Chef Walter Addresses High-End Desserts

What can you tell us about the following ingredients and how they might ease processing and improve quality in high-end manufactured desserts?

Stabilizers for whipping and aeration, or perhaps freeze/thaw stability

Foam structures are held in place when air heated cells expand and egg proteins coagulate. Eggs naturally leaven but with a stabilizer like sodium lauryl sulfate, a whipping aid added to egg whites to produce more aeration and bubbles to bake around. Salt is a natural inhibitor of foam because of its ability to weaken protein bonds around the air cells. Sugar aids the foaming process but must be added carefully and at the right time for full volume to be achieved.  Desserts contain functionality that support the control of water crystallization, water migration and only need in some cases a moisture retaining gum to hold minimize drying out over longer freezing periods.

Texturizers to maintain crumb quality or filling smoothness

To maintain crumb quality sugar, fat, and leavening aids are added to tenderize products. This is because they shorten gluten strands. Eggs tenderize because they provide aeration. These same items will also affect the texture by adding moisture to the crumb. Additives are sometimes added to flour to help control the outcome of the crumb. Oxygen is added to the flour to strengthen the gluten so that it will be more elastic. Potassium bromate is added to make a more elastic dough easier to handle once fermented; this product will produce a wider crumb when baked.

Starches, hydrocolloids and other ingredients for moisture management

Liquids from products like eggs, water and milk provide the moisture needed for the starch or hydrocolloid to activate and hydrate. The development of gluten maintains the moisture of the baked item.

Preservatives for microbial stability

Mold inhibitors are added to bread ingredients to prevent growth of spores especially when there is an increase in humidity or temperatures in the area. The use of mold and rope inhibitors is an extra precaution just in case the final baking does not kill any spores. Propionates are added to combat molds and rope bacteria. Calcium carbonate is added to the liquid and can be used to adjust the pH of a dough so that the likely hood of growth can be controlled. Invert sugar, salt and spices are often added to cookies or cakes to provide preservation as well.

Premade batters and mixes to ease production

Many shops are now using dry mixes with the addition of liquids, at their own ratio. This is because of the quality and the convenience the products provide is just as good as a fresh product. Most bakers will add their own enhancements to the mix. Normally all of the dry ingredients would be mixed together in the processes, so it does not hinder them to be combined beforehand.

Click to learn more about the 20+ functionalities of egg products.

Chef Walter Zuromski is president and culinary director of Chef Services Group, Inc. and the culinary advisor to the American Egg Board.



2012-11-29 13:10:23

Chef Walter Addresses “All-Natural”

Is “all-natural” critical to a dessert’s gourmet credibility?

Whole grains or no grains were identified as a food trend for 2012 by Food Product Design.  “All-natural” desserts are just as popular of a trend as a gluten-free option or a product with whole natural grains. A gourmet dessert is made with the finest ingredients, at a high skill set.  Fine and fresh ingredients does not always mean that they are all natural. However, commercially produced desserts have tried to keep labels as clean as possible. They strive to use as many natural additives as possible. But all natural is not synonymous to fresh, high quality or and fine ingredients. Having all-natural ingredients alone does not produce a gourmet dessert, but their presence is helpful.

Chef Walter Zuromski, is president and culinary director of Chef Services Group, Inc. and the culinary advisor to the American Egg Board.

2012-11-05 03:17:36