Here, I’m sitting at Parrilla Argentina Miranda in Buenos Aires, indulging in a wet chocolate cake with passion fruit – catapulted into another world, not responsive to the outside world anymore – including my best friend Inma who took this shot. Do you know that feeling? When you can’t believe what’s happening right now – the most perfect, delightful combination of fresh ingredients that burst into life in your mouth in a symphony of delicious flavours. Aaaaahhhh… This only happens very few times, but when it does, you’re in heaven. And you will never forget those moments. On my extensive travels around the world, I was lucky enough to come across a couple of those heavens. Sweet heavens and savoury heavens, it is. This weekend, I thought I start to list you my sweet sins.
Pierre Hermé, Paris. It was in January 2008, when I was a law student in New York. My girls and I decided to have a cosy sweets night where each of us had to bring their favourite sweets from the Christmas holiday back home. Hannah, a girl from Paris, brought a selection of macarons from Pierre Hermé. Even when I was completely full, she insisted that I didn’t leave without having tried a Mogador macaron, a pillowy almond meringue with a decadent, floral passion fruit-milk chocolate ganache. And may I say: I’m still sooooooo grateful that she did. Ever since, there hasn’t been a single trip to Paris without a stop at Pierre Hermé to spoil myself with a box of Mogador macarons.
BEST HOT CHOCOLATE
Angelina, Paris. It’s no big surprise really, that Paris is mentioned more than once in this sweet heaven post. Elsa, another Parisian friend of mine, recommended me and my sweet tooth to go and check out Angelina at famous rue de Rivoli, and order a chocolat chaud. No sooner said than done. And with the first sip, I almost started crying, and never wanted this moment of tasting this decadent, rich, flavourful cup of goodness to end. And again: there hasn’t been a single trip to Paris without a stop at Angelina, ever since. Roaring tip! Angelina has become a bit too famous, probably. Therefore, the queue to get a table in the restaurant can be nerve-wreckingly long. But we were told that they sell their chocolat chaud over the counter, too. So, last time, instead of standing in line for hours, we got our cup of paradise and sipped it in the sun in the beautiful Tuileries Garden, just across the street.
BEST CHOCOLATE PRALINE
Confiserie Sprüngli, Zurich. Each year, I’m longing for the return of chocabricot season. Only for a short time each summer – from around early August on – Sprüngli produces those little pieces of goodness: a fruity dried apricot, surrounded by a fresh and creamy grand cru ganache, delicately encased by the best dark chocolate Switzerland has to offer. Enough said. Just wait for next August to come.
BEST FROZEN YOGURT
Yogurtlandia, Solothurn. Sorry, Pinkberry. I’ve been your devoted fan for years, and years. Until my friend Lorella told me about her newly opened frozen yogurt shop in Solothurn, Switzerland, and whether I – notorious frozen yogurt fan I am – wanted to pop in and give it a go. So, one rainy evening, back in May, my good friend Dea and I hopped onto a train to Solothurn, in joyful anticipation. And joy it was. This is seriously good stuff! Yogurtlandia is an Italian frozen yogurt brand, but what makes the frozen yogurt sold in Solothurn so spectacular, is the eye-wateringly delicious and fresh yogurt which Lorella gets from a small Alpine dairy in Emmental, Switzerland. No other frozen yogurt comes even close to this flavour!
Café Sacher, Vienna. When I visited Vienna for the first time, my lovely sister and I made a pilgrimage to Café Sacher each and every day. She always went for the apfelstrudel, and I for the Sachertorte – a combination of two layers of soft and light chocolate cake separated by apricot jam and coated with a chocolate icing. Beautiful. But it wasn’t until my brother – fully aware of his younger sister being a sucker for sweets (and in particular chocolate) brought me back a box of Sacher cubes from a weekend trip to Vienna. Oh my goodness. The original Sachertorte can go even better! The cubes are made of the same high-quality ingredients, but because of the smaller size, they’re way more moist and chocolatey than the cake. I’ve already forced two of my poor work colleagues to bring me back some cubes from their trips. Thank you guys! Much appreciated!