Vaishnavi Vora is a second-year bakery and patisserie student at University College Birmingham and a Dawn Foods student ambassador. Here Vaishnavi gives her thoughts on how the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted on food trends as well as the influence of her flavours from her home country of India.
The increasing focus on health and wellness helps to dictate many of the trends for bakeries every year. Mintel suggests that the recent coronavirus pandemic has seen a rise in people following a vegan diet and there are certainly new products in the plant-based category such as Flora’s plant-based ‘cream’ and Oggs plant-based egg replacement, providing home bakers (currently a booming sector) with the opportunity to replicate vegan goods at home.
Industry experts forecast the continued rise of free-from products and the emergence of protein as a value-added ingredient. This can include, for example, the use of pea protein in bakery products such as muffins to create indulgent ‘wellness’ products for special diets such as the keto diet. The use of whole grains like amaranth, rye and spelt is not just beneficial from a health perspective but they also add an exciting flavour and texture to baked goods.
It is likely that we are going to see a surge in the use of vegetable juices like carrot, beetroot, ginger and butternut squash in bread and baked goods, not only adding colour, but also increasing the fibre content and natural sweetness.
Another trend set to hit the market is the personalisation of bakery products by using edible inks for customisation and made-to-order bread, where the design, flavour, nutritional and dietary requirements can be tailored to customers’ requirements.
In terms of flavours, botanical and floral flavours like basil, lavender, bergamot, clementine, rose, and hibiscus are still being seen in variety of products. These flavours can be incorporated in cakes and other bakes to for a fresh summery flavour – how about clementine cupcakes with a basil ganache or a pistachio cake with rose and hibiscus syrup?
According to Mintel, in the next two years we will continue seeing a rise in plant-based innovations, fusion flavours and a focus to improve sustainable production. The next five years will see technological innovations for traceability and greater transparency for the consumers. Use of insects in bread and bakery is also expected in the coming years.
The flavours of rose, saffron and cardamom and the use of nuts are at the heart of Indian bakery and confectionery. Traditional Indian biscuits, ‘Nankhatai’ can be modernised using hazelnuts and chocolate. Traditional Indian sweetener, Jaggery can be used to substitute sugar, adding yet another flavour dimension. I recommend making a rose and pistachio Tres leches cake inspired by the popular Indian dessert ‘Rasmalai’ and a sesame cupcake with jaggery caramel inspired by ‘Til laddoo’ to indeed experience the flavours of India. Ghee can also be used as a fat replacement and add an authentic flavour to a product. The majority of Indian consumers reach out for eggless baked goods for religious purposes, this could be a possible trend worldwide to promote sustainability.
Nankhatai - Indian eggless shortbread cookies usually crispy, made with basic ingredients of sugar, flour, ghee and semolina, usually spiced with cardamom and garnished with pistachio or almonds.
Jaggery - Unrefined sugar prepared without the separation of molasses and crystals, commonly used in Indian sweets. Healthier than refined sugar as it is unprocessed.
Rasmalai - Classic Indian dessert containing soft cottage cheese dumplings soaked in milk with saffron, cardamom and pistachio.
Til ladoo - Balls of jaggery and sesame seeds often prepared for Kite flying festival (Makar Sankranti).
Ghee - Clarified butter with a slight nutty flavour used in traditional Indian cooking and baking.