Sunday 20 August 2017

Just Desserts

With the craze for all things retro comes a revival of big, gooey puddings. So get squeals of delight from your dinner guests, says Brenda Costigan, with a mound of indulgence

I recently served a baked Alaska at the end of a dinner party and there were more oohs and aaaahs over it than over all the rest of what was a really stylish meal, if I may say so myself.

The guests just loved it. Of course, one of the reasons was that some of them had never seen baked Alaska, a dessert that used to be really popular.

There are fashions in food, as there are in other lifestyle areas, and, just as in clothes and interiors, certain things come back and take on a new allure. At the moment, retro desserts, those that were popular in the Sixties and Seventies, such as profiteroles, banoffi pie and baked Alaska, make frequent appearances on restaurant menus and at dinner parties. Of course the reason they’re back is that they’re gooey and gorgeous and can all, if made properly, make a grand entrance and a spectacular finish to a meal. There’s the initial surprise of a baked Alaska, with its hot meringue over the ice cream and then the joy of eating the hot with the cold over the fruit-soaked sponge. Banoffi pie is beloved by everyone, for its unctuous blend of caramel, banana and cream.

Also, just thinking of cream-filled profiteroles swathed in chocolate sauce makes your mouth water.

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