As writers, we usually take breaks just to eat. Writing takes a huge amount of energy, regardless of what other people say about us just sitting down and contemplating what to write next. I, for one, have had days when I slept more than usual because of a recent project. So, it’s safe to say that I’m guilty of eating sweets now and again to jolt myself awake.
Yes, some may argue that the frequent indulgence may seem unhealthy; however, I don’t always eat food made from processed sugar. Sometimes, I eat fries. This made me consider what our idols considered to be their favorite sweets and how they were associated with it throughout history.
Jean-Paul Sartre and Halva
Although his existentialist prose and opinions were not sweet, but rather blunt and exacting in its taste, Sartre’s favorite dessert may show you a different side of the famous philosopher, playwright, and novelist. Halva – a honey and nut confectionary – is a popular sweet that Sartre frequently requested from Simone De Beauvoir. It was his – and his friends’ – favorite package from Simone during World War II.
Sylvia Plath and Tomato Soup Cake
What else can you expect from Plath but a strangely savory dessert made of tomato soup? According to her journals, it was one of the desserts she enjoyed preparing. Although Plath’s writing may not be as sweet as the desserts she made, she admitted in her journals that cooking was a joy. Not only were her journals full of her thoughts, but it also contained her recipes – a chef’s most prized written possession.
George Orwell and Plum Pudding
It’s funny how Orwell’s favorite dessert was exposed – he did so himself while criticizing the rest of Great Britain’s selection of local desserts and pastries. He wrote an essay titled “British Cookery” and complained about the “simple, rather heavy, and barbarous” creations pastry chefs and bakers made in his home country. However, he made an exception for plum pudding, saying that it was “one of the greatest glories of British cookery … an extremely rich, elaborate and expensive dish.”
Thomas Jefferson and Blancmange with Brandied Apricots
Since he wrote most of the Declaration of Independence, we can safely say that Thomas Jefferson is one of the most influential writers in the United States. It is said that his Monticello cookbook has several recipes and the blancmange with brandied apricots was his favorite. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, but it is extremely delicious if Jefferson brought it back from France just to add it to his favorite dessert recipes.
Karen Blixen/Isak Dinesen and Baba Au Rhum
Karen Blixen, aka, Isak Dinesen is the author of Babette’s Feast – a lovely French movie about, well, a feast. Though many have tried to replicate the author’s vivid descriptions of the food in the book, one recipe stands out the most. Baba au Rhum is a small cake that is saturated with rum and syrup. Happy hour and happy eating indeed!
Emily Dickinson and Black Cake
As sweet as her poems are, her cooking can compete with her writing. She was known also known as an impressive cook with various recipes of desserts under her belt. The funny thing about her Black Cake recipe is that it reads like a poem – those who tried it thought the steps were strange. Black Cake is much like a fruitcake and without a fridge, Dickinson kept hers cool in her cellar for a month, give or take.
As impressive it is to find that our favorite author’s tastes differ, whether by region or personal preference, it is also surprising to find that these great minds are only human and can burn a cake on the first try or beg for a sweet dessert instead of a pile of books. With that being said, what is your favorite dessert and when are you going to make it?
Bio: Sarah writes for Simmer and Zest. She is passionate about food and hopes that others will share her zest for tasty dishes by writing about and sharing what she’s learned.