I always like to say that I don't have a sweet tooth, I have sweet teeth - and a serious dedication to dessert in its many forms. Here are some of my absolute favourites.
Almond tarts: Found at the Gaylord bakery in Mumbai. If you get there after me, they'll all be over.
Biscotti: Twice baked cookies in Italian. Twice as nice in your tummy.
Chouquette: A small portion of choux pastry sprinkled with pearl sugar. I ate this on my first day in Paris. I've been hungering to go back ever since.
Duets: Synthetic fruit flavoured ice candy outside, synthetic vanilla ice cream inside. But this is the taste of my childhood, and I still crave raspberry and mango duets on occasion. For more about vanilla ice cream, see V.
Éclair: Eat the one served at L'Opera in Delhi first. Everything else is too sweet.
Fudge: Cooper's in Lonavala make nice fudge. A very old-fashioned treat.
Gelato: After a whole childhood spent eating regular ice cream, my first bite into a gelato was sheer bliss! I've now (almost) given up the former for the latter (but see D)
Honey noodles: Definitely the best way to eat noodles. The Chinese may not have invented this, but they should totally adopt this dessert into their cuisine.
Innocent: The best smoothies in the world you can buy in a tetra pak. Only found in Europe, alas.
Jalebis: Only piping hot ones make the cut. And I don't mix them with ice cream.
Kulfi: If I could bring back one thing from my childhood, it would be the neighbourhood kulfi man - and his pista, fresh mango and fresh chikoo flavours.
Lemon cake: Light, (almost) white and with just the right amount of sweetness. Found at Candies and Eat Around the Corner in Mumbai.
Marzipan: This is the first thing I eat every Christmas morning. Sometimes even before brushing my teeth.
Naturals: Growing up in Bombay, this was the ice cream you craved, especially since they had only one outlet at Juhu. Now, I can get it home delivered. That's progress.
Orange cheesecake: The first cheesecake my sister-in-law made at home. We polished it off in one day.
Pedas: No one eat them now. But this is how celebrated every landmark occasion in our life in Mumbai.
Quick: Sometimes, you want a sweet fix in a hurry. That's the time to eat a whole box of Lindor.
Red velvet cupcakes: The red colour is supposed to come from beetroot or red food colouring.
Shortbread and Shrewsbury biscuits: The first is the best thing that came out of Scotland. The second is the best thing to come out of Pune.
Toffee: Another old childhood memory - gorging on Kismi toffees (who named them that!) till the bag ran out.
Upside Down Cake: The only time I like my fruit on the outside of my dessert is when I eat apple pie.
Vanilla: Fresh vanilla ice cream is out of this world. Try some, and you'll never eat the synthetic stuff again. I can't believe I've become a snob about vanilla ice cream, but I have.
Waffles: Indigo Deli is my favourite. A good waffle should come with: jam, pure maple syrup and honey.
X: Why has no one invented a dessert with this alphabet? There's a fortune waiting to be made!
Yoghurt: The flavoured versions are almost like dessert. Almost.
Zebra torte: The only time I eat white chocolate in any form.
From HT Brunch, August 19
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