Desserts make for the perfect ending to any scrumptious meal. Normally, when you pick a menu to order desserts all you will find is – Apple Pie, Walnut Brownie, Cheesecake, Mousse, etc. Rarely will you ever find things like Dilkhush or Honey Cake or even Apple Cake. These traditional, old-school sweets have somehow been lost, overtaken by pastries, pies and gelato. While the new-age desserts are delish in their own right, we think traditional desserts too have an undeniable charm. And some Bengalureans still hanker after these sweets that have had a place in their hearts for decades.
Shekar Vijayan an entertainer and author, still dreams of the days when he enjoyed the classic cassata that had the best of both worlds — ice-cream AND cake! “As a kid, cassata was my one true love. It excited me no end. To have ice-cream and cake together was a dream come true. To have soft cake surrounding three different flavours of ice cream, for me was out of this world. But this was reserved for special occasions and celebrations only,” he shares.
Before turning vegan two years back, G Nagraj, a plogger loved relishing the typical Iyengar bakery Honey Cake. He shares, “It would seem as though a simple, Iyengar-made honey cake could never compare to a rich and decadent chocolate fudge cake. But there is something about that soft cake drenched in sugar syrup and coated with desiccated coconut, that makes you feel warm from within. Until two years ago, my wife and I would have honey cake every chance we would get.”
Back in the day, desserts where reserved only for special occasions, celebrations and when you would get good marks in your exams. Santhosh Basavaraj, a merchandiser often reminiscences about the good old bakery treats he used to eat. “For me, bakery-made coconut burfi, honey and apple cake and hesar bele payasam were always a treat. It’s sad that people don’t eat these things anymore. Though some were packed with nutrients, the taste and tradition is what still attracts me.”
Stephen Albert, head of operations at a diagnostics firm, remembers quite a few bakeries that are spread across the town that concocted several mouth-watering delicacies. “When we were kids, we indulged in several sweets that I don’t think youngsters today will recognise. As often as he could, my dad would buy us hot and steamy coconut macaroons that had the right amount of crunch and sweetness. I also ate a lot of Dilkhush – a filo pastry dish that is loaded with sweet coconut and dry fruit. I also ate a lot of ‘whistle toffee’ that you could play with as well as chew on. Sponge and honey cake too were an all-time favourite,” he recalls fondly.