The celebrity chef says umami flavours and deconstructed desserts will prove popular this summer.
Finden, who is currently judging on Bake off: The Professionals, was recently appointed creative development chef at luxury chocolatier Godiva, which has two Café Godiva sites in the UK - one in Harrods in London, and one in Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield. She spoke to British Baker about upcoming trends in chocolate, as well unveiling details about popular items at Café Godiva sites.
What chocolate trends do you expect to see this year?
Unusual flavour combinations that combine sweet and savoury will be big. Flavours I expect to make an appearance include: toasted kevala (black sesame), miso, seaweed and soya sauce. Umami flavours will prevail. Known as the fifth taste, it means ‘pleasant savoury taste’ in Japanese, and is rich with a salty tang.
What’s your favourite item to bake with chocolate?
I love to use umami flavours with chocolate. The savoury taste paired with the sweet chocolate makes for a beautiful flavour combination – but you have to do it right! One of the Petits Gateaux I created for Godiva Café is Sesame Umami - a cake with an Asian twist.
It is a light and sweet pastry tart filled with salted caramel ganache and sesame nougatine. It is topped with a rich and creamy chocolate ganache that is fragranced with soya sauce and sesame oil. A chocolate mousse swirl with white chocolate velvet finishes off the look. Additionally, an edible red ribbon sugar adds a touch of colour with a touch of edible gold to create a simple elegance.
Some more of my other favourite flavours and foods to combine with chocolate include: salted caramel with lava salt, mango and passion fruit, chai and even mushrooms!
What is your most popular pastry/cake creation at the Godiva Café in Meadowhall currently?
The Petits Gateaux collection is a favourite in the new global cafés. I particularly enjoy the Triple Trouble and the Adam and Eve.
Triple Trouble is a combination of white, milk and dark chocolate concealing multiple textures. The chocolate flavour balances the acidity from the mango and passion fruit. Also included is a chocolate sponge finished with a coating of chocolate, toasted sunflower seeds and a crunchy cocoa nib.
Adam and Eve is a classic British dessert apple crumble deconstructed for Godiva. The quirky design hides a delicious secret at its centre: an apple compote, surrounded by vanilla custard mousse, which has been dipped in green-coloured white chocolate, all of which sits atop a cinnamon-flavoured ‘crumble’ piped into a shortbread. It costs £6.50 and is currently available at Godiva Café Sheffield.
What are the main factors you’re considering with your menu creation at Godiva?
Everything I create for Godiva has to be intriguing and, of course, taste exceptional. We are chocolatiers known for our Belgian chocolate, so I incorporate chocolate into all creations, often in unusual ways.
What new methods and trends are you incorporating into your chocolate pastry and cake creations?
I am always exploring new methods, but getting the basics right is extremely important when it comes to pastries and cakes. Once the basics are mastered, you can look at developing exciting new flavours and concepts.