Save our pudding! Why are restaurant desserts disappearing? (2023)

norteNothing unnerves Grace Dent more than being deliberately served "stone cold" bread and butter pudding: "I shouldevidentlybe hot. That makes it soft, tasty and productive. I've had that twice."

While it's a quick and easy way for a restaurant to end a meal, cold bread and butter pudding isguardianrestaurant critic, symptomatic of a larger problem. “Puds are disappearing in Britain since the end of the lockdown,” says Dent. “I talk about it all the time. That wonderful moment at the end of dinner when the long list of different desserts comes out is starting to be a thing of the past.

There are restaurants that continue to bet on desserts, from the Ritz, where crêpes suzettes are flambéed at your table, to chain pubs with extensive menus of profiteroles, ice cream sundaes and cupcakes. But in modern independent restaurants, restaurants that serve a disproportionate number of reviewers and, yes,ObserverFoodMonthlyReaders, the story is different.

"A reasonable choice of desserts is getting weird," he agrees.Observerrestaurant critic Jay Rayner. "If I find a real sponge cake and a puff pastry tart, where they've done more than foam mousse, I'm very happy. Real pastry jobs: shells, sponge cakes, savarins, require precision and patience."

The days of the classic three-course menu are long gone. Today, a menu of more than 20 sharing dishes can include up to four desserts, and some restaurants, since diners are likely to be full of tasty dishes from the start, serve just one or two. They come from a shrinking field as kitchens look for practical dessert formats: a tart tin, meringues, parfaits, the ubiquitous panna cotta, which can be made to a high standard in a time-saving way, easily plated for the use and - changing a filling, flavor or garnish - adapted to the seasons.

Rather than delve into tedious sweets, laminated cakes, or tempered chocolate, modern kitchens are more likely to serve you chocolate mousse, homemade ice cream, or concoctions of fruit, yogurt, creams, and crumbles, which Rayner wryly refers to as "some creamy things in an eater."

(Video) Display Only Dessert Goes Missing | Kitchen Nightmares

The key to this is the shortage of pastry chefs and the salaries that the good ones now command. Chef Sam Grainger would love to rent one at his acclaimed Belzan restaurant in Liverpool, but he can't justify the cost. "For that salary, you could have another chef and open a few more days," he says.

This problem has been brewing for decades. Historically, pastry chefs competed for respect. "Pastry" was often considered a frivolous footnote, both creatively and financially, given the dessert's variety of uses.

Writing for the Countertalk industry websiteLast year, pastry chef Taylor Sessegnon-Shakespeare suggested that little has changed: "A recurring theme is that you are an unnecessary expense."

Today, few new restaurant kitchens have a dedicated pastry section. Financially, it makes more sense to squeeze more tables. In turn, the level of knowledge in the industry has dropped as many pastry chefs have retired and prefer to work in pastry shops, bakeries or consulting. “All the bakeries I know of opened their own businesses during the lockdown,” Grainger says.

Good restaurants now have to pack smart with dessert. Manchester's Climat serves four on its 26-ish shared menu. Whether it's a frangipane plum tart with crème fraiche or a caramel crème sauternes with golden raisins, those desserts should be achievable without, says chef Luke Richardson, "a person solely dedicated to pastry."

Rather than waste time on complicated techniques that add little to Richardson, he has focused Climat on nailing a smaller repertoire that reflects his "simple" taste: "I like a good cake or ice cream." I'm very happy with the sticky toffee pudding."

Richardson is especially proud of Climat's choux buns. They took their time to research and develop, and while they're baking, "you've got to juggle your day" (don't open the oven door, chef!). But “it looks impressive. it's consistent. You can put whatever you want on it.”

(Video) You Don't Actually Need a Menu

"I don't think desserts are dead," Richardson says, but that emphasis on ease of use and reliability makes them "look a little bit different."

Save our pudding! Why are restaurant desserts disappearing? (1)

Opposite Manchester is Exhibition, a restaurant where you order from three kitchens, each serving a dessert. For Baratxuri's chef, Joe Botham, it was a matter of time, space and maintaining the authenticity of his Basque-inspired menu. He sells "a ton" of burnt cheesecake, but "making more than one dessert was a chore," and he felt compelled stylistically. In Spain, sweet products are usually eaten as a snack instead of pudding.

Don't underestimate these abstract issues of taste, style, and sensibility. Grainger doesn't like confectionery precision. "I don't have patience," he admits, much preferring the freedom and immediacy of tasty cooking. "There are a finite number of chefs who like to work to perfection," he says with a laugh. "Most of us like to put as much butter in a pan as possible."

Accordingly, Belzan's desserts are rigorously executed - most recently a choice of white chocolate cremeux, ice cream or a peanut caramel choux - but the main creative focus is on the savory dishes. For Grainger, this reflects contemporary taste. He feels that people are not that interested in dessert. "In points we are two and nobody has said anything."

Is this a self-fulfilling prophecy? If restaurants serve fewer desserts from a known group, interest may wane. But the limited statistics in this area support Grainger. In a study for their 2022 Food Insights report, CGA analysts found that if they ordered fewer entrees to save money, diners would prioritize entrees, entrees, and then sides, with dessert ranking fourth. There was also a marginal preference for the main course over the dessert among those who counted calories.

"In general, I think people tend to eat less sweet things in restaurants," says Chet Sharma, chef and founder of BiBi in London. He's just hired a pastry chef ("the hardest job to fill after a sommelier") because he wants the desserts on his evening's tasting menu to stand out. But he only has to serve two desserts on his a la carte lunch menu, including a chocolate-covered kulfi lollipop, like a mini Magnum, for those who want "that sweet little kick, rather than a full-on dessert."

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On other menus, especially sharing menus, the role of dessert is less essential. "You never run away, 'I'm hungry, send me the dessert menu,'" says Rayner. "Dessert is the part of the meal that probably won't happen."

The habits of some guests may also change. Lungi Mhlanga recently opened the Treats Club in east London and its specialist donut cafe, which closes at 11pm. m., draws a large crowd after dinner. "Customers go to restaurants first, they don't have dessert, and then they come to us because they know we specialize in that."

These places are booming nationwide. These range from chains like Creams and Kaspa's, aimed at families and a younger, multicultural crowd less interested in socializing around alcohol, to high-end London cake shops like Cédric Grolet at The Berkeley or Michael Kwan at Cake & Flowers at the Dorchester. . The latter aim to harness the potential of cakes to offer, as Sessegnon-Shakespeare describes it, "a landscape of complex yet harmonious textures and flavors."

"There's a lot going on in bakeries," Rayner says, but it's in independent dessert bars and coffee shops. These are often run by pastry chefs who, rather than working long restaurant hours constrained by chefs and dessert-averse diners, are able to achieve a better work-life balance and salary, plus greater creative freedom, working alone.

“If you wanted to succeed in food back in the day, you earned your stripes with top chefs in a traditional way. That has changed a lot,” says Mhlanga. The 30-year-old is typical of a new breed working in the "sweet treats" market and has built a career without even considering working in restaurants.

Save our pudding! Why are restaurant desserts disappearing? (2)

Ironically, Mhlanga is now talking to restaurants about collaborations, an area of ​​growth, as they look to give their desserts a creative push. Graham Hornigold ran the pastry business for Hakkasan and its sister brands around the world. Today, as Smart Patisserie, he designs desserts and menus for a variety of clients, and recently purchased high-end event catering company Pretty Sweet, with an eye to expanding to serve hotels and restaurants. "Outsourcing," says Hornigold, "is the only way forward I see."

(Video) They will disappear in a minute!Perfect dessert of puff pastry and pastry cream.Ready in 20 minutes!

The way the dessert is delivered may change, but Hornigold insists: "People always want them. It's not going away." At this dangerous time for the pudding, that message will harden Grace Dent's resolve. "I lead the battle," she says. "We want something hot with a jug of custard."

Sweet Spots: Five Great Restaurants for Desserts

The Fou'Seasons country house,oxfordshire
The Raymond Blanc institution received a shake-up in January when Luke Selby took over as head chef, but the 16-person pastry department remains under the expert eye of Benoit Blin, who has created stunning chocolate, slime and strawberry tart creations here. . almost 30 years.

Save our pudding! Why are restaurant desserts disappearing? (3)

Where are you going,Londres W1
Jeremy Lee, who has been appearing in Quo Vadis kitchens since 2012, is a master of the sweet stuff – everyone loves his pudding. If you can resist his justly famous profiteroles, he tries the buttermilk pudding with lemon curd and strawberry jam, or one of his delicious almond tarts.

the wild mushroom,Cheltenham
Desserts at this respected two-star hotel are highly elaborate, with unusual combinations like blueberry and sorrel or mango with Thai green curry sorbet, but the disparate elements blend beautifully on the plate.

Save our pudding! Why are restaurant desserts disappearing? (4)

hellish place,hampshire
Pastry chef Sarah Johnson worked at Chez Panisse in the US before joining Skye Gyngell's Spring and then Gyngell's restaurants at this beautiful hotel. Johnson's desserts—gooseberry gingerbread cake with lemon curd, or baked elderflower honey custard pie—are unremarkable, but perfectly prepared using the freshest ingredients.

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rabid Yacht,Darlington
Self-taught chef James Close has been showered with accolades (and Michelin stars) since he opened this Co Durham restaurant in 2009, but credit for fantastic desserts, like the buckwheat millefeuille with calvados and apple, goes to his wife , pastry chef María, who also models the skull-shaped chocolate petit fours.Killian Vos


What percentage of people order dessert at restaurants? ›

Defining dessert time

Sixty-four percent of the American consumers surveyed said that they like to order dessert when they eat out, compared to 82 percent of Italian consumers, 78 percent of consumers from the United Kingdom, 75 percent of French consumers, and 60 percent of German consumers.

What is the science behind dessert stomach? ›

In fact, 'dessert stomach' is a scientific fact, and it's all because of something called sensory-specific satiety. Put simply, it means that the more you eat of something, the less you like it, which gives you the impression that you are full.

What is the original meaning of pudding? ›

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word 'pudding' dates to the thirteenth century. It refers to the entrails or stomach of a sheep, pig or other animal stuffed with meat, offal, suet, oatmeal and seasonings.

What is the number 1 dessert in America? ›

The Number 1 Most Popular Desserts in America are Chocolate Chip Cookies!

What happens to your body when you eat dessert everyday? ›

Routinely consuming too much added sugar can increase your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and liver disease. The American Heart Association® recommends limiting added sugars to 9 teaspoons (150 calories or 36 grams) per day for men and 6 teaspoons (100 calories or 24 grams) per day for women.

What foods coat the stomach? ›

Crackers, rice, bread, peanut butter, and other neutral foods do a good job coating your stomach and prompting digestion, which helps your body to metabolize your medication efficiently.

Does your stomach leave room for dessert? ›

Several studies have looked at human's uncanny ability to always find room for dessert, and they've all come up with a similar answer. We do have extra room for dessert, mainly because of something known as sensory-specific satiety.

What do British people call pudding? ›

The two meanings of "pudding"

American puddings are closer to what the Brits would call "custard." A British pudding is a dish, savory or sweet, that's cooked by being boiled or steamed in something: a dish, a piece of cloth, or even animal intestine.

Why do Americans call it pudding? ›

The reason for using the word 'pudding' instead of dessert is actually based on the British class system. Traditionally, pudding referred to homely and rustic desserts that were commonly eaten by the lower classes, such as spotted dick and rice pudding.

What are the 3 types of pudding? ›

There are four major types and ways to prepare puddings: boiled, baked, steamed and chilled in the refrigerator until it gels.

What is the oldest American dessert? ›

An irresistible baked pudding that might just be America's oldest dessert! Indian pudding is a delicious historical dessert first made by American colonists with cornmeal gifted by Native Americans, and molasses. This is one you have to try (and it's perfect for Thanksgiving!)

What is America's favorite cake? ›

Red Velvet Cake

This American classic is traditionally made for Valentine's Day and Christmas.

Which dessert is the unhealthiest? ›

Carrot cake

This dessert is usually loaded with oil, butter, cream cheese, and sugar in addition to carrots making it difficult to fit into a healthy diet. The average slice of carrot cake contains 800 calories, with 480 of these calories coming from fat.

What is the oldest dessert in history? ›

Ashure (Noah's Pudding) is thought to be the oldest dessert in the world, first made by Noah after his fabled landfall at Mt Ararat. It is a delightful mix of dried fruit, nuts, grains and beans (yes, beans!) made in Turkey and all over the Middle East.

What is the hardest dessert to master? ›

The Gateau is a dessert of four, sometimes five distinct elements: puff pastry, choux pastry, Chiboust cream (which itself is a mixture of creme patissiere and Italian meringue), whipped cream, and caramel. If you happen to have all of those things on hand and already baked, it can be constructed in barely 15 minutes.

What foods stop diarrhea fast? ›

One tried-and-true diet for diarrhea is the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Low in fiber, bland, and starchy, these foods can help replace lost nutrients and firm up your stools.

Which 3 food stays in your stomach longest? ›

The foods with the longest time to digest are bacon, beef, lamb, whole milk hard cheese, and nuts. These foods take an average of about 4 hours for your body to digest. The digestion process still occurs even when asleep. Which means our digestive fluids and the acids in our stomach are active.

What food leaves the stomach quickly? ›

Carbohydrates, for example, break down the fastest. This explains why many recommend carb-heavy foods for a quick energy boost. Proteins take longer to digest and exit the stomach. Fats take the longest time of all.

What happens to your body when you stop eating dessert? ›

You'll Have Healthier Teeth

Your teeth will love you for it! Stop eating sugar and you'll lower your risk of heart disease dramatically because too much sugar in your diet heightens your risk of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes — three primary risk factors for heart disease and cardiovascular decline.

Why do I feel better after eating dessert? ›

When we eat sweet foods the brain's reward system — called the mesolimbic dopamine system — gets activated. Dopamine is a brain chemical released by neurons and can signal that an event was positive. When the reward system fires, it reinforces behaviours — making it more likely for us to carry out these actions again.

Why you shouldn't eat sweets before dinner? ›

Here's why it is suggested to consume sweets before your meals, and not after them. *Sweet takes the longest to digest. *Eating the sweet item first enables the flow of digestive secretions, she explained. *Dr Kohli added that by consuming sweets after your meal, “you would slow down your digestion“.

What do British call a biscuit? ›

Scone (UK) / Biscuit (US)

These are the crumbly cakes that British people call scones, which you eat with butter, jam, sometimes clotted cream and always a cup of tea.

What do British people call pickles? ›

Gherkin is a common name for a pickled cucumber, especially in British English.

What are chips called in England? ›

If you want a bag of what Americans call 'chips' in the UK, just ask for crisps.

What are biscuits called in America? ›

In most of the English-speaking world, a "biscuit" is a small, hard baked product that would be called either a "cookie" or a "cracker" in the United States and sometimes in Canada.

What is Christmas pudding called in the USA? ›

Christmas Pudding (also known as plum pudding or figgy pudding) is a dish as famous as it is misunderstood. In America, Christmas Pudding (also known as plum pudding or figgy pudding) is a dish as famous as it is misunderstood.

What are the little balls in pudding? ›

Looking at a tapioca pearl, you may think, “What are these made out of?” These white little balls that give tapioca pudding its signature texture actually come from the starch of the cassava root, which is grown in the tropics. After this starch is extracted, it's formed into little pearls.

What dessert is thicker than pudding? ›

Texture: A classic custard is heavier and firmer than pudding, retaining its shape when turned out of a mold or ramekin. You can thin some custards, such as crème anglaise, to make a dessert sauce.

Can Muslims have pudding? ›

For example, a Muslim must think twice about desserts such as ice cream, cheesecakes and parfaits unless they contain halal gelatin. The same can be said of many cakes, chocolates, puddings and candies.

What is the number 1 dessert in the world? ›

1) Cream Brulee (FRANCE) -

Back in the 17th century, this dessert was introduced by Francois Massialot, a chef of a kitchen of a Duke of Orlean, who wrote about its recipe in a book. A creamy pastry a thin, crisp caramel layer is what is referred to as cream brulee and which has stolen everyone's heart.

What is everyone favorite dessert? ›

Cheesecake, cupcakes, jell-O, carrot cake, apple pie, ice cream, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cake are the most popular desserts in America.

What is the king of desserts? ›

Kaspas – The King of Desserts.

What is the oldest dessert in the world? ›

Ashure (Noah's Pudding) is thought to be the oldest dessert in the world, first made by Noah after his fabled landfall at Mt Ararat. It is a delightful mix of dried fruit, nuts, grains and beans (yes, beans!) made in Turkey and all over the Middle East. Give it a try – you'll be glad you did!

Which country eats the most desserts? ›

Germany was home to the most people who said they consumed sweets and chocolate regularly at 61 percent. The survey carried out in different waves in 2020 and 2021 included 66 countries and territories.

What is the hardest dessert in the world? ›

The Gateau is a dessert of four, sometimes five distinct elements: puff pastry, choux pastry, Chiboust cream (which itself is a mixture of creme patissiere and Italian meringue), whipped cream, and caramel. If you happen to have all of those things on hand and already baked, it can be constructed in barely 15 minutes.

What is the sweetest food in the world? ›

Thaumatin, also known as Talin, obtained from arils (appendages found on certain seeds) of the katemfe plant (Thaumatococcus daniellii) discovered in West Africa is 3,250 times sweeter than sugar (when compared to a 7.5% sucrose solution).

What is the most hot dessert? ›

Hot and Cold Deserts

The largest hot desert in the world is the Sahara, which is 9 million square kilometers (3.5 million square miles).

What is America's national dessert? ›

It turns out apple pie was one of the first desserts to be made in America, and there's a pretty interesting story about why the colonists began baking it. The patriotic origins of the classic dessert date back to the 1600s, when the colonists first arrived in America, long before the first Independence Day.

What dessert does the queen eat? ›

chocolate biscuit cake from the British royal kitchen

Chocolate biscuit cake is Queen Elizabeth's favorite cake ~ she would take a small slice every day with her tea, until the cake was finished, and then she'd start on a fresh one!

What is a white lady dessert? ›

Dame blanche (French, "white lady") is the name used in Belgium and the Netherlands for a sweet dessert consisting of vanilla ice cream with whipped cream, and warm molten chocolate. In Germany and in Switzerland, the same type of dessert is known as a Coupe Dänemark. The dessert is similar to the American sundae.

What nationality eats dessert first? ›

The European Way. According to Brandi Milloy, a TV host and apparent lifestyle and parenting expert, Germans eat dessert first. This claim refers to a time when her family was living in Germany. Her dad served in the US army and curious to adopt the European way of eating, her family often had dessert first.

What did they eat for dessert in the 1700s? ›

By the 1700s, ice creams and sorbets were all the rage in European courts. This love of creamy, decadent and cold dessert spread to the American colonies as epicureans settled into their new homes.

What country invented dessert? ›

For many people, it's not a real dinner if there's no dessert. That tradition, of finishing a meal with a little something sweet, has its origins in France. As French food scholar Maryann Tebben explains, the French dessert has been around for centuries, but it's changed a lot over that time.

Did Native Americans eat dessert? ›

Native Americans created a blueberry baked dessert called Saututhig (say 'sawi-taw-teeg'), a simple pudding made with blueberries, cracked corn and water.


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