Maple syrup takes centre stage at College of Food
Maple syrup has taken over UCB’s kitchens, with both Food Development and Innovation (FDI) and Bakery and Patisserie Technology (BPT) students working closely with visiting professor David Colcombe to create a number of delicious recipes with the much-loved condiment.
From maple beignets (French doughnuts) to maple-cured salmon, FDI students created a wide range of recipes using maple syrup, which in recent years has been recognised as much for its nutritional qualities as its unique taste.
Not only did every recipe feature this magic ingredient, they were also all gluten free, catering even further to the health-conscious among us – an audience that appears to be ever increasing within the UK.
"Excluding gluten from the recipes was an opportunity to find ways of catering to a rapidly expanding area of the market,” said lecturer Mandy Lloyd. “Creating delicious recipes that accommodate these dietary requirements is a real skill – the students have done so well.”
Chef David Colcombe, UK ambassador for Maple from Canada, gave detailed feedback on every one of the students’ recipes, with recipes such as cheesecake with maple pecan topping, and maple cricket flour cookies – made with flour from real ground crickets – earmarked as favourites.
David also worked with second-year Bakery and Patisserie Technology students to develop a number of maple recipes exclusively for savoury products. As though that weren’t enough of a challenge, the brief specified that the product must be made as though exclusively for Marks and Spencer.
After extensive market research into the typical needs and tastes of an average customer at the upmarket department store, students set about developing a huge range of savoury snacks fit for the most discerning of audiences.
“This was an opportunity for students to get an insight into the process of developing a new food product, from start to finish,” added Mandy. “Final products were not only evaluated by chef Colcombe, who is an expert when it comes to ingredients and product development, but also our lecturer, Mark Ewins, whose background in retail gave students a real sense of what businesses want.”