Dessert Shots: Big Tastes in Small Packages

Who says dessert has to be served last in the whole health movement? Luckily, there's a trend currently working its way through in-store bakery cases across the country that satisfies both dessert fanatics and calorie-counters. It's basically a miniature version of popular desserts crammed into what can best be described as shot glasses. They were spotted just before the holidays being introduced

Who says dessert has to be served last in the whole health movement?

Luckily, there's a trend currently working its way through in-store bakery cases across the country that satisfies both dessert fanatics and calorie-counters. It's basically a miniature version of popular desserts crammed into what can best be described as shot glasses. They were spotted just before the holidays being introduced in the upscale King's Super Market chain in New Jersey. The 26-store chain's Duo Mousse Shots are available in four varieties: Chocolate, Coffee, Crème Caramel and Raspberry Lemon.

“These are better than eating the whole cheesecake,” said Elizabeth Somers, an Oregon-based nutrition expert and author. “But unless the bakery is telling you the exact nutritional profile of that shot, who can really say what the calorie count is?”

No one is claiming these desserts are diet-friendly, but they are easier to rationalize than a full pie or cake, she added.

“If you gotta have it, at least it's better to have something that's portioned out for you.”

At least two casual-service restaurant chains, Chili's Grill & Bar and T.G.I. Friday's, have offered the desserts since last fall. Chili's calls them Sweet Shots, with names like Seven Layers of Chocolate, Strawberry Wave Cheesecake and Dutch Apple Caramel Cheesecake. Friday's put them on their revamped menu as Mini Dessert Shots, in Rocky Road, Chocolate Raspberry, Peanut Butter Cup, Chocolate Chip Mint and Orange Cream varieties.

Chefs who responded to the National Restaurant Association's annual “What's Hot & What's Not” survey named bite-size desserts the hottest of the 194 items ranked, with more than 83% calling the trend “hot.” Anyone in the food industry knows that what starts in food service often gets translated into the retail channel. Some see it as a tempting way to get wellness shoppers to visit the ISB for more than artisan bread and gluten-free cookies.