Hot Trends 2012

Consumers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable and sophisticated when it comes to choosing food options. At the same time, rising prices are placing pressure on Australians to shop at supermarkets for their bread, cake and pastry. With 2012 approaching, Australian Baking Business talked to the industry about hot food ideas bakers can tap into


John Ralley, Mantra Restaurant

Trends: Reconstruction of old classics, liquid nitrogen

Deconstructing classic cakes, pastries and desserts, and then reconstructing them with new modern fusions is becoming increasingly popular among pastry chefs. Manta Restaurant executive pastry chef John Ralley, based in Sydney, said that the trend was growing.

“Everyone’s trying to deconstruct stuff and do everything in components. Everyone is going that way and it will keep going that way for a while,” John revealed to Australian Baking Business.

At a recent Sydney Pastry Club meeting, John made an éclair with a twist, made of choux pastry, chocolate chiboust, chocolate crème pâtissière, chocolate soil, Aero bar, tempered disk, Pop rocks from Amadei chocolate and pulled-sugar ribbon.

Playing with textures is another evolving area and John is currently in the process of buying a liquid nitrogen tank to play around with new ideas.

“It’s a different texture alltogether. Something quite cold like that is amazing to see visually and then taste afterwards,” he said.

John is also using a Cryovac machine to aerate chocolate and is working with tempered chocolate in different ways.

After experimenting in December he will add the new product to his restaurant’s menu in January.

For the Sydney Pastry Club’s most recent meeting in Christmas, John made a Santa

Claus-shaped sugarpiece inspired by director Tim Burton.

The Sydney Pastry Club is planning to meet for Valentine’s Day at Manta Restaurant in February.


Judy C, Cakes by Judy C

Trends: Cupcakes, pies, tarts, macarons

Cupcakes are here to stay, according to Brisbane-based cake decorator Judy C.

Born into a family of cakemakers and having decorated cakes for 18 years, Judy has seen cupcakes increase the trend for individual cakes, with new flavours such as red velvet and cotton candy now emerging at the top of the list. The current trend is for individual petite sizes with flavour sensations in each “tiny morsel”, as well as quality flavour.

According to Judy C, the whoopie pie will continue to grow in popularity as pastry chefs maximise their size and filling versatility, with the only limitation being one’s imagination. There will also be plenty more action to be seen with slices, tarts and new pie flavours.

“I can also see the good-old fashioned slices, as they were called in the ‘50s and ‘60s, come back into favour. We love the memory of them. They are easy to make and they store well,” Judy said.

Tarts and pies have already been “huge” in the US and Judy has been making pumpkin pies for the past month for her customers, adding a dollop of quality cream on top.

“We are making Golden Stair Case Pie this summer, I promised my apprentice that I would teach him this divine family treasure with delicious, citrusy flavours,” she said.


Mark Boyd, II Fornaio

Trends: Gourmet pies

Gourmet pies are making a comeback.At least that is the hot trend taking place at Melbourne’s Il Fornaio. The number of pies the St Kilda café bakes each week has steadily increased with the growth expected to continue.

Head chef Mark Boyd has seen customers’ interest in local and high-quality ingredients increase, with rare-breed beef such as Warialda Belted Galloway from smaller boutique producers set to continue strongly. Having worked in his father’s bakery as his first introduction to the food world, Mark relishes the opportunity to produce high-quality pies.

“2012 pies for Il Fornaio is really about experiencing the full flavour of the pies and keeping it simple. For example, having a chicken and leek pie is about being able to really taste the beautiful slow-braised chicken and perfectly cooked leek with each bite, not just a minced, bandied together, heavy filing,” Mr Boyd told Australian Baking Business

Il Fornaio is planning to test the waters with pies in 2012 by working with game such as partridge, wild Durrell mushroom pies, and partridge pies with Brussels sprouts and Lyonnaise sausage.

Looking elsewhere in Melbourne, Mark is impressed with new products being introduced by patisseries.

“Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio is really leading the way with baked sweets. Patrons are becoming more discerning and the rise of macarons and cupcakes is certainly on the way down,” he said.

“We are currently working on a pistachio, ginger and zucchini cake with rosewater cream. 2012 for Il Fornaio will be about simple, delicate and honest flavours, and really enjoying a harmonious combination of gentle flavours.”

Next year Il Fornaio will add a game pie to its menu and will focus its baking and pastry skills on breakfast, with house-baked puff pastry to be used in an open breakfast pie, and a medley of heirloom tomatoes, carmeliesed onion, baby celery shoots, and creamed fetta tart.



Adriano Zumbo, Zumbo

Trends: Seafood, prawns, fish

Fish, prawns, crabs and other undersea organisms could represent a new frontier of food flavours for pastry chefs and bakers in 2012

Australia Seafood Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) in South Australia received a lesson in innovation when pastry chef Adriano Zumbo visited earlier in 2011 to submerge himself into saltwater science.

Each year the organisation links its seafood scientists with different facets of the industry. Adriano mentored a group in the preparation of an innovative Australian-farmed prawn dessert dish. The prawns were cooked in a passionfruit curd and served with a grapefruit foam with edible flowers and a salted liquorice ice-cream with coconut gel.

“Everyone was a raving about it, it was really the highlight dish out of everything,” Australian Seafood CRC communications and education program manager Emily Mantilla said.

Adriano also discussed with his group the ways pastry chefs reduce waste in the kitchen, develop costing to find good profit margin, where to source products from and the type of information they needed in order to give consumers what they want.

When it comes to using seafood in baked product, Emily said bakers needed to change their mindsets and be open to different ingredients they could use in a pastry. Based on what she observed from Adriano’s work, she believes there are a lot of different varieties of seafood for bakers to experiment with.

“When you think about prawns and when you think about certain fish species, it’s actually quite a sweet meat, and there are techniques you actually use to enhance that sweetness which then can be turned into more baking/dessert meals,” Emily said.

“He did make mention that he obviously tries to push the boundaries a lot and is always looking for innovative things. I think the message the chefs gave us was they wanted to be known as innovators and they see seafood as an interesting frontier to explore,” Emily said.

Prior to the seafood science experience Adriano created a Blackened Salmon/Raspberry Macaron recipe for Regal King Salmon, pictured above.


Kirsten Tibballs. Savour

Trends: Éclairs, Saint Honore, Paris Brest and Mille Feuille

Having recently returned from Paris following the Chocolate World Masters, Savour’s Kirsten Tibballs has several exciting discoveries to share with the Australian baking industry.

With cookies, muffins, cupcakes and macarons having reached their prime, the time is ripe for new pastries to catch on. Having scoured the windowsills of Parisian patisseries, Kirsten believes choux pastry products such as éclairs, Saint Honore and Paris Brest are bound to make an impact. She also expects different types of Mille Feuille with lots of caramel and salted caramel fillings have the potential to catch on.

Exploring Paris’ cobblestone streets during the chocolate competition, Kirsten was impressed by patisseries making Mille Feuille with pastry that doesn’t go soggy.

“The Mille Feuille from the French patisseries were very rustic looking with only icing sugar as a garnish, but utilised the most incredible puff pastry,” Kirsten told Australian Baking Business said.

“There were also lots of amazing tea cakes, marshmallow in all shapes, sizes and flavours and incredible verrines (glass cups with various fillings, flavours and textures).”

In her own Melbourne kitchen, Kirsten has recently worked with freeze-dried fruit and Callebaut’s new product Cara Crakine, a combination of crunch and praline. One new tool that has helped her out is a Matfer spatula with a digital thermometer imbedded inside.

“It is very accurate and fantastic for everything from chocolate to anglaise,” Kirsten said.


Bernard Chu, LuxBite

Trends: Marshmallows

The simple yet versatile marshmallow will hold its own in 2012, according to LuxBite’s Bernard Chu. The South Yarra business co-owner works with Yen Yee to create products inspired by European and Japanese luxury patisseries, such as Pierre Hermé, Ladurée and Henri Charpentier. Bernard and Yen have created their own dream dessert experience – an edible jewel box of colours, flavours and textures, and Bernard believes that distinct to 2012 could be the marshmallow.

“Like macarons, they can be any colour, any flavour and – better still – any shape. Plus it’s nut, gluten and dairy free, which is awesome for clients with food allergies,” he said.

Bernard believes marshmallows can be use in modern ways, such as dehydrated ginger marshmallow to make a gingerbread-style marshmallow house.

“Use marshmallow to glaze dessert to provide texture and actual flavour (like the pictured Tropical Snowman), or light and airy marshmallow filled eclairs,” he said.

Originally from Malaysia, Bernard and Yen moved to Australia to refine their craft and have worked with the likes of Michael Moore (Summit Restaurant), Peter Gilmore (Quay), and Katrina Kanetani (Pier) in Sydney before moving to Melbourne where they worked with Catherine Adams in Rockpool. Their range of products change with the seasons, offering flavours, colours and experiences that constantly evolve.


Andre Sanderson, Le Cordon Bleu

Trends: Molecular cuisine, contemporary style

Le Cordon Bleu Sydney Culinary Arts Institute head teacher Andre Sanderson believes success comes from ongoing effort and practice. At Fine Foods Australia in September he won gold for his sugar work, while he recently joined Justin Yu to form a new roster for Team Pastry Australia.

With a busy year ahead, André revealed his future trends to Australian Baking Business.

“Definitely an ongoing expansion of the use of ingredients in molecular cuisine that are now more readily available and understood,” he said.

“The chocolate market seems to be exploding with options. Being a point of difference in this area is as much about branding and service as it is product. Specialised tools and industry equipment seem to be increasingly available in smaller sizes, which is good for professionals where space, production volume and budget are limited. The high-end patisserie market will continue to grow and I hope more businesses aspire to this while keeping prices realistic for consumers.”

André is interested in stabilisers for the large range of textures they produce and the impact they can have on flavour.

“Gelatine, starch and fat are traditionally the three main stabilisers pastry chefs have relied on, but so many new ones are coming through that pastry chefs can now access, despite having been used in the manufacturing sector for many years.”


Joanne Ward, No35 Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

Trends: Savoury elements

Bacon may be an unlikely ingredient to add to a dessert, but No35 restaurant head pastry chef Joanne Ward can see savoury elements emerging in 2012. Bacon adds a salty element to any dish, contrasting with its sweetness. Savoury vegetables such as carrot, coriander, beetroot and basil can add to the sweet nature of a dish. Even smoke can be used to jazz things up.

The Sofitel Melbourne On Collins-based pastry chef has observed the modernisation of old classics, where the dish is deconstructed and recreated using modern techniques. Even cupcakes are far from being “old hat”, having made a strong comeback and becoming a popular style of wedding cake at the moment. She has noticed that homemade cookies with sorbets and ice creams have recently become big in the US, and handmade chocolates are quite popular.

“We’re seeing a lot of chocolate shops opening up and doing unusual fillings that are great. Also macaroons, salted caramels and fruit jubes,” she said.

Regardless of the trend, however, the most important aspect is always presentation.

“You eat with your eyes first,” Joanne said. “Desserts really should have a wow factor. Interactive elements also add to the wow. The dessert is the last dish of the evening and it should be memorable or it can ruin the whole dining experience,” she said.

The secret to making a dessert is to make sure it is balanced and not overworked, Joanne said.

“An amazing dessert has contrasting textures, smooth and crunchy, contrasting flavours. If you have something sweet, it can be complemented with something salty or sour. Too much of the one thing is boring; you must create something that is exciting in every mouthful. And an element of surprise.”



Makes: 4 pies
Preparation: One hour

Il Fornaio is really about experiencing the full flavour of the pies, keeping it simple, for example, having a beef pie is about being able to really taste the beautiful slow-braised beef and succulent veggies with each bite.

We use Warialda Belted Galloway Beef, 100 per cent grass-fed beef, bred for more than 25 years in the Clonbinane Valley, Victoria. Available at Farmers Markets all around Victoria.

Rather than using a traditional beef mince or offcuts, ask your butcher for a diced leg rump. Veal stock and roux can be made up to a day ahead.

3L veal stock
60ml vegetable oil
2kg Warianda Beef Leg Rump – ask your butcher to dice
2 carrots, diced1 celery, diced1 leek, diced
2 medium onionsRoux500g short crust pastry
500g puff pastry1 egg yolk
1tbs cream
4 pie tins (12.5cm circumference top of tin x 4cm depth)

Veal Stock –
Should be made one-day in advance. Market Stock is a more than suitable substitute.
3kg veal bones
1 pig’s trotter
2 carrot, cut in half
1 stick celery, cut in half
1 leek, cut in half
2 medium onion peel and cut in half
400g tomato paste
3 litres water

300g butter
200g flour
Most importantly, have fun, do a little dance, and really enjoy your baking.

1. To make veal stock, roast the vegetables and veal bones/pig trotter separately. Pre-heat oven to 180°C, place vegetables in a roasting pan, and roast for 20-30 minutes until vegetables are soft. Put the vegetables aside and pre-heat oven to 200°C and place bones in a roasting tray and roast for one hour, after 30 minutes cover the bones with tomato paste and continue roasting for another 30 minutes or until the tomato paste is very dark, almost black in colour.

Combine roast vegetables and veal bones/pig trotters, in a large stockpot, cover with water, about three litres, ensuring bones are covered. Bring to boil and simmer for five hours, remove bones and vegetables, then strain liquid into a container, makes about three litres, discard bones and vegetables.

2. To make the Roux, melt butter over medium-low heat in a sturdy fry pan. When the butter is melted, start stirring in the flour with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thick. Stir the mixture continually and the flour will gradually begin to brown, once the flour is golden colour, transfer it to another container to cool. Roux can be made 1 day in advance and kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. Roux should be used after it’s cooled down to avoid splattering.

3. To make the pie filing, in a big pot use 30ml vegetable oil and heat over medium/low heat, then add the vegetables and gently sweat off the vegetables to release the flavour. Then transfer vegetables to bowl and allow to cool off.

4. To prepare the beef, clean the pot you used for the vegetables and use 30ml vegetable oil and heat over medium/low heat and sauté the beef until brown, and then deglaze the beef by adding the veal stock, filling the pot to just 5cm above the meat. Simmer on low heat, cover with a lid to allow the beef to braise for three hours.

5. Combine the vegetables with the beef and slowly add the roux and simmer for 20 minutes to allow the roux to thicken. Set aside to cool.

6. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC fan-forced oven, 200ºC electric oven.

7. Lay the shortcrust pastry on a chopping board, and using your pie tin as a guide, lay the top of your pie tin on the pastry, and cut out four circles. Lay the puff pastry onto a chopping board and cut out four circles using the top of your pie tin again, the puff pastry will be the lid for the pies.

8. To assemble the pies, grab the four pie tins and line the inside of each of them with the short crust pastry. Then place even amounts of the beef mix into the pie tins and then cover with puff pastry circles. Push down edges to seal the pastry.

9.To make the egg wash, place egg yolk and cream in a bowl and whisk ingredients together, and then brush the top of the pies with a pastry brush.

10. Put all four pies into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown on top.

Enjoy your perfectly crisp, delectable pies.

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