Sweets For My Sweet

Dessert is not just a spe­cial treat – it’s a part of any well-bal­anced diet, Hilda Hoy be­lieves. Don’t miss these fa­vorite sweet spots, per­fect for Valen­tine’s Day and ev­ery other day, too.

Where Berlin - - DINING -

A friend of mine has a mag­net on her fridge fea­tur­ing a mem­o­rable quote: “Life is un­cer­tain. Eat dessert first.” And why ever not? Dessert is not only the per­fect fi­nale to a sat­is­fy­ing meal, it’s also a way to treat our­selves at any time of day. Or, as Coda Dessert Bar shows, dessert can even be the main fea­ture all by it­self.

Coda (Friedel­str. 47, www.coda-berlin.com) is one of Berlin’s most ex­cit­ing re­cent restau­rant open­ings. In a cor­ner of Neukölln bet­ter known for its hip bars than its gas­tron­omy, Coda is mak­ing a big im­pact with its un­der­stated chic and am­bi­tious culi­nary con­cept. At the core of the con­cept are dessert and cock­tail pair­ings, which can be or­dered à la carte or as part of a deluxe menu of up to six cour­ses. The dishes them­selves may chal­lenge you to broaden your dessert hori­zons, bal­anc­ing a va­ri­ety of salty and sa­vory fla­vors such as goat’s cheese and beet with more typ­i­cal in­gre­di­ents like dark choco­late and pis­ta­chios. In my dish, mas­car­pone cream was plated with yel­low tomato con­fit and tomato sor­bet and dot­ted with cubes of ginger­bread, with a bour­bon­hazel­nut-co­rian­der cock­tail to match. Co-founder René Frank is a dis­tin­guished pâtissier with years of Miche­lin Star- cal­iber ex­pe­ri­ence, and ev­ery one of his cre­ations here not only look like works of art, they’re also a de­light for the senses. Make sure to or­der some of the crispy, caramel-kissed pork rinds to snack on, fla­vored with just a whis­per of Chi­nese five-spice pow­der. When it comes to the art of fine desserts and beau­ti­ful pas­try con­fec­tions, there’s no coun­try more renowned than France, and rightly so. To find all the lus­cious éclairs, per­fect lit­tle tarts, can­nelés, lux­u­ri­ously flaky mille­feuilles, and ex­quis­ite mac­arons that will make your heart go pit­ter-pat­ter, head to Mitte’s Du Bon­heur (Brun­nen­str. 39, www. dubon­heur.de). Anna Pla­gens, the master be­hind the shop’s cre­ations, learned her craft in renowned con­fec­tioner­ies in Paris and Vi­enna be­fore set­ting up her own shop here in Berlin. Grab a seat to en­joy a few of her cre­ations with a café au lait, but make sure to get a few mac­arons packed up to go as well, be­cause I guar­an­tee you’ll be crav­ing them.

Clock­wise from this im­age: Aubergine dessert from Coda; liq­uid ni­tro­gen prepa­ra­tion at Coda: one of Coda's de­li­cious desserts; home­made ginger beer. In­set, below: a tray of mac­arons at Du Bon­heur.

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