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I + Desserts. David Gil’s sweet challenges

Christmas Pastry David Gil

December 16, 2020
Alberto Ruiz
Christmas Pastry David Gil
I + Desserts. David Gil’s sweet challenges

If you want to create a new chocolate, or a bread, or a nougat, or a new dessert menu, that also has an identity, that comes with packaging, that needs photographs, and that requires specialized training of your staff to be able to produce and serve later, you just have to challenge the I + Desserts team, a gastronomic studio specialized in innovation and development of projects, ideas, and creative experiences in the sweet world.

An example of the creative capacity of the team led by David Gil is the spectacular range of nougat (turrones) created for this year, within the Xok concept, and which he wanted to share with the readers of our Spanish pastry magazine, Dulcypas. When talent, experience, and determination come together, initiatives with a high creative and technological component arise in this studio.

Photos: Corina Landa


For example, if we are talking about desserts in a restaurant, the I + Desserts team creates a new menu with new products, but also trains staff, provides management software, and recipes, designs the dishes and even takes care of gastronomic photography


At the forefront we find its founders, the brothers David and Adrià Gil. The first trained at the Hofmann school and gained experience in recent years in the desserts and pastries team of Albert Adrià’s elBarri Group. Adrià Gil, for his part, has trained in political science, public international law, and business administration, holding management positions in the food industry.

Ingrid Serra and Julen Urtasun, both also from elBarri, complete a young but well-experienced team that can face any challenge that may arise.

I+Desserts team
Ingrid Serra, David Gil and Julen Urtasun

Its services range from the creation and development of all kinds of gastronomic projects to the provision of specialized training. For example, if we talk about desserts in a restaurant, the I + Desserts team creates a new menu with new products, but also trains the staff, provides management software and recipes, designs the dishes, and even takes care of the gastronomic  photography. In the case of a bakery, this studio develops the bread and pastries that the customer wants to make and sell. And if we think about the world of chocolate, I + Desserts can create a new chocolate from scratch and a whole range of products and applications around it.

They also offer a comprehensive service for the food industry, related to the creation and development of innovative products, which includes the necessary research, formulation, mold design, and even packaging. And they apply as a solvent R&D team so that any company can hire their services and commission them to research any product or ingredient.


But how does it work?

I + Desserts has created a work system to face each new challenge and which it repeats in each project. The first step is to accept the order, then all the options are studied and the possibilities are investigated, the result is imagined, and the first ideas are launched. Then a concept and an identity are sought, the necessary tests are done, and the recipe is defined. Finally, that new product is introduced, communicated, and sold.

But in addition to a method, the members of I + Desserts base all their activity on a series of values ​​and convictions, such as that each creation must have an identity, that the technique must always be subject to taste and not aesthetics or presentation, that it is necessary to bet on seasonal products, that pastry must be lighter, healthier and more balanced or that it is necessary to adapt to market trends to reach new consumers.


They base all their activity on a series of values ​​and convictions such as the importance of identity, putting flavor before technique or presentation, and betting on a lighter and healthier pastry


Xok and Operation Christmas

Among the many activities carried out by I + Desserts, the Xok Chocolates project stands out, which was born from David Gil’s desire to bring a new vision to products linked to the world of chocolate. And the first challenge that they set for themselves within this section was to create a range of chocolate nougat or ‘turrones’ each year with an innovative and exclusive concept, which includes recipes, packaging, and even services.

In 2016, turrones were inspired by classic cakes, such as the Sacher or the Opera. In 2017, it was the turn of childhood desserts, like the Maria cookie or the Petit Suisse. In 2018, the theme was the temporality of fruit, with creations around the Lemon Pie or the Banana.

Xoc and Operation pack

And finally, for this 2020 campaign, David Gil has been inspired by Christmas itself and all the festivities that it encompasses, creating a new reference for each of these dates: Polvorón for Christmas Eve, Neulas for Christmas, the Roscón for Three Kings Day…

All the turrones that make up this new line will be produced in very limited quantities and a few days before the festivities for which they were created. They will therefore be fresh preparations that can only be purchased through the I + Desserts online store until they are sold out.


All the nougats that make up this new line will be produced in very limited quantities and a few days before the festivities for which they were created.


Panettone turrón

The objective with this nougat was to achieve the maximum panettone flavor. For two techniques were used. On the one hand, the panettone is dried and conched to obtain a kind of pure paste with the intense flavor of this renowned sweet with which to make a gianduja. And, on the other hand, a panettone milk, which they prepare by crumbling a panettone and letting it marinate in milk for 24 hours. When straining it, it is pressed to the maximum to obtain a puree of milk and panettone. With this puree they make a panettone ganache. And visually they wanted to reproduce the dome of a panettone, starting from a thermo-formed mold and taking advantage of the panettone capsules as packaging.


Polvorón turrón

Nougat inspired by the mythical polvorón, the Spanish Christmas treat. It could be called “maltopolvorón”, made from almonds flavored with orange and cinnamon. This turrón presented us with the challenge that when opening it, the maltopolvorón broke. To avoid this, we designed a mold with well-marked portions. In this way the portions can be cut and the maltopolvorón does not break, preserving the traditional oval shape of the polvorón.


Roscón de Reyes turrón

The obvious thing is that David Gil and his team wanted this turrón to visually look like a roscón de Reyes (Three kings ring cake). But they also wanted it to taste like it. For this they make a lighter marzipan which is highly flavored with orange blossom, a vanilla ganache reminiscent of a roscón cream, and a crunchy one made with croissant, to give it that crunchy touch. This nougat is accompanied by a small Edamame and a small Moreneta (Catalan virgin Mary), to represent the bean and the king of the traditional roscón de Reyes. To make them, they designed silicone molds with the Foodlab company and they made matcha and wasabi chocolate for the edamame and we used 70% dark chocolate for the Moreneta.

You will find out more about these creation in our Spanish pastry magazine Dulcypas, issue 477.