Big Experience Small Portion

Monday, August 20, 2018

Sometimes what makes a dessert special doesn’t add a single calorie.


A small spoon of a fruit dessert

It might be a unique serving vessel, like a Mason jar or a spoon. Perhaps it’s a surprising combination of colours, a juxtaposition of flavours (sweet with salty, sour, or bitter), a crispy crunch paired with a smooth, creamy filling, or even the contrast of hot and cold foods together that seems to capture the smoke from a campfire.

With a little inspiration, the creative chef can transform a few, high-quality ingredients into an experience to remember.

Did you know? The Café Gourmand, typical in France, combines three bite-sized desserts with a cup of coffee. It satisfies the diner with a sweet finish, while letting them experience three different (petite) dessert adventures.

Redesigning Desserts

While many people see dining out as a treat, 25% of UK adults report eating meals out once a week or more1, making it a regular occurrence. Research has shown a quarter of UK adults’ calories are eaten out of the home2. With desserts in some UK restaurants reaching up to 1200 calories per portion3, improving the nutrition of the desserts you serve could have a big impact on your diners calorie consumption. There are many ways to make desserts a healthier indulgence:

  • Replace heavy, cream-based desserts with yogurt-based desserts.
  • Serve fruit between layers of mousse, creams, or cake.
  • Provide poached fruit options.
  • Instead of dusting with powdered sugar, use cocoa or spices, like cinnamon.
  • Replace rich, creamy sauces with shaved dark chocolate or fruit coulis.
  • Serve aerated desserts.
  • Garnish with edible flowers, herbs, spices (cinnamon stick, star anise) or fresh fruit.
  • Offer miniature versions of desserts like cakes, tarts, or custards.


Did you also know? Miniature desserts have been making a big impression since the 18th century, when the French introduced petits fours.



  1. Adams et al, 2015
  2. Foodservice Footprint, 2016
  3., 2016