In recent times, dessert catering has sprung up as a hot trend in Nairobi.
Primarily, what was a hobby is now a bankable investment commanding high-value spaces at malls and shopping centres.
What’s more, there’s growing demand for the service and trained professionals too.
But what exactly is dessert?
It’s a sweet or sour treat that comes at the end of a meal.
The term dessert applies to pastries, biscuits, cakes, cookies, custards, gelatins, ice creams, pies, puddings, sweet soups, tarts, and fruit.
Read on to know why it should be in your event catering plan.
What are the benefits of eating dessert?
You’re probably thinking this isn’t a healthy idea considering your wellness resolutions or that recent grueling workout.
However, there’s no harm indulging if you ingest in moderation.
1. The right ingestion can fuel your mind and body. Some desserts like pumpkin pie and dark chocolate have the essential vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants for a wholesome diet.
2. Moreover, naturally occurring carbs in high percentages help the brain and body produce happiness hormones like serotonin ideal for overall emotional well-being.
3. On the other hand, light and simple desserts, especially fruity and minty ones, help alleviate stomachaches by regulating the digestive process.
4. Lastly, they’re a fantastic addition to your food and drinks experience and are bound to add excitement to your guests’ taste palettes.
The Pastry Palace
If you’re looking for a dessert catering expert in Nairobi, then Valerie Ndegwa knows a thing or two about it.
Together with Grace Wachira, her sister in law, she runs The Pastry Palace.
A picturesque patisserie at Heri Plaza in Karen (right at the beginning of Ngong Road after the first Shell Petrol Station).
On her return to Kenya from school abroad, Valerie wanted to set up a small eatery.
With Grace, they’d coincidentally studied hospitality but didn’t have the requisite commercial baking experience to run such an operation.
Towards this, they hired Njeru Karanja, a master pastry chef, and set up the business that’s now become a popular spot for yummy pastries.
Interestingly, a skilled pastry chef can pretty much deliver any desired dessert.
Dessert catering for events
So do they offer dessert catering for events? Yes, they do.
Events form a significant chunk of their client base. They’ve supplied brunch to tons of baby showers and bridal showers.
Another one of their standard offerings is dessert tables for weddings, hotels, and restaurants (specifically for the ones without pastry chefs).
According to Valerie, their uniqueness lies in the robust creative process and purposeful focus on taste.
Most people view pastries as sugary and sweet, that’s why they want to change this perception.
Pastries are diverse and more about flavor, taste, and texture.
A pastry mainly consists of several discrete types of doughs that are flaky or crumbly in texture.
Hence, a good pastry is light and airy but firm enough to support the weight of the intended filling.
Interestingly, Valerie’s favorite pastry (or dessert) is a cheesecake.
According to her, the distinctiveness of a cheesecake is that it marries sweetness and tanginess so flavourfully, that before you’re done savouring it, you have to contend with the buttery/crunchy texture of the biscuit base which is a whole other experience that adds to the already delightful surprise.
Cheesecakes are varied, so it’s always such an enjoyable treat when it’s done correctly.
Having painted such a delicious, vivid image to assault the taste buds, what does she recommend you try, if you’re ever at The Pastry Palace? Undoubtedly, the cakes!
Their cakes are apparently customized to The Pastry Palace palate.
For instance, they do a fantastic blueberry and crumble cheesecake with its own customized biscuit base.
Their black forest as well isn’t the typical one.
Theirs has a lovely surprise of a chocolate mousse layer that’ll just melt in your mouth.
Then there’s the signature almond cake with its divine combination of flavors with a nutty almonds aroma mixed with cream and berries…, it’s indescribable unless you try it for yourself.
As it happens, bread is their specialty, especially sourdough breads, which they supply to various restaurants and hotels.
Sourdough bread is made by dough fermentation using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast, which gives it a really scrummy subtle sour taste. It’s especially popular because it goes with any type of sandwich.
They plan to cater to a growing niche of health and wellness enthusiasts by baking vegan and eggless cakes in the future.
Before the pandemic, the eatery was a super awesome chill spot. Clients would sit and enjoy their coffee or 4 o’clock tea. However, now in response to the government restrictions, it’s limited to takeaways and deliveries.
Their ultimate dream is to expand into a hot kitchen with a full pastry/deli restaurant within Karen that’ll be a regular hot spot for brunches.
Ever the optimist, Valerie considers the pandemic a source of learning and growth. More so, on how to plan and prepare for any eventualities in life.
Tips to ordering your event desserts with The Pastry Palace
If you’d like to sample some of their offerings for your next event or party and are wondering how to go about placing an order, these are the crucial details they’ll need from you.
1. Confirm your event date: It’s best to order early to avoid disappointment. That is, at least 10 days in advance. Then again, it all depends on the level of detail and size of the event.
2. Number of guests: Knowing the total guests expected aids in preparing for the serving staff that may be required to attend to the dessert layout and refills.
3. Look and feel: Let them know your preferred dessert types, flavors and special features like a corporate logo or the event theme.
4. Design and layout: Here’s where you inform on the planned display style or whether you’ll be collecting from the bakery.
Frequently asked questions
1. What is the most popular dessert?
Nairobians love ice cream.
But there’s a major split between Black forest, cheese and carrot cakes, though salted caramel is also a hot contender.
Globally, cheesecake takes the cake.
2. What are the kind of cakes?
There are many types of awesome cakes to enjoy. Examples include; cake mandazi, Kenyan meat pie, lemon, sponge, yellow butter, fruit, carrot and red velvet cakes.
Innovative pastry chefs create new cakes each time, so don’t be surprised to find a new kind of cake tomorrow.
Desserts are a delightful inclusion to your event’s food and drinks plan.
Evidently, there’s significant local expertise to deliver a phenomenal experience, as seen from The Pastry Palace.
Every event is different, and the perfect dessert catering plan and partner can contribute to its success.
Continue to follow our series on event catering and share any questions you have with us on the intricacies of planning food and drinks for your events.
Further to this, we’re event planning and decor specialists, so reach out to us for all your needs.