16 November 2017

My Ultimate List of Desserts in London

We all joke about bloggers having separate dessert stomachs - it's a necessary job prerequisite - but as I sat here thinking about my next blog post, I realised that a) we didn't have any dessert in the cupboards without getting my baking tins out,  b) I had a space in the blog calendar and c) I'd never actually thought about which of the London puddings have been my favourite.

These are the ones that we've gone back time and time again for - occasionally popping in late in the evening just for a sweet bite or planning a whole evening around that crowning pastry.

The best desserts in London Adventures of a London Kiwi

The most unfortunate side effect of writing this post is the realisation that it doesn't change the state of my cupboards....

...and the realisation that I've definitely missed a few off this list.

Chez Kiwi - Fruit Bread French Toast
Ok, this is tooting my own chef's horn just a little bit, but this plate of Fruit Bread French Toast was ridiculously delicious drizzled with a vanilla custard. And I've never yet been able to successfully reproduce it again. It's the dessert version of a unicorn. WholeFoods also does a sinful croissant Bread and Butter pudding that verges on ridiculous.


The Ritz - Blackcurrent Souffle & Chocolate Mousse
We adored our pre-Michelin star meal, but a special highlight was the piquant and feather-light blackcurrant souffle with oat crumble and perfectly matched yoghurt ice cream, alongside the most amazing chocolate (Amadei) mousse with cocoa nub and ice cream.

The best desserts in London Adventures of a London Kiwi

Hawksmoor - Sticky Toffee Pudding
Served with clotted cream and a side of guilt. But then you slide the edge of your spoon in and all is forgotten.

The best desserts in London Adventures of a London Kiwi

Aqua Kyoto - Fuji Apple
Heroically (you might want to read the post for context) we all gathered as Paul showed us his (off brunch menu) specially deconstructed a la carte dessert simply called Fuji Apple. An 'apple' shell is blown with Isomalt (instead of more usual sugar) and filled with a mixture of apple mousse and apple with nitrous oxide. Accompanying the plate are caramelised apples, meringue and a tart sorbet that I adored enough to swoop seconds.


The best desserts in London Adventures of a London Kiwi

The Big Easy - Dressed Up Scoops
Worth hog-tying a low-down varmit, after brunch at the Big Easy, it was utterly impossible to resist one of the dressed up scoops - a hearty serving of rum and raisin ice cream with a pipette of El Dorado 12 year old Demerara Rum - crowned with a bow-tied gingerbread man that was almost too cute to bite. Almost.

The best desserts in London Adventures of a London Kiwi

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal - Tipsy Cake (c.1810)
Agonizing over what to choose, when my date refused to even share a teeny tidbit of her dessert that takes 40-minutes to prepare, I couldn't resist doubling her order of the Victorian favourite, Tipsy Cake. A soft, buttery, fluffy just-baked brioche doused in Brandy was the perfect end to our feast (and I'm glad we didn't split one for the record.) From our table, we could watch the kitchen at work which includes a unique pulley system installed for more than good looks alone, modelled after a version used by the royal court. The pulleys rotate the spit on an open fire, and our Tipsy Cake is served with spit-roasted and sugar syrup basted pineapple that complements the comforting and delicate dessert delightfully. 

Heston Blumenthal Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Luxury Gastronomy Dinner Adventures of a London Kiwi

Beany Green - Banana Bread
Technically these towers are served as breakfast, but the Beany Green banana bread is rather infamous and needs a sonnet written to it. It. Is. Incredible. The tower of heaven is homemade, grilled, drizzled with honey, topped with fresh berries and sandwiched with pillows of Marscapone. Possibly the embodiment of all the reasons brunch is the best meal of the day - after all once you wander into that sunshine you have at least another 8 hours to walk it off (except when on a birthday meal marathon like this lady and I have been known to partake of on occasion).

The best desserts in London Adventures of a London Kiwi

Fischers - Topfenstrudel
We took more than a little time pouring over the menu, do we go rich, chocolately and unctious or fruity and decadent? Choices, choices. Deferring to our waitress, she recommends the house speciality of Topfenstrudel; a cheese (as in cream, not cheddar) with raisins, lemon and rum between whisper-thin layers of pastry, all served with a light vanilla custard. YUM.

The best desserts in London Adventures of a London Kiwi

But my absolute favourites? You can't buy for all of the tea in China.

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