Desserts Have a History
Ending a meal on a sweet note is not a recent innovation. The Greeks and Romans often served fresh, dried stewed fruits to round off a meal. Fruit still holds pride of place, prepared in some simple manner combined with liqueur or wine, and served with a swirl of fresh cream, it is still hard to beat!
Desserts took on a new dimension in the hands of a number of gifted eighteenth-century French chef’s who elevated them to a culinary art form with complex, pastries, creams, custards, crepes, soufflés, sorbets, jellies and ice creams.
During this same period, the English preferred heavier, baked desserts. These are still popular, particularly in winter and they have become traditional for certain special occasions.
Other elements that contribute to the developing art of dessert making were the spices and fruits brought to Europe via the Low Countries’ trade with the Far East.
The early 1800s saw dessert become firmly entrenched. Furthermore, it was served after the cheese and not before it, completing the meal with a certain grace and flourish.
To conclude a well cooked dinner a dessert is fitting. Desserts need not be complicated, expensive or elaborate to be memorable but they do need to be a little more exciting than ice cream and chocolate sauce.
One impressive dessert is the delicious Black Forest gateau. Simple tarts attractively dressed with fruit and cream, also make a perfect dessert.
A Brief History of Desserts
So just when did pie become filled with fruits or sugar become associated with candy? Sugar-philes may be interested in following some of the following dates:
- 1381-First printed recipe for Tartys in Applis, or apple pie
- 1400-Gingerbread was made by soaking bread crumbs in honey and spices
- 1600-Pralines were created by a table officer of French nobility
- 1700-Eclairs--with a cream center and chocolate topping evolved slowly over several hundred years
- 1740-Cupcake recipes were commonly recorded by this time
- 1800s-Lemon meringue pie wasn't invented until the 19th century but meringue and lemon custards were common before then.
Pavlova and it's History
For those with a sweet tooth here is a recipe to tempt you!
In 1926 Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballet dancer toured New Zealand and Australia. In her honor the Pavlova dessert was created. The debate over which country can take the credit for this recipe remains unresolved.
Pavlova has a delicate crispy crust with a soft inner. This popular dessert is often served at celebrations and any wonder with it’s colorful topping of fresh fruit.
Served on a summer evening with a glass of chilled wine it makes the perfect dessert.
- 3 EGG WHITES – ROOM TEMPERATURE
- 175g CASTOR SUGAR
- 1tsp WHITE WINE VINEGAR
- 1tsp CORNFLOUR
- TOPPING – KIWI FRUIT, PASSIONFRUIT & STRAWBERRIES
I invite you to sit back and watch the video for cooking instructions. You will be surprised to see how easy it to prepare.
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