top of page

Garlic in dessert

"Garlic is a great dessert ingredient because it mellows and sweetens as it roasts ... Roasted garlic has a caramel taste, while fermented (black) garlic has hints of coffee, molasses and chocolate." Toronto Garlic Festival

In another of my five minute glimpses of an actual cooking program - and from the same series as before - The Great British Food Revival - I saw the late Clarissa Dickson Wright making a Garlic fudge tart with nectarines - shown above. I have to say it looked pretty yummy and I did like the idea of throwing in chunks of fudge to the custard mix. If you click on the link you can find the whole recipe but basically she made a custard kind of mix in a food processor with lots of fudge chunks, some garlic, eggs, cheese - yes cheese, and cream. This was poured over the halved nectarines and baked in the oven. I confess I was intrigued but I'm not sure whether I'm game. Who would I make it for?

Before I go on to offer a few more things for dessert made with garlic, a slight digression on Clarissa Dickson Wright - one half of the fat ladies duo. Not only was she fat, but she was also a recovering alcoholic and a bit hopeless all round really. I never really watched the fat ladies although I think I may have seen one or two programs. How? Well I guess David was often away on business when we were all younger, so maybe I watched them when he wasn't there. I can't say I was ever particularly enamoured of their food either. Or them. Their personalities grated. Too upper crust for me. When I looked up Clarissa Dickson Wright I learnt that she had something like ten - yes ten christian names, that her father was a royal surgeon, but abusive, and her mother was an heiress. She began her working life as a barrister, but became alcoholic after the death of her parents and wasted her rather large inheritance. She had various business ventures but none successful and was bankrupt at one point. But a big personality I guess. Sounds like a waste of talent through a somewhat dysfunctional childhood and bad ideas.

The series that I catch glimpses of - The Great British Food Revival - has a different celebrity chef in each episode focussing on a particular ingredient being revived in UK farming. A bit like exploring indigenous ingredients here really, and the people who are trying to make them a commercial thing. Obviously this episode was on garlic, but this was the only tiny bit of it that I saw. I guess it's on SBS On Demand if you are interested in watching it.

But back to garlic as a dessert. Clarissa Dickson Wright used ordinary garlic, and there were a few other recipes out there that used ordinary garlic. Well of course in this series we were not looking at 'ordinary' garlic, but lovingly raised, organic heritage garlic. The most tempting looking recipe from elsewhere to me was this Pineapple garlic upside-down cake from

There were a few for ice-creams and sorbets but even Clarissa Dickson Wright said she had tasted some and it wasn't that great. However, the majority of garlic dessert recipes seemed to use black garlic (well of course) and also chocolate. Here are two of them: Brownies with black garlic from the Toronto Garlic Festival and Chocolate mousse with black garlic from Peter Kuruvita.

I think I've done black garlic before - it's pretty expensive and you can get it from Coles. It's made by heating whole cloves of garlic very, very slowly after which time it becomes black. I'm sure it's rather more complicated than that, but it's one of those trendy gourmet products that chefs rave about.

I found a food pairings website that claimed that black garlic and chocolate was a marriage made in heaven but I couldn't access any of their recipes.

I wonder who first thought of using garlic in a dessert? I mean it's not logical is it? I guess it's another demonstration of man's creativity and desire to experiment and test the boundaries. If only they'd use that talent for saving the world. In the meantime we'll just have to try Garlic fudge tart with nectarines, and see if the mad ones are right.

#sweetthings #rootvegetables


Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page