Sweet, Sprungli and Swiss
Dubai; When I heard that Sprüngli, the famous 175-year old Swiss confectioner was retailing sweet goodies at Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Bur Dubai, another Swiss success story, a FooDiva review suddently jumped to the top of my wish list. I should add the review that follows is a result of a tasting session, where FooDiva was invited – rest assured you can still trust me to speak my mind.
The hotel’s lobby lounge now houses Sweet, which Sprüngli aside, also offers its own chef-made cakes. As far as am aware, and please correct me if am wrong, there’s only one other establishment in Dubai that makes Eton Mess (Rivington Grill to be exact), so I jumped at the chance to taste. The bizarre name is derived from the UK’s famed public school where the boys used to literally throw together strawberries, meringue and fresh cream to make this quintessentially English dessert. Sweet manages to pull off a much neater affair; with layer upon layer of the three main ingredients, plus vanilla pod, caster and icing sugar. What I love about this dessert is that it’s so fresh and light. I even ordered one for my weekend polo picnic – needless to say it went down a treat. The blueberry cheesecake, called Sapphire in line with Sweet’s jewel theme, was so bitterly cold to bite into, it reminded us of ice-cream, not cream cheese – we were assured that was far from the case, but I say take out of the fridge early enough to adjust to room temperature. The Ruby vanilla cup cake was moist and crumbly, whilst the red strawberry jelly ‘jewel stones’ are more for effect than eating.
Sprüngli stocks all sorts of chocs and confections, mostly hand-made in its Zurich production facility and shipped to Dubai within 24 hours. Truffles, pralines, gaufrettes (crispy wafer rolls oozing with chocolate gianduja), chocolate-dipped amaretti (Italian almond biscuits), chocolate orange sticks and slices…is that enough? Its USP…filled with fresh cream…making for a richer taste I would have thought, but infact the truffle I tried was as light as a feather. And now for the pièce de résistance, the Luxembürgerli…what’s that you may ask as we did? Over half a century ago, Richard Sprüngli came across a sweet delicacy in Luxembourg that he transported back home, now known as the world-famous macaroon, or Luxembürgerli as Sprüngli has since trademarked. Eight different flavours gazed out at us, but not for long; caramel with fleur de sel, chocolate, cappuccino, hazelnut, pistachio, caramel with fleur de sel, vanilla, raspberry and lemon. FooDiva’s and two fellow foodie tasters’ clear favourite was the raspberry – it’s called deluxe for a reason. Aside from the buttercream filling (milked from Swiss mountain cows) which all Luxembürgerlis have, a raspberry jelly gives it that added flavour and bite. Other faves – the caramel; a rich contrast to the salty sprinking of fleur de sel, and the lemon; a perfect mini meringue.
And best bit is you can order take-out. Here’s the deal; Eton Mess in a pyrex sealed container (suitable for up to six persons), or less if you love it as much as FooDiva. AED95. Other dessert options include sherry trifle, tiramisu, pannacotta and creme brulee. Sapphire blueberry cheesecake (plus another five flavours) AED85 for 500g. Five ‘jewelled’ cup cakes AED65.
Sprüngli’s pralines start at AED85 for a six-piece gift set, and the Luxembürgerlis AED100 for 16 macaroons. If you fancy a bigger selection pop across to their showroom at Dubai Flower Centre near Terminal 2 – open to the public as well as trade. Or go visit their stand at the Bride Show (March 30th – April 2nd) at DWTC.