A few years ago, there was a dessert plate-garnishing craze in restaurants. Whipped cream, chocolate swirls, caramel shards, confectioners sugar and coulis in a dozen different flavors were heaped onto plates to the point where they almost obscured the actual dessert! Fortunately, there has been a big scaling back and now plate garnishes tend to be limited to things that actually complement the flavor of the dessert and its presentation. This is great because it’s fun to garnish a dessert plate as long you don’t need a hundred flavors of coulis to do it. All you really need are a few simple flavors tp fall back on that work well with many desserts.
I recently tried Smuckers PlateScapers as a way to add a little flair – with very little effort – to dessert. The PlateScapers come in five flavors: Caramel, Chocolate, Raspberry, Vanilla and Chocolate Fudge. They’re described as “dessert toppings” but are packaged in a squeeze bottle that makes it very easy to create swirls, spirals and stripes. I picked up Vanilla because it seemed like the flavor that would be the most difficult to whip up on very short notice. It tastes a lot like vanilla pudding with a hint of cake batter – sweet and with a good vanilla flavor. It’s very easy to use and has a great consistency; it comes out cleanly and has a very minimal amount of spread, so your designs stay put.
I’m not about to start using it on a daily basis (it’s mostly corn syrup and, as I said, fairly sweet), but a little bit does go a long way in the presentation of a slice of cake, so I’m sure I’ll find plenty of occasions to add a little swirl to a dessert before I set it on the table.