Regardless of regional location, summer time means heat. While it might not last as long in some places, the “dog days” still show themselves at some point. Making a living by spending hours in production area with a commercial oven gives bakers a special perspective and understanding of heat. So when the summer starts to beat down on you and your customers, offering a cool alternative might be a great way to create buzz and long lines at your bakery.
Ice Cream Mashups
The retro movement continues to grow rapidly in all facets of American culture, and desserts from the bakery are no exception. The sundae, banana split—and the ice cream sandwich especially—all represent opportunities for the retail bakery to take advantage of the retro movement. These desserts and others like them, coupled with craft ice cream (small batch ice creams made with high quality, natural ingredients) are where the mashup comes in. According to menu research from Datassential, retro desserts and craft ice cream are in position to take off in the coming year.
Pastry chef Tracy Obolsky of North End Grill in New York, NY, makes popcorn ice cream by soaking popped popcorn overnight in milk, butter and kosher salt. The next day she purees that mixture and add it in to a traditional base to make popcorn flavored ice cream. This yields a perfect craft ice cream for her Popcorn Ice Cream Sundae. For the final touches she layers on salted butterscotch sauce, candied popcorn, popcorn financiers and tops with black pepper whipped cream.
If ice cream sundaes don’t fit into your bakery’s menu, the ice cream sandwich will surely work as a nice cold alternative during the summer. Executive pastry chef Susan Wallace of BlackSalt in Washington D.C. will serve two ice cream sandwiches this summer. The first will be made from ginger molasses cookies with cinnamon ice cream, roasted peaches and caramel sauce. The second will have pistachio ice cream, raspberries and chocolate sauce sandwiched between two double chocolate cookies.
No matter how you use it, whether you make it yourself in small batches or get it from a supplier, ice cream is an easy way to generate extra sales and attract new customers to your bakery. Especially during the hottest part of the year, ice cream will attract people.
Pies and tarts will forever remain favorite desserts in America. For these summer classics make use of fruits that are specifically abundant and flavorful during the summer months. Also, exotic and standard tropical fruits make it easy to put a summer spin on the typical fruit pie and tart.
Summer, tropical and exotic fruit ideas for interesting pies and tarts
•Carambola (star fruit)
•Yangmei (Chinese strawberry)
Don’t hesitate to couple certain seasonal and exotic fruits with staple fruits like strawberries and bananas to come up with something unique. Many pies today that are known in households across the country, like strawberry-rhubarb and kiwi-lime, come from a mixture that had to be tried for a first time at some point.
When summer hits, certain desserts lend themselves to simply being frozen. If you don’t already make a mousse cake or a tart, develop a quality recipe and introduce it to menu. Once it starts getting warmer, take these items and freeze them. Once frozen, you can sell them whole, or better yet, slice them into individual portions and sell them as singles. Mousse pies freeze up nicely as well. A crème caramel is another high-end dessert that makes a great frozen or even partially frozen treat.
The semifreddo is a class of semi-frozen desserts, typically ice-cream cakes, semi-frozen custards, and certain fruit tarts. It has the texture of frozen mousse because it is usually produced by uniting two equal parts of ice cream and whipped cream. The flavors and combinations that can be used to create signature semifreddos vary as widely and infinitely as cakes and ice creams. Also, because these desserts take more time and effort, and are of a higher-end nature, customers will pay a higher price, especially during the hot summer months.