scientist Patty Reyes.
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
3 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups blueberries
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
1. Mix graham crumbs, 2 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 18 paper-lined muffin cups.
2. Beat cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over crusts.
3. Bake using below instructions.
4. Beat whipping cream with mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; spread onto cheesecakes. Top with blueberries and zest.
Oven Temperature: 375°F (191°C)