If you’re looking for new ways to get your five-a-day, skip the salad and try one of these plant-powered puds. London’s top chefs are experimenting with seasonal vegetables in their desserts, and the results are outstanding.
Social Eating House
Jason Atherton’s Social Eating House offers a menu which is both diverse and contemporary, highlighting the personal cooking style of executive chef Paul Hood. The dessert menu has much to offer the sweet-toothed diner, from a rich dark chocolate delice to this pumpkin crème brûlée. Served with homemade yogurt, white chocolate, and nutmeg ice-cream, it’s well worth leaving room for.
Modern Mexican restaurant Ella Canta serves a cake made with corn and huitlacoche, a type of fungus that grows on corn plants that is sometimes called ‘corn truffle’. The sweet sponge cake is served with violets and a chamomile ‘mystic’ sauce.
At The Square in Mayfair, executive pastry chef Aya Tamura aims to challenge and inspire the palate with unusual flavour combinations and artistic plating. Her signature dessert of sweet white potato confit, gardenia, grapefruit and honey ice-cream is a feast for the senses.
Fera at Claridge’s
Inspired by the bounty of nature and the changing seasons, Fera offers a very modern take on British cuisine. They’re always searching for new and inventive ways to showcase organic ingredients, so it’s no surprise that their desserts are out of the ordinary. The current menu includes a final course of Jerusalem artichoke, toffee apple and salted caramel, and this show-stopping carrot sorbet with coffee and caramelised oats.
Francesco Mazzei’s chocolate aubergine cake is a favourite amongst the regulars at Radici. Whilst the flavour of the aubergine is discreet, the hidden vegetable adds moisture, creating a dense richness that’s second to none – the perfect way to finish a meal or enjoy on its own with a cup of coffee.
This Covent Garden gem serves some of the best gelato in London. It’s hand-made daily using 100% natural ingredients and whenever you visit, there are always interesting seasonal flavours to try. If you can resist the classics, there are unique combinations like basil and chilli, porcini chocolate cream, and Cornish blue cheese and walnuts. Our personal favourite is the watercress and lime – it’s light and refreshing, with a gentle hint of pepperiness.
We’re cheating with this one because avocado is a fruit – although not one you would usually associate with dessert. At award-winning Peruvian restaurant LIMA, they give it a sweet spin by pairing it with 75% chocolate and rocoto pepper. These juicy little peppers can pack a spicy punch, but their flavour is balanced by the sweetness of the chocolate and the creamy avocado.
If some of these flavours are a bit out there, why not keep things simple with a cinnamon-dusted carrot cupcake from Hummingbird Bakery? Or a slice of zingy courgette and ginger loaf at Primrose Bakery? Over at Crosstown Doughnuts, their latest creation features a light and fluffy pink beetroot dough with blood orange glaze and pistachio crumble – a delicious way to eat the seasons.
Are you tempted by these veggie desserts or happy to stick to traditional flavours? Let us know in the comments.