THE humble vegetable has been promoted.
No longer consigned to a side dish, veggies such as beetroot, carrot and corn are becoming key dessert ingredients as part of the growing culinary trend to take the sweet out of sweets.
One of the best examples of the movement came from the world’s No. 1 restaurant, Noma, in Denmark, where chef Rosio Sanchez centred her desserts on a feature vegetable such as beetroot or carrot.
”[Desserts] that are not so sweet and a little savoury have been happening for a little while,” said Joanna Savill, the head of the coming Crave Sydney International Food Festival, which is sponsored by the Herald.
”The interesting thing now is that herbs and vegetables are being used as the hero element in a dessert. [The trend] came from the really avant garde end of fine dining, which is about surprising people with familiar things in unfamiliar form.”
While such dishes had been driven by chefs, they had resonated with customers who wanted desserts that were lighter and had less sugar.
Local chefs were also plating vegetable-infused sweets, including James Viles at Biota in Bowral, Daniel Puskas from Sixpenny in Stanmore and the award-winning head chef of Sepia, Martin Benn, who has been using vegetables in his desserts for a few years.
”A lot of people are used to really rich, overly sweet desserts and something slightly different is to use the vegetable to make that transition from savoury to sweet a little more interesting,” said Benn, whose dessert dishes have included candied beetroot with rhubarb to get the ”sweet and sour flavours working together”. His restaurant now serves savoury-styled black pepper ganache and crystalised seaweed with miso ice-cream.
As part of the Crave Festival, which begins on October 1, Benn will collaborate with the renowned dessert chef Jordi Roca from the world No. 2 restaurant, El Celler de Can Roca, who is also known for his vegetable-infused treats.
Benn believes the proliferation of heirloom vegetables, varieties of the plants that were used decades ago and escaped large-scale cultivation, has also spurred the movement.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.