Five of the Best: Cambridge desserts for National Pud Day
It’s National Pudding Day this month. An excuse, if she needed one, for Cambridge Food Blog’s Gracie Mills to seek out five of the city’s sweetest treats. . .
I am an adult and one of the wonderful things about being an adult is that – technically - I can eat what I want, when I want. If I wanted to eat cake in bed at 8am, I could! I don’t. . . but I *could*. This, after all, would be outrageously frivolous and incredibly unhealthy and I would be crashing by 9am and hungry again by 10am.
I class myself as an emotional eater. Any emotion, whether it be stress, sadness or tiredness, prompts me to alleviate those symptoms with comfort food. I guess what I’m trying to say is that sugar is my kryptonite and a sweet, doughy carb can quite literally turn my day around.
I think by now, I have made it clear that any excuse to indulge works for me, so when a national day celebrating my favourite foods comes around, I’m there with knife, fork and napkin in hand. Ready.
This month it’s British Pudding Day (November 9) and what better way to celebrate than treating yourself? If you fancy a sweet bite, after lunch or dinner or a long mosey around the city centre, here’s five of my favourite places which lie just a couple of paces away from each other. Perfect for a pudding day tour, perhaps?
For each article I write, I like to do a poll on my Instagram, asking the audience for their top places for the month's topic. Surprise, surprise, Jack’s Gelato came out on top this month.
Someone did write John’s Gelato and I had momentarily hoped that someone had set up a guerilla-style ice cream competitor to rival Jack’s. I had hoped we could potentially be witness to a gelato face-off, West Side Story-style. I now sadly believe it to be a typo.
The queue at Jack’s speaks for itself and the late-night opening hours are perfect for grabbing a post-meal bite when wandering the city after hours. They’ve always got delectable and intriguing flavours and the vegan ice creams are unrivalled.
You know when you have dinner and you’re so full that you don’t think you could manage a single bite more? There are some people who would stop there and then there’s me.
In these scenarios I have often wondered how great it would be to have all the indulgence and delight of a dessert, but to have it condensed into one small, perfectly formed bite. Enter Dulcis and their pasticcini. Small-but-mighty Italian pastries to satisfy your second-stomach cravings.
You can also sit and enjoy your cannolo, bignè and mini tarts al fresco on their cute bistro table sets, whilst watching the world go by on Rose Crescent, too. Bonus.
A couple of years ago I got invited to do a fudge-making experience at Fudge Kitchen and it was great. There was something really satisfying yet terrifying (it’s molten sugar for crying out loud) about the making process, plus it’s really quite cool to watch them pour out the fudge on the marble table and work it.
They’re always conjuring up seasonal flavours and always provide some vegan alternatives. The staff are genuinely absolutely fantastic and they’re not afraid to give out free samples either, so don’t be shy and try before you, inevitably, buy.
This one is for the nostalgia-seekers out there. I walked past this the other day and stopped for the first time in ages, because the smell transported me back to my younger self. Those first visits into Cambridge with your friends, naturally gravitating towards the pancake stall for sustenance, and Sixth Form free periods made all the better by their Nutella-laden batter.
I don’t care how old I am, sometimes I just need a floppy pancake bursting with fruit and sugary sauce and no matter how old I get, I still find so much satisfaction in watching them do that thing with the batter. You know. . . where they whirl the batter around the hot plate with the little stick and it looks like the opposite of cleaning windows.
This recommendation goes out to those who like their desserts big, heavy and sweet. Be Waffle on the Market Square is like a beacon of sugary hope guiding my, already gravitating body, toward it. Simply put, they serve Belgian waffles (dairy-free, I might add).
The market stall is plastered in giant images of all of your options, and I particularly love the fact that the waffles are served on paper plates, with the waffle taking up most of said plate. The awkward carry and cut makes the process delightfully perilous.
I tend to go for the classics, you know the Nutella and strawberry combo, but if sweet is your thing, then why not go the whole hog and add ice cream and marshmallows.
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