We’re coming to the end of my best things series — it’s been a lot of fun sharing my favorite finds with you and hope you’ll get an opportunity to try them out yourself or to even start considering what some of the best things are that you’ve eaten over the years. It’s kind of fun to start remembering all the great dishes (and sometimes even the worst) that have shaped your life.

It’s no big surprise to people that I love dessert. In fact, today after my boss decided to go with the exact same buffet choices for the annual banquet as last year (and the year before that…and the year before that…and the year before that…back about ten years, really) the silver lining was that he let me choose the dessert options. Everyone might remember the dinner, but I hope what really sticks out are the mini key lime tarts and cheesecake bars because they signify change.

Hey, I’m a Democrat. I thrive on hopeful change.

And I know I’m probably starting to sound a little broken record, mentioning Mother’s Bistro once every few posts, but the bottom line is that Lisa and Mother’s changed the way I look at food; how I consume it, how I enjoy it, and even how I make it, thanks to her cookbook, Mother’s Best. So it’s only natural that the best dessert I’ve ever had was the chocolate freezer cake with homemade hazelnut brittle, whipped cream, and ganache.

I’m a sucker for chocolate — the joke my mother and I have between ourselves is “any old chocolate in a storm,” which is why you’ll find me eating out of the Whitman’s sampler come Valentine’s Day. But never fear, my palate is refined enough to recognize that’s some of the most dreadful chocolate I’ll ever put into my mouth, whereas that chocolate cake, tall and dense and moist and still cold, with a rich, creamy frosting and thick, luxurious ganache was high quality stuff. The hazelnut brittle was unlike any I’d ever had before (brittle, that is, since it’s the only time I’ve had the hazelnut variety) — crunchy and nutty and just sweet enough because for as much as I love sweets, I don’t love things that are cloying (see also: sweetened condensed milk straight out of the can.) The whipped cream was light as air, melting as soon as it touched my tongue. I’m sitting here, typing with my eyes shut (yes you may be impressed), just imagining every part of that dessert on my tongue. Heavy sigh here.

It was a dessert special; maybe for the month or perhaps even just for that week or night, and this all occurred before I had the smarts to take photos of beautiful food. I wish I could brandish one right now to share with you, but instead you have to just imagine it with me, piecing it together in your mind.

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