Building flavors through color and flavor
According to columnist Miko Aspiras, great desserts start with prioritizing flavors
This is how it all begins. The start of my thought process. Though it took me several years to master organizing ideas to create a plated dessert, I thoroughly enjoyed the series of events that led me to where I am now. Getting to this place is a lot sweeter because I endured and lived through the whole process and progress. I have developed my own style, my own system, and, perhaps, that’s the reason why I have come to love composed desserts.
It’s not brain surgery. The routine is simple but not always easy to follow. Remember to edit, keep things clean, avoid complications, and aim for cohesion.
Allow me to take you through my creative journey.
Whether for a competition piece, something that I would serve in a restaurant à la carte, or even just a dessert for my family, I make sure to pay extra attention to flavor. Main flavor I start from the core since this is the biggest part of the dish. This flavor has to be the most prominent one, what the consumer will predominantly taste or what constitutes approximately 90 percent of the overall dish. Strong flavors such as chocolate, coffee, and fruits are the best examples of this element. Supporting flavor This part is as essential as the main flavor because without it the prevailing flavor will fall flat. This comprises around 10 to 25 percent of most of my plated desserts. You can have two to three supporting flavors, but keep in mind that they should always complement the main one. For instance, I like marrying orange with my dark chocolates, and citrus ingredients like lemons and limes with my berries. Background flavor This is one of my secrets. I love highlighting every dish with an unexpected ingredient. Salts, spices, and herbs are some of the commonly used items. The purpose of a background flavor is to accentuate the dish’s overall flavor and appeal. I consider vanilla or its less popular cousin, the tonka bean, as background flavors as they make a component extra creamy in taste. Salt actually gives you a feeling of wanting more and counters the sweetness of the dessert. Background flavors should not comprise more than five percent of your dish.
For this issue, I employed lavender as my main flavor, with purple as inspiration. The blackberry and yogurt act as support, while the olive oil and honey remain in the background. I’ve long been playing with floral flavors in my desserts and, of the lot, lavender is my favorite. It mixes well with sweet and sour notes as well as oils. I combine simple flavors and varied textures that all work in harmony to come up with a fragrant and refreshing meal ender.