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Top 10 dessert trends for 2014 (photos included)

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Each year, industry experts try to predict what the new "it" dessert for the upcoming year will be. For 2014, the choices are nothing short of exciting, alluring, and cutting edge.

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With forecasts from such notable sources as the American Culinary Federation, National Restaurant Association, Andrew Freeman & Co., Nation's Restaurant News, and Hospitality Trends, the following trendy desserts are a must-try for both the adventurous as well as the traditionalist. Take a look at what's in store for you at your nearest hip restaurant, café, or bakery:

  1. Tea Desserts - Tea is the ingredient of the year. Black, green, and other leafy brews are ready to bring a healthy, flavorful twist to desserts. In fact, Starbucks made the trend official with the opening of Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar, featuring super-tasty tea bellinis.
  2. Ice Cream Sandwiches - Expect to see a lot more of this portable dessert-on-the-rise, particularly from food trucks and pop-up restaurants.
  3. Upgraded Comfort Desserts - Haute homey desserts are becoming more and more popular with customers nationwide.
  4. Mutant Morsels - Unusual combinations are clearly striking the right chord with customers.
  5. Tippler Nibblers - We will be seeing a lot more alcohol-infused food/drink combinations on menus, including potent snow cones and graham cracker squares in root beer floats.
  6. Biscuits - The new year will bring new interest to the biscuit. And if the absurd popularity of the new 24-hour Empire Biscuit in New York is any sign, we may be on to something big. Really big.
  7. Nut-Based Dairy - Be fully prepared to see a lot more nut-based milks and butters, such as almond and cashew, adding rich, nutty flavoring to ice creams and other desserts such as panna cotta, custards, and sweet sauces.
  8. Middle Eastern Desserts - The introduction of Middle Eastern seasonings such as sumac, za'atar, and marash are sure to expand our sweet boundaries—and flavor profile.
  9. Citrus Desserts - Citrus fruits, lemon in particular, will shine, shine, shine as a main ingredient in desserts, from its purest fresh-juice form to its just-as-delicious preserved form.
  10. Sweetened Vegetables - Forget boiled, steamed, or raw vegetables. The new year is going to see dessert chefs cranking out some really delicious sweet treats out of everyday veggies.
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