These fantastically effective compounds were traditionally used to flavour Italian Gelato and they work really well in all cream based applications, like ice creams, parfaits, mousses, brulees or panacottas. There are also great in buttercreams.
Compounds have been specifically designed to have very low water levels so as to avoid compromising the rich, creamy mouth-feel of these dishes.
But Compounds don’t just add flavour, they also bring colour and texture so they can build the flavour from scratch. Fruit-flavoured compounds, for example, bring flavour, colour, acidity and sweetness so they can fully replicate the natural ingredient. (Flavour Drops and Flavouring OIls are often used as a secondary flavour or to add more depth to the existing flavour).
I particularly like to use Compounds in a white chocolate ganache because the acidity levels delivered by the compound come through really nicely with the white chocolate.
Flavouring compounds then are useful to build flavour from scratch: bringing flavour, colour and texture without the additional water content you would find in a normal puree. Their high level of concentration enables you to retain the intended texture of the dish. You can get the flavour boost of using 50% puree but at a volume of 3% - 5% (30-50g per litre). If you had to dilute your base mixture by half to get the intended flavour, you risk watering it down to the extent that it becomes a little insipid on the palate.
Along with this very low dosage rate comes the added benefit of consistency. Otherwise, getting the required level of concentration from a puree can be a bit hit and miss. The right amount of the water has to be boiled off and there is of course the risk of burning it.
Flavouring Compounds can also be cheaper when you take into account the alternative cost of raw materials, energy and labour.
They are vegetarian safe and have a relatively long shelf-life.
Avoid compounds if you don’t also want to add colour along with the flavour or if you are making boiled sugar or fudge as the compounds would burn. They are heat stable within something but not directly at very high temperatures.
Try the hazelnut or pistachio, they are 100% pure nut and stunning!