Innovate Blog
Dessert innovations 2019 – the delicious sweet crispy treat, fried milk

Tuesday April 30, 2019

Recent research from Datassential has found that fried desserts, such as doughnuts and churros, are on 13 per cent of menus across all restaurant segments. Presence of those items also has grown by 22 per cent over the past four years. Datassential continue to say that one particular fried dessert that has seen an increase in popularity in 2019 is fried milk.

In China, it’s called zha xian nai or chow lai; in India, gulab jamun; in Spain, leche frita and in Italy, latte dolce fritto or crema fritta, depending on where you are. Translated, they all mean the same thing: fried milk.

Fried milk is a centuries old Spanish dessert, which is solidified sweet milk coated in breadcrumbs. The origin of the recipe is uncertain, however it said to have been first made by Spanish nuns, who sold their products to help maintain their convents. Today, it is still sold by nuns at convents, however it has become most popular in street food markets around the world.

Depending on where you are in the world, you can also try different varieties of fried milk. For example, in China it’s a mixture of shrimp, chicken liver and Chinese ham stir-fried with custardy milk and egg whites, but in Northern China, Spain and Italy it’s the well-known sweet crispy treat.

To make fried milk, baked goods brand Betty Crocker recommend the following recipe:

  • Mix ½ cup of granulated sugar, ½ cup of cornflour and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg in a saucepan. Gradually stir in 3 cups of milk. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter and ¼ teaspoon of lemon peel. Spread evenly in ungreased square baking dish, 8x8x2 inches. Refrigerate uncovered at least 3 hours until firm.
  • Cut custard into 2-inch squares, using wet knife. Dip custard squares into eggs, then coat with bread crumbs.
  • Heat oil (1 to 1/2 inches) to 160c; fry 2 or 3 squares at a time in oil 1 to 2 minutes or until light brown; drain on paper towels.
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

Bite into a piece of fried milk, and you’ll first notice the crunch of the breaded shell, then the contrast of a soft, velvety centre that sometimes oozes into your mouth.

Fried milk has recently also made its way to street food markets in the UK, including KERB London. As they are small crispy bites, they are perfect for serving on-the-go or in a street food environment as the consumer can eat it with one hand. Serving fried milk to be eaten on-the-go or in a street food environment requires packaging that can handle piping hot food, and can be held in one hand, freeing the other hand up to eat it. Sometimes fried milk will have a slightly oily residue, so a coated inner to the packaging is also a must.

At Bunzl Catering Supplies we recommend serving fried milk in SmartServ carryout containers, manufactured by supplier Fold-Pak or Hot ‘n’Crispy bags, manufactured by supplier Smith Anderson.

SmartServ carryout containers are an innovative approach to carryout. The patented cup-like structure can be used for many different foods – it’s functional, made from sustainable natural resources and cost effective too. SmartServ is available in white, in 3 sizes; 16oz, 26oz and 32oz, and can be custom printed with your own logo and design.

Hot ‘n’Crispy bags deliver a great eating experience, as the bag retains the core temperature of hot products for 10-15 minutes, whilst retaining their crispiness. Hot ‘n’Crispy bags are ideal for fried milk, as well as hot sandwiches, paninis or baguettes. Available in white or brown grease-proof papers, they can be printed with your own logo and design.

The advantages of printing your own logo and design on food packaging is that it promotes recognition and differentiates you from your competitors. Branding also provides the consumer with clarity and creates trust and a sense of a more premium food offering.

To find out more about our fried milk packaging options and branded packaging, please contact Bunzl Catering Supplies today.

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