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Desserts Have a History

Updated on November 28, 2011

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.

Recipe

  • 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.


Comments

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    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      6 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for sharing the history of deserts. It is interesting to read. I have heard of Pavlova before but I have not eaten it yet. It seems easy to make, so I'll bookmark this for my future baking. Thanks again and SHARED.

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you for taking time out to read my article.

      Strange isn't it, how fascinating subject on matters so every day to us can be, as you said?

    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma City

      I'd never given any thought to the history of desserts, but found the information you've provided to be fascinating.

      Voted up and SHARED.

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      I do hope you try this recipe as it's a sure way of spoiling yourself and others.

      Your vote and shared, so kind of you!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 

      6 years ago from USA

      Pavlova looks like the most delectable dessert ever! I really must try it! Voted up and shared!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      What a nice surprise!

      This is dessert you make when you want to spoil yourself.

      Did you try the recipe?

      I trust your followers agree that it is mouthwatering!

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 

      6 years ago from Sweden

      Lady-Lyell - This is such a fabulous dessert, and I think it deserves to be shared with as many people as possible. I'm sharing this mouthwatering recipe with my followers!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      billips, thanks for taking an interest in my article and making a comment.

      Once you try this recipe you will be hooked!

      Mouthwatering is not the word for it!

    • billips profile image

      billips 

      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Very interesting article - the pictures are mouthwatering - I have never made pavlova, but your recipe makes it look doable - B.

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you for taking an interest in my article.

      As for explaining to you what castor sugar is I am not sure I can. Perhaps you know this fine white sugar by the spelling 'caster' not castor. The spelling differs from one recipe book to the other.

      Be assured, you will not be disappointed with the results, so VERY yummy!!

      May 2012 be kind to you!

    • SimpleGiftsofLove profile image

      SimpleGiftsofLove 

      6 years ago from Colorado

      Really looking forward to trying this but what is castor sugar? Great hub, great writing! up, useful, interesting and yummy!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Sannel, after reading your hub on chocolate, I doubt it!

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 

      6 years ago from Sweden

      This could replace chocolate anytime!!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Pinkchic, pavlova won't disapoint!

      Please let me know how your pavlova turned out.

      Enjoy your cooking!

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 

      6 years ago from Minnesota

      YUM. This looks delicious, I will definitely have to try making it!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      I am so pleased that you enjoyed the article but the pavlova is even more enjoyable!

      Once you treat your friends and family to pavlova they will nag you for another!

      Happy cooking and good luck!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      6 years ago from the short journey

      Such an interesting overview of desserts, which in my opinion should be served at the beginning of a meal--however, I do not do that.

      And what a fabulous dessert! This video is superb--I think I can do it! Will have to use an alternate cream than cow's milk, but that's no problem. Me oh my oh, can't wait to try it--thanks!

      Voted up and book marked.

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Be assured Pamela, Pavlova is great but all too tempting to over eat!

      Thank you for taking the time to read my article!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      This is an interesting article and the Pavlova looks great. I need to end more meals with fruit instead of chocolate! I am bookmarking your hub for the recipe.

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you Donna for taking an interest in this hub.

      I can not recommend a wine as I know little of brands etc. I have always had my few favorite wines and don't deviate!

      Pavlova tastes so delicious that it over powers any other flavors of foods and drinks served, I promise!

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 

      6 years ago from USA

      Thank you for putting together such an interesting hub on my favorite food group...dessert! I can't wait to share that apple pie trivia tidbit with my father-in law who is our resident apple pie addict. I always take at least two to dinner so the rest of us at least get to look at one of them. We would not dare ask for a piece, ha!

      Can you suggest a brand of white wine to complement the pavlova? Voted up and since there isn't a button for tasty, I settled on useful:)

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Enjoy your pavlova and don't be shy with an abundance of fruits.

      Your comment is appreciated.

      Enjoy your day!

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Who knew Pavlova was so easy! Thanks for this one! I shall have to give this a try over the holidays. Loved the video, too!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      So both you are your son have a sweet tooth? I think you were refering to Pavlova as your addiction.

      Have a nice day!

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 

      6 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      My son and I are both addicted to Lemon meringue pie and now I know who to blame!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Peggy, thanks for commenting on my article.

      Pavlova certainly is a special treat and guarantee to impress your guests.

      I hope you enjoy my next few hubs coming up on ways with cooking with a difference.

      Enjoy your day!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I had never heard of this dessert called Pavlova. After watching the video, I know that it would be good. Thanks for that recipe and your history of desserts. Interesting!

    • profile image

      Sarena 

      6 years ago

      Pavlova is the my favourite desert, so simple to make and so delicious !

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you for taking such interest in this article. Pavlova is a special treat so I hope you give it a go.

      It has been nice hearing from you again!

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I have never made a pavalova, it sounds easy enough, so I will give it a go!

      Many thanks for sharing - I love desserts!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR

      LadyLyell 

      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      "Thank you" to everyone who took the time to read my article.

      I hope you can find the time to make a Pavlova and enjoy the treat that it is. Oh, don't forget the glass of chilled white wine!

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 

      6 years ago from Sweden

      Oh my, oh my, you sure have put together a yummy hub with a twist of interesting history. I like it!

      It's fascinating to find out that apple pie have existed for so long.

      Pavlova is a wonderful dessert, but I have never made it myself. However, watching the video, it sure didn't look difficult at all. I'll bookmark for future baking.

      Well done!

      Thank you.

    • Carmen H profile image

      Carmen Beth 

      6 years ago

      What a brief yet interesting hub! Everyone loves desserts, so this hub makes a great read. Nice work, LadyLyell.

    • litsabd profile image

      litsabd 

      6 years ago

      It is amazing how it all started with apples and now we tasty the most delicious tastes! Useful and interesting...thanks!

    • Brooke Lorren profile image

      Brooke Lorren 

      6 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Yum! Great job keeping this interesting.

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