“There is no love sincerer than the love of food”
As my #feedfeed on Instagram can surely attest – in my case, George Bernard Shaw’s wise words couldn’t ring more true than when it comes to the subject of all things sweet. I’ve never been known to finish a dinner without dessert or simply make it through the day without a tasty treat somehow crossing my path…
So, you can only imagine my profound state of sugar-induced bliss at present – not only is it UK CHOCOLATE WEEK (Monday 12 October, to Sunday 18 October), but it’s also NATIONAL DESSERT DAY on the 15th!
I know, I know.
Any excuse really.
But just the one needed to give in, let loose and indulge? And since sharing is caring, I’m rounding up some of my favourite treats around town. Bon Apetit!
1. Choux time!
Eclairs have undergone quite the makeover recently. No where is this more deliciously apparent than at Maitre Choux, a specialist choux patisserie launched earlier this year by Michelin experienced chef, Joakim Prat. Expect a contemporary spin on the beloved tea-time classics here, with the likes of tiramisu and lemon meringue on the menu – each crisp, a perfect golden and oozing pure decadence.
Maitre Choux, 15 Harrington Road, London SW7 3E
2. Best cheesecake this side of the pond
Splendidly creamy yet sitting lightly on a crumbly Graham cracker biscuit crust, the cheesecake from JW Steakhouse has to be my ultimate guilty pleasure – even the smallest portion is essentially a mini-cake here. When I’m in London, you can usually spot me at the Park Lane Market (in the Grosvenor House Hotel) on a Sunday evening, picking up one to go. Once back home, the family digs in and it’s all gone in sixty seconds.
Grosvenor House, 86-90 Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 7EH
3. Macaron ice cream sandwiches
It’s all in the name. Yolkin’s macaron ice cream sandwiches are possibly my most exciting discovery of the year. If your appetite is sufficiently whet, you can read more here.
4. French toast
There’s French Toast and then, there’s the Kinako French Toast at Shackfuyu (the Soho-based pop-up by Bone Daddies). Soaked overnight and then fried to crispy perfection on the outer edges (without losing it’s melt-in-your-mouth buttery centre) and presented with a soft-serve matcha ice cream… it’s safe to say that there’s nothing quite like this. A must try.
Shackfuyu, 14A Old Compton Street, London W1D 4TJ
Have you ever had a case of the elevenses, when you can’t decide whether you’d like a cookie, biscuit or go straight for the cake? Well friends, the answer to your dilemma is really quite simple: biskies. These pretty little hybrids by Cutter & Squidge, sandwich delicate fillings from caramels and homemade jams to a light buttercream that apparently halves the amount of butter and sugar normally used in baking. It certainly gives a whole new meaning to those wise words by Julia Childs: “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream”.
Cutter & Squidge, 20 Brewer St, London W1F 0SJ
5. Off the beaten path
Okay fine. Comfortably nestled in the heart of Soho, Bao is far from the road less travelled for foodies. But if you’re looking for a slightly more offbeat dessert, I do recommend the fried horlicks ice cream bao here. There’s something incredibly moreish about the malted sweetness of the horlicks ice cream snugly sandwiched between a crisp “fried bao” (whipped up with a doughnut-batter, in case you’re wondering). Catch my full review of Bao, here.
Bao, 53 Lexington Street, Soho, London W1F 9AS
6. All things chocolate!
But let’s get back to basics shall we? It is chocolate week after all.
There’s really no problem in the world that a rich slice of Annabel’s chocolate cake can’t resolve. And since my cravings inevitably descend well before the respectable hours that one can pay a visit to the Berkeley Square-based club, I usually get my fix at the Mount Street Deli instead, with a good flat white and a spot of people-watching/ window-shopping thrown in as well…
Sumosan‘s legendary dark and white chocolate fondant – coated in a green tea mousse and presented under a sugar-spun dome – never disappoints either. While I’m not a fan of the restaurant itself (after a couple of less-than-satisfactory experiences with the quality of food and the service), the dessert is usually worth going in for just by itself.
Oh and of course I do love a bit of guilt-free indulgence. But then again, who doesn’t? The raw chocolate ganache tart at Nama Foods almost tastes like it’s too good to be true, while every dessert at Wild Food Cafe is just a gorgeous riot of colours, flavours and textures! If you’re all about the deliciously healthy eats, then my guide to the best healthy hangouts in London, might come in handy.
This list is by no means exhaustive. I mean, I haven’t even begun to scratch the sugary surface of my wish list yet, starting with the American-style classics at Christopher’s Covent Garden, who are also serving up a liquid pudding in the form of a nutella martini…
So, what are your favourites? Do drop your recommendations in the comments below and feed my addiction! And speaking of a cocoa extravaganza, how are you guys celebrating UK Chocolate Week?
I know I’m incredibly excited about the Chocolate Show (16th – 18th), which returns to Olympia with a host of exhibitors from Vietnam to Cleethorpes! I’m getting hungry just having a read of what to expect: demonstrations from chefs and chocolatiers, truffle rolling, master classes, a bean-to-bar chocolate factory that will be making chocolate live during the show, not to mention a chocolate fashion show… Mmmm. See you there?