Experimenting with Unique Flavor Combinations
Running a bakery can be a fulfilling and exciting way to make a living. Individuals who have a passion for baked goods and a basic understanding of the chemistry involved in creating a perfect recipe will be well-placed to start a successful bakery. However, it is also important to have a thorough understanding of basic flavor combinations. Bakeries that offer unique twists on popular baked goods such as cakes, cupcakes, muffins, and cookies, will be able to stand apart from competitors and encourage consumers to keep coming back to sample new flavors and ideas. If you want to experiment with unique flavor combinations, one of these flavor tricks may be the perfect solution.
The Salty-Sweet Combination
One of the oldest, and most enticing, flavor combinations in the bakery book is the pairing of sweet ingredients with salty ingredients. Most inexperienced chefs and bakers believe that sweet foods should be sweet and salty foods should be salty. The professionals, however, know that nothing brings out the sweetness in a baked product like a touch of salt. Topping cupcakes with large crystals of sea salt is a great way to bring out the natural sweetness of foods like caramel and chocolate. If a recipe feels too sweet, adding a pinch of high quality salt can taper the sweetness and deepen the flavor of the final product.
Fruit and Liquor Extracts
Another simple way to add unique flavors to your baked goods is to invest in several high quality flavor extracts. Extracts that are made from the oils of fruit rinds or the reduction of real liqueurs are preferable to flavor extracts made from artificial ingredients. You can make your own flavor extracts by soaking your favorite fruit, spice, or other flavorful food in liquor such as rum or whiskey. The alcohol absorbs the flavor components of the food, and you can then add a few teaspoons of the extract to your favorite baked good recipes. Popular extracts include orange liqueur, vanilla, rum, Amaretto, and lemon.
Savory Ingredients in Sweet Baked Goods
A new trend in the baking world that is becoming more and more popular is the inclusion of savory spices in otherwise sweet baked goods. For example, adding a pinch of red pepper or chili powder to a chocolate dessert can deepen the flavor and exhilarate the palette. Other traditionally savory spices and herbs that can be used to enhance baked goods include basil, rosemary, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, or paprika.
A Touch of the Unexpected
Successful professional bakers usually find that customers are delighted by a touch of the unexpected in their favorite baked goods. Consider using unexpected flavors in traditional dishes to impress customers and keep them guessing. Baking is often mistakenly thought to be a by-the-books industry that doesn't have much room for creative inspiration. This is not true, however. A single dramatic twist, the addition of an unexpected flavor, or even a bright color that is unexpected can transform baked goods from dull and lifeless into exhilarating delicacies.