DRESS IT UP
"The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living"
I look at the kids enjoying dress up times now and then, and get transported to a world blurred away. I used to love dress up days, & think I’ve carried my love for ‘sprucing’ the look and ‘dressing up’ into the kitchen.
It’s like we are kids again. I just love adding a bit of dress up to my food presentation, & sometimes it’s as simple as a dusting of sugar that perks things up. I use fairly simple ideas, & my basic premise is to carry a theme through the food, to its ‘look’. The ideas are generally born as I bake/make the particular dish, & though may not be the ‘pick me up’, but sometimes something’s better than nothing!
Let me elaborate. If I make a peach cake, I like to keep a few slivers of peaches to garnish the top. Sometimes I might pop in a few slices of peach into a low grade oven to dehydrate them for a rustic look, which is my fave. I did the same for this roasted peach-plum Fro Yo. A sprinkling of pistachios slivers & I was a happy person!
BITS & BOBS…
My larder & fridge are usually stocked with bits & bobs of garnishing, or things that can be made into garnishing. Let me try & list them for you.
• Dark chocolate flakes, dark & white chocolate slabs
• Coffee beans
• Vanilla Beans
• Powdered sugar in a shaker; even a small tea strainer works well here
• Crystallized ginger, tangerine etc
• Faux candied fruit slices
• Sprinkles of every kind
• Dry fruits, including slivered almonds
• 1-2 tbsps of whipping cream (usually reserved from filling/frosting)
• Chocolate ganache
• Fresh fruit /fresh herbs
• Edible flowers like basil flowers, nasturtium)
• Dried berries
• Dried chilies (for savory dishes• Cinnamon bark
• Beaten silver / gold edible paper
• Homemade caramel, jams etc
• Baggies to drizzle chocolate from, rose leaves, wooden picks, tweezers etc
CONNECT to the dominant flavor; showcase it… My most fave way to do servings, especially desserts, is in individual servings. But whatever you do, try and make sure that you save a handful of ingredients to ‘dress it up’. Whatever it might be, use a garnish to showcase the inner flavor. Bring it out! In this Chocolate Genoise Cake with Mocha Mascarpone I used chocolate flakes & coffee beans on the frosting to tie in
Another good way to learn is to visit food blogs. Two of my favourite food blogs hang-outs for presentation ideas are Helen @ Tartlette and Aran @ Canelle et Vanille. These daring ladies are brilliant & inspirational pastry chefs, and are hugely large hearted too. One visit there sends me to dessert heaven.
Points to keep in mind…
• Use colour, whether in contrast or same shades, but it should complement the presentation. Chocolate on chocolate is lovely at times, or chocolate, strawberries & pistachio nuts
• A sprig of fresh herbs, fruit or flowers can be helpful to perk something up.
• Simple marbling is also very effective.…
• Bring out taste in your food through presentation
• Focus on ingredients; get creative.
• If all else fails & you’ve run out of time, just sift some powdered sugar over, and you are ready to go!
Deeba @ Passionate About Baking