“I hope there’s pudding!”
It may just be the child in me talking, but everyone knows that the most exciting part of any three-course meal is easily pudding. The mouth-watering choices usually on offer: indulgently chocolate treats, creamy caramel delights, flavours of fruity tartness or for those with a more savoury preference a selection of smelly cheeses, all of which completes the dining experience (usually for me) in a sugary explosion for the taste buds. It’s not that I don’t immensely enjoy the previous courses because I do, just that it’s not completely uncommon for me to scan through a menu, racing to see what delicious dessert options are in store. So I thought for my first blog, I would honour the powerhouse that is the pudding by letting you in on some of my favourite places in London to fulfil my sweet induced needs!
Ice cream is a without a doubt a menu regular. It’s like that one fun friend in every friendship group that is guaranteed to be at every party. However, despite its popularity ice cream is surprisingly easy to get wrong. So many places sell sub par ice cream that taste a lot like vanilla with a hint of artificial flavouring, which is then passed off as authentic Italian ice-cream simply because it includes the word ‘gelato’ in the description. An exception to this accursed Ice Cream infraction sweeping the streets of London is Dri Dri. This safe haven for the Ice Cream lover has an array of truly delicious flavours to choose from, including my personal favourite Pistachio. The yummy options are endless and include Turrón (essentially Spains answer to nougat), Torta del nonna which is a ricotta and bourbon raspberry cheesecake and for those of you who prefer a lighter, fruiter choice they have a refreshingly tasty kiwi sorbet.
Last summer like many a culinary enthusiast, I went with my dad (my bon vivant accomplice) to London’s annual mecca of food events, Taste Of London. There were countless options to tempt, with an impressive line up of London’s finest restaurants. After gorging myself at Hooked, Korobuta, L’autrepied and M restaurant – I decided to treat myself further (of course) to something sweet! Theo Randall’s white peach sorbet, with a peach poached in vanilla, and moscato, instantly stood out as the obvious candidate to round off what had been a fantastic day of feasting. I was not disappointed. When I say my dad and I still rave about this dessert to this day, I do not exaggerate. This pudding was everything a fruit dessert should be. The tartness of the peach was softened perfectly by the vanilla and moscato and the sorbet was exceptional. The perfect pudding for a hot summers day.
When it comes to puddings I have to admit that my preference lies with the more traditional choices and none more so than sticky toffee pudding. There is nothing about this pudding that I don’t love, especially when accompanied with salted caramel ice cream. Bumpkin is a complete pioneer of classic British dishes (the fish pie is a must!) as is made abundantly clear with just one mouthful of this dreamy dessert.
Whilst I LOVE chocolate generally – it probably ranks lowest on my choices for pudding. However, I would make a serious exception for a slice of chocolate fudge cake with crumbled honeycomb and a scoop of praline ice cream, a combination that means serious business. If this fine, fine match made in heaven is your kind of thing you can find it at British gastropub The Malt House, a charming public house with a gastronomic menu worth checking out.
As Mr Milton Snavely Hershey put perfectly -“Caramels are only a fad. Chocolate is a permanent thing.”- to which I say quite right. No menu is complete without a bit of gateau au chocolat and The Malt House has just the ticket.
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