The Unapologetically Ostentatious Restaurant Desserts Trend
Posted: Mar. 30, 2018
Lucky for the sweet-toothed types, the restaurant industry appears to have entered a dessert renaissance. In recent years, there has been a boom of pastry chefs and dessert inventors stretching the conventional limits and exploring the possibilities of dessert. It’s hard to miss the menu renovations underway—the days of molten chocolate cake and ice cream sundaes are bygone.
As described by Baum + Whitman, 2018 is “yet another year for freakshakes, ice cream-stuffed donuts, and other extreme desserts.”
It could be the glorification of desserts by television and food magazines that sparked the movement, but one thing is certain, consumers want more creative desserts, and chefs are eager to exceed expectations. We are seeing savory ingredients and revamps of classically comforting desserts like donuts and milkshakes. Combined with avant-garde techniques and unconventional food pairings, the dessert section is 2018’s culinary rock star.
Today, we focus on the most controversial dessert trend of 2018, the extreme dessert section. They are ostentatious in every way, from portion size to color combinations to ingredients. We share our favorite dishes and trends that embody the brazenness of this extreme dessert trend.
Unapologetically Overloaded Desserts
Oversized cakes are not a new concept; just peep inside the refrigerator of your favorite diner. But without detracting from the heartwarming pies and whipped cream-coated cakes, there are some new boys in town.
Colorful and whimsical, the Pink Cotton Candy Cake from Sammy D's epitomizes the over-the-top, extreme dessert trend category. If you live in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Sammy D’s is most likely your favorite comfort-food destination. With big plates of sandwiches and lollipop wings, the menu has something for everyone.
It’s the four-layered, yellow cake with pink icing that wins hearts, though. Designed by executive chef Deborah Pellegrino, the monstrous pink cake is topped with freshly spun pink cotton candy. It’s loud, it’s decadent, and perfect for an Instagram photo.
Just as over-the-top are the ice cream cakes by New York City’s Parm. All three NYC locations offer a dozen deep-dish, three-layered ice cream cakes inspired by beloved dessert recipes, like the strawberry shortcake and peach melba. (You can see a complete list of the famous cakes here on Grub Street.) Perfect on a hot summer day, but so delicious it’s easy to convince yourself to get a slice any time.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are egg waffle bubble wraps with ice cream, 24-karat golden donuts, and show-stopping nitrogen frozen desserts. If that wasn’t enough there is even glow-in-the-dark jellyfish ice cream.
But without a doubt, the most extreme dessert would be the Freakshake. For the uninitiated, freakshakes are not your mother’s simple milkshake, they are gargantuan meals of the most improbable kind. The base is a milkshake, but the top can be anything: chicken nuggets, bacon, donuts, waffles, cupcakes, candies, and more—oftentimes precariously layered as high as possible.
Since making the global rounds in 2016, from the United States to London to Australia, freakshakes are continuing their reign over the consumer collective. For a restaurant that wants to shake things up, a freakshake is the right way to go. The mash-up of drink and meal requires little except creativity. The more uninhibited you are in the creative process, the wilder the result will be, and the more people will love it.
Freakshakes are the restaurant world’s version of a circus act, designed to be photographed and shared on social media. Since many can have up to 1,500 calories, they’re also intended to be shared by a group. The truth is that this dessert is not about eating, it’s about witnessing jaw-dropping ostentatiousness.
For a new twist to your dessert menu, add a freakshake or other extreme dessert to the list.
See how turning your desserts into Instagram stars is a powerful marketing trick.
Posted: Mar. 30, 2018 | Written By: Emma Alois
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