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17-05-2010

TREND: Mini dessert glasses prove popular with gourmets

These days you can’t help but notice.. mini desserts are ‘in’. Time and time again they offer a splendid finale to a meal and the possibilities are endless, both in regards to content and presentation.

Every self-respecting confectioner’s shop is practically obliged to offer its customers one or more desserts in small glasses. This phenomenon is also seen increasingly in restaurants, delicatessens and gourmet takeaways.
On asking around, we learn that people spontaneously cite ‘to widen the existing range, convenience, higher productivity and their elegant appearance as the main reasons for this new culinary craze.

Key points to notice
How do I create my own recipe in a mini dessert glass? How and which combinations of confectionery should I choose?
The most obvious solution is the use of existing recipes. The filling (or topping-up) of a set of mini dessert glasses with the same mixture as your classic mousses is the simplest solution and gives you, above all, the opportunity to introduce your clientele to this spin-off version.
A high-quality chocolate crémeux or mousse with a thin layer of fruity bavarois, alternating with a thin layer of sponge cake, cubed fruit, crunchy topping or crumble is more than enough to give your customers a treat and to experiment at length.

Glass or plastic?
People are divided on this. Glass is sleek, with clean lines, and exudes more class; but glass does make the total cost price higher.
It’s important, though, to consider the following scenario. Passing on the cost of the glass to the customer is self-evident, but be sure to give your customers the chance to recover some of that by charging a security deposit and then refunding it. This gives them a feeling of having paid a reasonably low price for their dessert and, in this way, they’ll return to your shop, mostly with the intention of buying something.

The other side, however, of the 'glass' picture is the hygiene and safety aspect. Strictly speaking, glass is a HACCP obstacle. Breakage, resulting in fragments of glass, is something no one wants to bring upon themselves. So be on your guard in case of resale to third parties or in large quantities. Keep alert to every eventuality! Give particular attention to your packaging.
Hygiene: only by observing yourself, strict hygiene regulations when handling returned glassware, will you prevent cross-contamination and/or impurities.

Some people, these days, prefer plastic. Not for economic reasons but mainly to ensure full compliance with HACCP rules. In that way there’s no confectioner’s obligation to recover mini dessert glasses, glass beakers or little jars, and the cost price of the whole dessert can be calculated exactly.

Some selling tips

  • Opt for simple recipes and flavours (chocolate, fruit mousse, sponge cake, fresh fruit,…)
  • Experiment with different colours and thin, contrasting layers of cream or custard. These will brighten up your display cabinet
  • Reduce the gelatine content by ca. 30%; the creams will then taste more intense
  • Keep the number of returnable mini dessert glasses to a minimum
  • During the festive season, use mini tasting glasses. Offer them on a tray of assorted flavours
  • Tight-fitting packaging prevents breakages (during delivery or, later on, when a careless customer moves them about)
  • Select plastic cartons rigorously by first checking their freezability
verrines

Reprinted from: Chocolaterie (Confectioners) magazine

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