Dessert Tests 1 & 2

December 18, 2007

Thanks for all the comments encouraging me to go ahead w the Dessert Test.  No pics this time – I don’t want to explain to 200 colleagues that I’m taking pics of my plate for my weight loss blog…

Dessert Test 1 :

The Situation : buffet lunch – our team arrived late, there was very little left of lunch, I ate fast but healthy, filling up on the turkey & salad.

The Dessert : Headed to the dessert buffet where there were lemon tarts, apple tart, clafoutis (a type of flan), fruit, chocolate mousse and a few other pretty pastries.  There was also “fromage blanc” which is a kind of yogurt-like thing (less tangy & sour) and a raspberry coulis.  I took the fromage blanc and put some raspberry coulis on it, and took a slice of the apple tart.

The Analysis : One bite of the apple tart was all I needed – very industrial tasting, with a creamy filling under the apples that tasted like chemicals or plastic.  I did eat the fromage blanc (which is healthy and something I eat routinely anyway).  I think knowing I’m going to have dessert each time made me say to myself there is nothing magic in this – and if it’s not great I won’t eat it.  If I was in my usual thing of “only dessert this once” I probably would have loaded up my plate w the most sugary stuff (not the fromage blanc) and eaten all of it even if it wasn’t good.

Dessert Test 2 :

The Situation : Served dinner at hotel, which lasted 2 1/2 hours.  Starter, main dish, cheese, dessert, coffee.  Seated at a table w people I know and like, decent conversation.

The Dessert : Three parts on one plate, and not a small dessert plate either, probably 9 inches.  On it was a 2 1/2 inch diameter 3-layer chocolate mousse (dark, milk and white chocolates) topped with a few chopped pecans.  This was sitting on a vanilla cream sauce, and next to it was a medium-sized scoop of deep dark chocolate ice cream.

The Analysis :  I was expecting more icky industrial fare, but this was actually good.  The mousse was very sweet and the novelty of tasting the 3 different chocolates in one bite soon ran out, and I stopped eating after about 1/3.  I didn’t touch the vanilla cream, as it didn’t look homemade, and also didn’t seem to add anything to the rest of the desserts.  The ice cream, however, was excellent.  Really rich dark chocolate flavor, and dark chocolate chips throughout.  I love ice cream and almost never have it at home (because I’d eat it all very fast).  Because it was so rich it was very satisfying, and I took small bites and let them melt in my mouth to really savor it.  I managed to leave one spoonful on my plate which I am pretty proud of.

I’d judge this effort so far a success.  At dinner, knowing I’d at least taste the dessert, I only ate what I liked, which turned out not to be much.  I didn’t care for the veal, nor the sauce, and even the green beans had that odd freezer taste to them.  There was too much pepper on the tomato, so I ended up mainly eating the side of potatoes.  One nice thing about France for dinners like this is that there is almost always cheese, so you will find protein later if you don’t eat your meat.  Only one of the 3 cheeses was to my liking (about an ounce of a goat’s cheese) and so even with the dessert included it wasn’t a calorie-killer meal.

Tomorrow lunch should be the same basic thing as today, and dinner will be another sit-down affair, only this time at a table w people I’m not crazy about and don’t know well.  Will I hide my social anxiety in my plate?  Tune in tomorrow to find out…

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