House of Flavour - Flavour of the month - February 2024 Umami Caramel

Watch salted caramel evolve

Umami, translated from Japanese as ‘pleasant savoury tastes,’ stands out as one of the five key senses when experiencing flavour and is different from salt. Since early times when humans first began tasting foods, the flavour of umami has been intricately linked with protein, triggering the brain’s desire for more as a survival instinct.

Umami is found in a variety of foods ranging from bread to cheese and even tomatoes through the glutamates. The umami flavour is ingrained, but as global influences continue to shape culinary landscapes, a deeper understanding of leveraging umami has sparked innovation, giving growth to new flavour profiles and products.

Initially, novel concepts often seem unconventional, and it’s a matter of whether they gain acceptance. Take, for example, the subtle introduction of salt into caramel, initially a discreet move involving replacing unsalted butter with salted butter for a unique impact. Salted caramel has now become an industry standard, with an array of products primarily featuring a salted caramel variety. Although, the types and quantities of salt added have undergone significant transformations, ‘sea salt’ emerges as the common choice, delivering a robust salted kick to counterbalance the sweetness of caramel – a pairing that has undeniably proven to be a match made in heaven.

As salted caramel secures its place as a staple, chefs and consumers alike are on the watch for the next best pairing, and umami has caught their attention. With the success of marrying savoury and sweet flavours, boundaries are being pushed further. Umami, traditionally found in meat broths or fermented products, takes centre stage in the form of fermented caramel as the first step in introducing umami. However, recognizing the time-intensive nature of this process, alternative options for swift delivery have emerged, ranging from miso paste to cheese and even smoke. Each alternative provides a distinctive twist to umami caramel, consistently meeting the irresistible craving for more.

As experimentation becomes more widespread, the possibilities are limitless. From black garlic ganache to salted caramel mayo, whether sweet or savoury, it seems that everything can complement anything, at least once.

All this talk about umami has piqued your curiosity, hasn’t it? Would you like to experience our version? Our exceptional creation stands out by offering a savoury depth without the addition of salt. Sweet on aroma, our Umami Caramel 85/23483 effortlessly navigates through sweetness, imparting a luxurious twist to elevate your tasting experience.

Why settle for just one delight when you can experience the perfect fusion of flavours in every layer? To begin a foundation of brownie infused with Sesame 85/23504, balancing the nutty essence of sesame with the decadent sweetness of the brownie. Next infusing a blondie enriched with the warmth of Maple 85/19595, imparting a deeper, treacle flavour profile that beautifully counterbalances the savoury undertones from the sesame. Crowning this dessert is our signature Umami Caramel 85/23483, blended into a velvety buttercream. This distinctive topping not only unites the savoury and sweet components of the cake but also introduces a luscious, lasting sweetness with Umami depth that leaves you craving more.

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House of Flavour - Flavour of the month - February 2024 Umami Caramel

How about appreciating the artistry of pastry executed in two distinct ways? Delight in the symphony of flavours as our explosive choux buns are encased in a shortcrust pastry, topped with a crackling flavoured with Ginger 85/22776, offering a subtle warmth with every delectable bite. These choux wonders are generously filled to the brim with an Umami Caramel 85/23483 flavoured Chantilly cream, imparting a light yet indulgent experience, with the Umami caramel expertly cutting through the sweetness – elevated with a milk chocolate accentuating the rich, creamy, and enticingly brown undertones.

House of Flavour - Flavour of the month - February 2024 Umami Caramel