Don’t Forget the Dairy in Your Dessert

Pictured Above: ‘Sweet Tea Cake with Dried Apple Crumble’ by Josh Lear, Chef de Cuisine of The Noble South (Mobile, Ala.)

Southeast Dairy Association - Sweetest Chefs

‘S’More Macarons’ by Chef Alejandra Mamud of La Brioche Patisserie in Jackson, Miss.

I recently had the opportunity to attend the annual Sweetest Chefs of the South, a pastry chef competition hosted by Eat Y’all, which connects locally grown/made products in the South with chefs and consumers. It was a fun evening of indulgence, to say the least. Pastry chefs from across the South showcased some of their finest work and guests were able to sample and vote on ‘Best Flavor,’ ‘Most-Creative Dessert’ and ‘Best Presentation.’ As a foodie, I was inspired from talking with the pastry chefs and learning about their use of local products in their recipes, creativity, experimentation with flavor combinations, and dedication to their craft. I didn’t go home and bake all night long, but I did begin evaluating the recipes I use in my own kitchen and was encouraged to try new recipes, both sweet and savory.

At SUDIA, The Dairy Chef and her team develop and test new dairy recipes based on hot food trends, Southern classics, and unique flavor combinations. We often forget that without the health benefits of dairy, most desserts wouldn’t be possible or taste as good, since milk, butter, cream, and yogurt are foundational ingredients. As a registered dietitian, I certainly advocate dessert in moderation, but they have their place at my table and in my life. There are also ways to ‘lighten’ up desserts with lower-fat ingredients and/or smaller portion sizes.

Here are some of my favorite dairy desserts, both indulgent and less so. I encourage you to try one of these dessert dairy recipes at your next party, tailgate, family gathering, or if you find yourself with spare time in the kitchen. Find your own favorite dessert dairy recipes. Let’s get baking!

Stephanie H. Yow, MS, RD, CSP, LD

Southeast Dairy Association - Stephanie Yow