Judge’s verdict: the best desserts

Originally published at The Telegraph

In New York, then in Washington, and in Hong Kong where I lived before I came here, I used to throw parties I called “Bubbles & Sweets”. This meant just what it sounds like – 20 different desserts and champagne. For me the idea was to spend the whole year prior to the party doing delicious research – having the great joy and responsibility to try all the desserts one could, in order to determine the 20 best.

Why do I love desserts? They are a free sin. There are so many things one can’t do for one reason or another, or so many thrills that are forbidden, or in any case out of reach. A beautiful lemon meringue tart, however, or a wonderful chocolate dacquoise, is the kind of sin for which you can be forgiven, and when it’s done you have had real pleasure, and no real pain, except when you see the evidence on your scales the next morning.

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