What’s Blooming: Because Small Is Huge

Mono Portions

The Current Trends in the Pastry World

Less is more. A little bit goes a long way. Big things come in small packages. These phrases are a bit cliché, when it comes to mono-portion desserts, they are nothing but the truth. A mono-portion, or mini dessert, is an individual-sized treat that is usually no bigger than 1–3 bites. A decadent dessert in any size is always alluring, but mono-portions have recently proven to be a highly successful menu option for thriving restaurants and gelaterias throughout the United States.

Mono Portions

According to a 2009 survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association, 83% of professional chefs surveyed rated mono-portion desserts as a hot trend. One of the many reasons behind this stellar rating lies within the visual appeal of these alluring temptations. People tend to eat with their eyes despite the emptiness or fullness of their stomachs. Prevalent concerns about obesity have led to a great demand for portion control. The draw of the mono-portion dessert is almost irresistible for the conscientious calorie-counter.

“The benefit of mono-portion desserts is that they are clearly lower in calories (than a regular portion dessert), they give you the opportunity to offer a wider dessert selection, and it’s also easier to upsell with mono-portions,” says Chef Sadruddin Abdullah, executive pastry chef at PreGel AMERICA.

It has been documented that chefs would rather see people order a small, shareable dessert than bypass dessert altogether. Offering mono-portion desserts as a menu option will allow patrons to indulge in guilty pleasure without the guilt. People tend to shy away from regular-portion desserts after a full-course meal; however, they will be more willing to indulge in a mini treat that simply satisfies the sweet tooth.

Some restaurants and businesses have taken the mono-portion to another level and created a sample-platter with several small-sized delicacies. This combination of mini desserts is referred to as a flight plate. A dessert flight offers an even more pleasurable dining experience for consumers. Flight desserts are a great offering for a group of diners and a way for chefs to truly exhibit his or her range of culinary skills. Sorbet shots, brownie bites, parfaits, truffles, petit fours, cheesecakes… the list is endless.

For the pâtisserie or confectionary shop, an alluring display of mono-portions is especially enticing when presented in a gleaming European pastry case. Display cases emphasize products while allowing customers a clear view of the height, depth and color of dessert offerings. Using risers and grates in a pastry case helps to make the desserts more appealing to the eye while keeping oils and water off of the products. Single mono-portion desserts or flight plates can be attractively advertised in a clean display case.

Mono-portion desserts offer the ability to create, entice and delight one loyal customer at a time, or perhaps an entire group. In the case of mono-portion desserts, it’s a win-win situation for the business and the client… and even the waistline.

National Restaurant Association. (2009).
Chef Survey: What’s Hot in 2009
Retrieved July 8, 2009. Restaurant.org/pdfs/research/2009chefsurvery.pdf.
Uebelherr, Jan. (2007) Get your just dessert-on a smaller scale. There’s a new sweet sensation in town with area chefs serving up lots of little treats. Jsonline.com/features/dining/29440304.
Bloom, Carole. (2009). Bite Sized Desserts
Creating mini sweet treats, from cupcakes and
cobblers to custards and cookies. Globalgourmet.com/food/lid/2009/bite-sizeddesserts/.
Holley, Casey. (2009). What Works™ for Food & Beverage. Supplies for Food Display Cases Business.com/directory/food_and_beverage/restaurants_and_foodservice/equipment_and_supplies/food_shelving_and_storage/display_cases/.