Carole Bloom is the author of The Essential Baker and other books. She also maintains a website.

Eat small

Small desserts, that is

February 19, 2010

In my longtime career as a pastry chef and cookbook author, I’ve talked with a lot of people about desserts. And in the past year or so, I’ve noticed a trend: In an effort to scale back their calorie consumption, people want smaller-than-average sweets — but still they want them full-flavored.

My latest book, Bite-Size Desserts, is about making and enjoying small-size desserts. But I’m not the only one promoting them. Sweet Miniatures, by Flo Braker, and Petite Sweets, by Beatrice Ojakangas, are two other great books that advocate eating small-size desserts — desserts that are power-packed with flavor.

Restaurants are also hopping on the small-dessert bandwagon, including Seasons 52 (with their Mini Indulgences), P. F. Chang’s (Mini Desserts), and Applebee’s (Dessert Shooters).

When it comes to dessert, it’s easy to say, “Just give me a small portion.” However, most of us have become accustomed to eating large dessert helpings. As a cook, I might add, it’s very easy to cut a big slice or use large bowls to serve your desserts. Too, it’s very common for restaurants to serve generous portions of dessert — because it seems as if they’re offering good value.

In fact, many of us eat too much, too often. Sometimes after a meal, all we need and desire is a bite of something sweet — and that’s enough.

My recommendation: Start making, serving, and ordering small-size desserts.

Carole’s Brown Sugar and Cornmeal Bundt Cakes with Honey Whipped Cream.

The books I mentioned above have some great recipes that are mostly uncomplicated and easy to make. But most importantly, they do not skimp on real ingredients with great flavors.

At first you may say, “I’ll have another, please,” but over time you will see that eating just one small dessert can be very satisfying. Serving small-portion desserts is a great way to get children accustomed to eating small but deliciously.

Take your preference for petite desserts out to eat with you, too. In restaurants, ordering small can save you a little money — and you don’t have to share.

Related recipe: Brown Sugar and Cornmeal Bundt Cakes with Honey Whipped Cream

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