While dessert versions of savoury dishes are welcome to some, others can be sceptical about their appearance and taste – one being dessert pizzas.
In regular circumstances, we’re used to spotting them topped with gooey cheese, tangy sauces and a range of meats and veggies, including chorizo, bacon, olives, mushrooms, peppers and even pineapple – which is open for debate.
But with foodies being more inclined to step out of their comfort zone and try wacky dishes, myself included, business owners in the hospitality industry have gone out of their way to add intriguing items to their menus.
This includes sweet pizzas.
Loved by all ages
If you reside in the north-east or are passing by, Wander and Graze, Mike’s Pizza Gaff Mac’s Pizzeria and Big Mannys’ Pizza are among the businesses offering dessert pizzas.
Initially adding them to their menu to appeal to kids, Natalia and Michael McLeod, owners of Wander and Graze, which now has its own deli in Chapelton, found that adults loved them just as much – if not more.
“We first introduced dessert pizzas to our menu back in 2017,” Natalia said.
“Michael and I have had a few different styles which included Nutella, marshmallows and strawberries.
“In the beginning, they were a bit of a hit or miss. Some people couldn’t quite get their head around a pizza base with something sweet on it, but it’s essentially a blank canvas that you can put anything on.
“We added these to offer a wider range to kids at events but it turned out that adults loved them just as much.
“We used to give out small tasters for people to try and they always loved them and would give us great feedback.”
They are currently offering a pizza with a raspberry jam base, brie and candied pecans. It is finished with fresh raspberries and icing sugar.
Some people couldn’t quite get their head around a pizza base with something sweet on it, but it’s essentially a blank canvas that you can put anything on.”
Natalia McLeod, co-owner of Wander and Graze.
“Dessert pizzas are a lot harder to master than your savoury pizzas,” she added.
“We are always testing out new recipes and we hope to collaborate with other local businesses to come up with a new one later on in the year.”
Mac’s Pizzeria, based on Union Street, Aberdeen, has also been known to produce pizzas topped with a host of tempting delights such as peanut butter, bananas and chocolate sauce, as well as strawberries and marshmallows.
While Big Mannys’ Pizza no longer offers their 14 and 18-inch ‘mud pizza’, the team says “the feedback was great.”
The business is based at The Adams on Holburn Street and consists of brothers Phillip and Ashley Adams, who own the pub, and freelance chef Calum Wright.
Phillip said: “The mud pizza was our secret base – baked for us to our top-secret recipe by The Breadmaker – blind-baked through the oven and lathered in chocolate hazelnut spread before finally being dusted with icing sugar.
“We introduced it at the start of February because we wanted to offer our customers a unique dessert experience and create a talking point within the city.
“It did prove popular, however, we had to remove it for operational reasons. But we decided to launch our chocolate lil’ twists as a replacement.
“This involves a different sized dough ball, rolled into knots and stuffed with chocolate, which is then baked through our oven and dusted with icing sugar. It creates a super-soft pillowy chocolate dough bomb!”.
In Grantown on Spey, Grantown East: Highland Heritage and Cultural Centre (GE) has served its puddin’ pizzas since 2017.
Karen Blessington, the owner of the business, created several different flavours for customers to sample, including toffee apple, raspberry and white chocolate, lemon meringue, and pecan pie.
“I came up with the concept one day when I was thinking about what different varieties of pizza GE could provide for future customers,” Karen said.
“I thought, ‘why not a puddin’ pizza? I’ve never seen that before.’ They were all created in my home kitchen when I was doing menu development prior to GE’s opening in November 2018.
“My puddin’ pizzas are proving to be popular and are gaining momentum as word about them spreads.
“They are cooked in our hand-built wood-fired oven so they come out warm, deliciously chewy, mildly sweet and topped with ice cream that complements them. What’s not to love?
“We are getting good reviews and even have repeat customers because of them.”