THE DESSERT OF THE SOUL
Deborah Biancotti, guest blogging
Jam Doughnuts: Jam Doughnuts get brownie points for reminding me of my childhood. Jam Doughnuts are never as good as you think they're gonna be.
Cream buns: Cream Buns are best when they are Butter Cream Buns from the Chinese bakery up the road. Mock cream on soft bread, covered with coconut. Cream buns should never be so old that there's any sensation as your teeth descend through the cream. Even mock cream is meant to be soft. If it wasn't, it would be called Mock Something Else. Mock Butter, maybe.
Profiteroles: Too much can go wrong with profiteroles. The cream can be too hard, the choux pastry can be too chewy, the chocolate can be too un-chocolatey. A high risk dessert.
Cheesecake: Can take it or leave it. Baked is better.
Trifle: OK, but better for breakfast than dessert.
Custard: Best homemade, with lots of milk whipped up to make the custard frothy. Pour into a cup & drink warm.
Mango pancakes: The Regal does excellent Mango Pancakes for Yum Cha. The tang of mango contrasts exquisitely with the softness of the pancake & cream. Tinned mangoes appear to give the best effect. The only time Mango Pancakes are ever less-than-excellent is when they're Banana Pancakes. Even Banana Pancakes are very good (though they lack the complexity of their Mango cousins), but are disappointing when you bite into them expecting them to be mango.
Berries Soaked in Liqueur: No.
European Sponge Cakes Soaked in Liqueur: What's with putting liqueur into desserts? Liqueur is best drunk, & dessert is best eaten.
Pavlova: Must've made myself sick on it as a child. Can't look at Pavlova now.
Lamingtons: Lamingtons are the only thing I miss when I'm overseas. Lamingtons are white sponge cake rolled in chocolate sauce & covered with coconut. They were originally an invention to make stale sponge cake taste better. Sometimes they have cream in the middle, but the cream does not make a worthwhile contribution to the overall Lamington experience, and is best avoided. Lamingtons also come in strawberry, but any other flavour would be wrong. Although mango lamingtons would probably be nice.
Gulab Juman: Excellent, sickly sweet dumplings floating in sugar syrup. Found in Indian sweets stores on Cleveland St. The best ones do not show splitting (the ones I make generally split, but still taste excellent). Brilliant with Ice Cream.
Ice Cream: Excellent in many of its guises, favourites include coconut & also caramel. Gelato is different to ice cream & generally better. All sorts of flavours make good gelato. Rockmelon, pistachio, white chocolate, honey vodka (not sure about honey vodka, actually, but it sounds like a damn good idea). Gelato exists all over Sydney, though exceptional examples may be found in Leichhardt & Newtown.
Wasabi Ice Cream: (Special case: Ice Cream.) Have not tried, but seeing as the Chilli Choc Tim Tams were pretty tasty, might give it a go. Wasabi Ice Cream may be obtained from the Japanese ice cream shop near the Capital Theatre.
Chilli Choc Tim Tams: Not bad. Original Tim Tams are still the best, especially when used as a straw to drink coffee (not to be done in polite company).
Black Forest Cake: Not a huge fan of chocolate cake, myself. Chocolate is best in coffee or in Cadbury blocks. Or Tim Tams.
Fruit Salad: I respect your right to choose Fruit Salad.
(Deborah Biancotti is a Sydney-based writer & amateur dessert hunter. She recommends that desserts are best when consumed in good company & with a smile on your face. Desserts should never be abused as an antidote to unhappiness. This only sours them. You can hunt out Deborah's online presence at deborahbiancotti.net & livejournal.com/users/deborahb.)