• Golden syrup pudding (Chris Chen)Source: Chris Chen
Baby, it may be cold outside, but these treats mean you'll stay toasty on the inside.
5 Aug 2021 - 1:15 PM  UPDATED 11 Aug 2021 - 11:47 AM

It can be hard to embrace the colder months. There's a biting chill that carves right through you and even woollen socks struggle to warm your toes. The sun shuts up shop at a ridiculously early hour and after dark, everything feels annoyingly damp.

The only thing that can beat that soggy, icy feeling is a warm dessert. Cobblers, strudels, puddings and pies. Tarts and hot fudge and pastries, oh my!

You know it's true. It's not called comfort food for nothing. A sweet ending to a meal brings cosy warmth to your woollen sock-clad toes. It fires up the happy hormones and life feels better with every spoonful.

It's best not to fight it. If we can't embrace the colder months, we can definitely embrace warmer desserts.

Churros cheer up

Dunking warm, sugary sticks into thick, hot dark chocolate is surely the remedy for life itself?

Pain au hot chocolat

We’ve taken inspiration from the classic French breakfast – rich hot chocolate served with flaky croissants – and made it ‘hotter’ with scorched Swiss meringue, which sweetens and enriches the hot chocolate with a luscious voluminosity, plus biscuit crumbs for crunch. #DessertDate

Coconut hot chocolate

This frothy, coconut-laced brew is perfect for when you cosy and decadent drink, but something a bit different to your regular hot chocolate.

Bake your cares

Dig into sweet, citrusy custard-like Balearic pudding and the night is suddenly toasty.

Mushroom for dessert

This is a quirky take on a classic sticky date pudding. Portobello mushrooms are blended into the dates to create a richer pudding that's moister than the winter night air.

Sticky date cake with salted caramel sauce

Serving the cake warm is a must, with a dollop of cream or good-quality ice cream. The burnt sugar figs add a classy and delicious touch, but pears or banana would also be lovely if figs aren’t in season.

Sticky toffee pudding with sauce

Many puddings are surrounded by legends and this is one of them. It is said that the sticky toffee pudding was invented in the 1960s by Francis Coulson of the Sharrow Bay Hotel by the majestic Ullswater in the Lake District. He called it an ‘icky sticky toffee sponge’.

Go figure

Swap your dates for figs and prunes to really make sticky toffee sing. A garam masala hit further spices this pudding up for winter.

Berry toasty

Rhubarb and berry crumble with goat's milk and vanilla custard

Could there be a finer winter dessert than berry and rhubarb crumble? So easy, so complex, so everything.

The ultimate rhubarb recipe round-up
The vegetable we treat as a fruit earns its keep over and over and over.

Apple crumble

Okay, the only thing to rival the rhubarb crumble is this apple version. Serve it steaming hot out of the oven and with a bit of luck you'll burn your tongue. Strange comfort on a freezing night.

Emergency apple crumble

This is the crumble I make every time a friend has a baby! I drop around a bag of the crumble topping, a tin of apple (or pear) and some delicious thick cream.

Toasty apple crumbles

It's no accident that "toasty apple crumbles" rhymes with "belly rumbles". 

Golden refuge

Golden syrup pudding

If a golden syrup pudding drowning in hot vanilla custard doesn't warm you from hands to heart, nothing will.

Start with breakfast

Rhubarb & apple pie

Why wait for the evening chill when you could be eating warm apple and rhubarb pie in the AM? Get a jump on the cold!


Photo credit: Pierre Javelle

This little chocolate self-saucing pud practically makes itself. Take it next level by adding a pinch of chilli into the mix.

Chocolate self-saucing pudding

This classic is best made in a large dish, but individual puddings can be more fun. If you decide to make small puddings, divide the mixture between 4 x 500 ml ovenproof dishes and cook for 25–30 mins. Leave plenty of room to top up with the coffee, as this becomes your sauce.

Self-saucing chocolate puddings

Chocolate nirvana here we come! It’s everything you expect from a chocolate pud and a whole lot more.

Chocolate and wattleseed self-saucing pudding

With its coffee-like aroma, wattleseed is an ideal accompaniment to chocolate and works wonderfully in this self-saucing pudding. Chef Mark Olive recommends soaking the wattleseed for 20 minutes in boiling water before starting the recipe.

Cherry cherry bomb

Technically you're supposed to serve strudel cooled, but please don't let that stop you from smashing into it straight out of the oven and floating it in a custard pond.

Umbrian strudel (rocciata di Assisi)

This strudel is all about sweet, wintery flavours, with apples, dried figs, walnuts, almonds, raisins, cinnamon, fennel seeds and lemon zest. The olive oil pastry is easy to make and easy to roll out.

Sour cherry strudels (weichselstrudel)

These sweet German pies, known as weichselstrudel, have a sticky, jam-like filling of sour cherries. They’re sprinkled with sugar and flaked almonds, then baked until golden.

Well peared

Basically, all you need to know about this pear cobbler is that it has an extremely high pastry-to-filling ratio. Which is just the way we like it.

In a fritter

These toffee apple fritters are served warm, but dunked quickly into iced water to set the caramel before eating. Which means you get a crunchy caramel outer and a cosy apple centre.

Pineapple fritters with pepperberry sugar

There is much debate about the merits of hot pineapple but I remain firmly in the positive camp. These are a grown-up version of pineapple fritters that I used to eat on the beach, a treat after fish ’n’ chips. 

Apple fritters (frittelle di mele)

Hailing from Italy, these irresistible fried balls of appley dough are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Serve warm and dusted with sugar.

And then there is hot fudge...

Warm your cockles with a liberal sloshing of hot fudge sauce over espresso profiteroles. Ah, that's better.

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