Creme brulee, chocolate mousse, egg custards, and other delicious desserts captivate both young and old. Light, fluffy, and creamy, these dairy desserts are rich in calories and energy. Indeed, along with yogurts and fresh cheeses, they belong to the large family of ‘ultra-fresh dairy.’ Highly prized, these desserts stem from traditional family recipes passed down through generations.
Made from milk, dairy desserts are preparations derived from traditional family recipes. Available in various textures, flavors, and presentations, dairy desserts are both delicious and beneficial for health. Additionally, it’s a clever way to sneak some milk into the little ones without them noticing!
What exactly is a dairy dessert?
Dairy desserts are dairy specialties inspired by family recipes. Highly appreciated, they come in various forms: custards, dessert creams, rice pudding, chocolate mousses… Typically made from skimmed, whole, or partially skimmed milk, they must contain a minimum of 50% milk. They do not contain lactic ferments. The manufacturing process involves a cooking step that eliminates the ferments.
Moreover, their caloric and nutritional content varies according to the recipes. They are not as fatty and caloric as some may think. For instance, 100g of dessert cream contains an average of 138 grams of calories and 3% fat. Furthermore, dairy desserts are also rich in calcium, proteins, vitamins, phosphorus… Currently, innovative recipes are emerging to give birth to new textures and flavors. Note that these innovations respond to the nutritional interests demanded by consumers. So, there’s no reason to deprive yourself!
The different categories of dairy desserts
The great diversity of fresh dairy desserts is explained by the variation in proportions and manufacturing methods. Based on common ingredients, namely milk, they come in different categories. In general, there are more than 14 types of dairy desserts:
1. Flavored gelled milks: composed of sugar or sweeteners, flavors, milk, food coloring, thickeners, or gelling agents.
2. Dessert creams: made with cream or milk, they are full of gelling agents, flavors, and sweeteners. They can be sterilized, fresh, or canned.
3. Rennet-infused flavored milks: containing little acid, they are made from flavored curdled milk. Often, they may contain lactic ferments.
4. Mousses and similar: foamy and similar desserts, they contain milk, flavorings, sweeteners, foaming agents, eggs, cream, and thickeners.
5. Gelled milks with whipped cream: made from gelled milk, sweeteners, thickeners or gelling agents, topped with whipped cream and flavors.
6. Floating islands: containing beaten egg whites and custard, they are cooked in a water bath or in the oven.
7. Creme brulee: they contain cream and sweeteners. They must be baked and should not contain gelling agents.
8. Rice pudding: the basic ingredients of this dairy dessert are rice and milk. It is possible to add flavors or fruits.
9. Egg creams: for traditional products, they must be composed of 10% eggs and 15% cream.
10. Rice cakes: its main components are rice, milk, and eggs. For this cake to be of traditional quality, the rice must be cooked in milk.
11. Milk eggs: for traditional desserts, eggs must be present in a minimum proportion of 15%. Gelling agents are prohibited, and baking must be done in the oven.
12. Semolina cakes: their preparation and composition are similar to rice cakes, but the main cereal is semolina.
13. Creme caramels: with caramel as the main ingredient, they also consist of cream and eggs. Baking must be done in the oven.
14. Egg custards: they are mostly composed of milk (minimum 50%) and eggs.
Ice creams and frozen desserts are also two other variations of dairy desserts. Prepared with milk, flavors, or chocolate, they are highly appreciated by both young and old. Note that all traditional chocolate desserts mentioned must contain at least 5% chocolate. This rate is 2% for other types of desserts made with milk. There are also specialties such as clafoutis, charlottes, bavarois, trifles, Italian-inspired dairy desserts…
What are the benefits of dairy desserts?
The amount of milk consumed by a child may decrease in favor of more solid foods during the nutritional diversification phase. Thus, it is necessary to compensate for their nutritional needs with foods containing milk. Dairy desserts are a good alternative for this. In fact, some brands sell desserts specifically designed to fill potential deficiencies in essential fatty acids or iron.
Dairy desserts also contribute to the bone development of adolescents. The calcium in these desserts is essential at this stage of life. Pregnant or breastfeeding women must also meet their nutritional needs and those of their child through dairy desserts. To avoid deficiencies and age-related pathologies, the elderly should consume more milk, especially dairy desserts.
For each dairy dessert, its manufacturing method…
Just as there are different types of dairy desserts, there are also various ways to make them. The mixture obtained with other ingredients can undergo many manufacturing processes. Floating islands, creme caramels, egg creams, and creme brulees are cooked in a water bath or in the oven. Mousses or foamy desserts are vigorously beaten to achieve their airy and light texture. The delicious taste of dessert creams comes from the gelling agents and thickeners that compose them.
As for the so-called ‘rennet-infused’ milks, they are curdled milks. Under the effect of rennet, they produce tangy desserts. Regarding ice cream, the foaming of flavors and milk will result in a more airy and homogeneous mixture with freezing. Other dairy desserts like clafoutis, rice pudding, or semolina cakes have other manufacturing techniques. Note that the food industry innovates daily and offers new recipes for delicious and healthy dairy desserts.