Pondering pastry from 2013 has been pretty easy. There were some powerhouse trends, and some more subtle scary trends that slipped in, pinging our radar. Trends are just that: trendy. And there is a need for them eventually to be buried in a time capsule.
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Cronuts: The darling of the pastry world in 2013, the Cronut, a croissant-doughnut hybrid, swept across the world, spawning doissants, kronuts, long lines, and its own black market. I found the cronuts lacking, no matter which I tried or the different ways I made them. Personally, I rather would have an almond croissant. Can we leave the Cronut -- much like we left slap wrap bracelets and pocket rockers -- behind?
Stripper Glitter on Everything: Why? I've been seeing it more and more lately. Edible glitter on everything. There is a time and a place for a sprinkle of edible glitter (a Tinkerbell birthday cake, that gum paste tiara), but everyone doesn't need to look like they have been licking an exotic dancer. Restrain your glitter tendencies.
Cake Pops: I honestly don't get the obsession with this treat trend. It's great for those with leftover cake scraps, but perhaps their overly sugary sweetness are too much for me. I hate their cuteness, usually adorned with the aforementioned stripper glitter. Also, a dessert that gives me only one to two bites reminds me of the "fun sized" version of candy bars. "Fun sized" would be accurate only if they were the size of my head.
Bad Boozy Desserts : What do I mean by bad boozy desserts? The boozy desserts in which the creator doesn't care about the balance of the flavor, and just dumps in a ton of booze. I've said it before and I will say it again: balance.
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Sloppy vs. Rustic: I love rustic desserts. Not overly styled and looking like it just came out of the oven of a tiny Italian grandma. I've been seeing way too many supposed professional pastry chefs turning out sloppy work, slapping rustic on it, and shoving it out the door as they pat themselves on the back. It is a fine line, but I'm getting sick of the sloppy pictures popping up on Facebook. Ditch the sloppy and aim for the rustic.
What do I want to see in 2014? Nostalgia items coming back into the mix. Rustic yet refined. Simple yet perfectly balanced and executed use of flavors. Let's change it up in 2014, breathe some crazy creativity into pastry and leave Cronuts in the past.
Rachel Miller is a pastry chef and food writer in Phoenix, where she bakes, eats, and single-handedly keeps her local cheese shop in business. You can get more information about her pastry at www.pistolwhippedpastry.com, or on her blog at www.croissantinthecity.com.