Summer 2022 Chocolate & Bakery Flavour Pairings and Trends
Flavours go in and out of fashion as much as clothing, homewares, memes and music - it’s all part of ever-evolving and changing culture. Some trends, though, are also affected by the season.
When it comes to chocolate and desserts, summer can be a tricky time. The appetite for indulgence is absolutely there, but it competes with warmer weather, so preferences tend to lean towards fresh, light flavours.
What is flavour pairing?
It’s a well-known fact that certain flavours just go together. Rhubarb and custard. Peaches and cream. Gin and tonic. Gammon and pineapple. Salt and vinegar. Rum and raisin.
There’s always a demand for nostalgic, well-loved classics, and we say if the partnership is well proven, go with it. Maybe give it a twist (remember when caramel cheesecake didn’t feature the ‘salted’?) but don’t hold back from offering tried and tested favourites.
That said, people also always love to try something new - just ask Heston Blumenthal and his crazy flavour combinations. Bacon ice cream, anyone?
The art of flavour pairing is bringing together 2-3 different flavours that complement each other. It’s a skill that comes with experience, but there’s also no substitute for getting stuck in and giving it a go.
Sometimes it will go very, very wrong. But just occasionally you’ll get it so right, your customers will be queueing up for your creations.
Paul Williams, of ChocAmor in Lancashire is very talented at concocting new, innovative flavour combinations, and combining them with the right packaging. His award-winning Orange Jalfrezi milk chocolate (yes, chocolate and curry!) is just one example of just how right it can be when you hit on a brilliant flavour pairing.
Which flavours pairings work well for summer?
As we’ve said, summer invites opportunities for light and zingy flavours. We also recommend you keep it clean, people. Yep, clean-tasting chocolate is a thing, which we explain in more detail in this article.
Basically, a clean-tasting chocolate is constituted in such a way that it isn’t claggy or heavy in mouthfeel. Fat-coating in the mouth is minimal; swallow, and the flavour is quickly gone. This makes clean-tasting chocolate perfect for summer, and for pairing with those fresh-tasting flavours.
To inspire you to get started, we’ve produced some irresistible summer flavour pairings recipes. You can try making:
How to get started with pairing flavours?
If you’re struggling to think of summer pairings, we suggest you start by thinking about the natural produce available at this time of the year.
Think of summer fruits such as strawberries, lemons, peaches and raspberries, as well as the tropical fruits we associate with warmer climates, such as mango, papaya, pineapple and banana.
Then start thinking about other flavour categories such as herbs, alcohols, spices, drinks such as tea and coffee, nuts and sugars.
Picture each flavour in your mind - could black pepper add an extra dimension to strawberry? Could pecan pair with peanut butter?
Think about flavours that complement each other AND flavours that can challenge each other. The latter’s more dicey, but when it works, that’s where the magic happens!
Which flavours are trending for summer 2022?
Hopping on a trend at just the right time can be extremely lucrative. Even better is taking a trend and twisting it to make it your own. Pass the bronuts! (It’s the new cronut.)
Summer 2022 is all about the botanicals. Think rose, fennel, mint, dandelion, bay, sage, seaweed, rosemary, matcha and miso.
Fantastic for pairing with those herbaceous flavours is the other key trend: citrus. Play with lemon, orange, lime and yuzu, and see what happens.
We’re excited just thinking about all of the possibilities!
The wonderful thing about these flavours, too, is that they’re ideal for vegan and plant-based recipes. As well as the clean-tasting chocolates we’ve named above, you can play with Callebaut NXT dairy free chocolate, or fantastically characterful origin chocolates, such Sao Thomé or Luker Chocolate’s San Martin.
Bakery trends 2022
Bakery trends tend to pivot pretty quickly. Over the summer you can expect to see ruby chocolate playing a part, dark chocolate paired with strong fruit flavours, and twists on coffee flavours. Those herbal, botanical flavours mentioned above will also be very much present, so keep your wits about you!
Mexican and Spanish flavours are also having a moment, so that’s definitely an area you can explore in both sweet and savoury bakes.
Finally, Snickerdoodles, pretzels and ice cream-stuffed doughnuts are in, so there’s plenty of room for flavourful fun there!
Hopefully we’ve inspired you to jump on a trend or two with your summer flavours, and get stuck into discovering a few innovative flavour pairings of your own!
Start with the recipes above for inspiration, and you’ll find more inspiring summer recipes in this article about making the most of a summer of chocolate!