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Sweet Treats Sunday review

Helen Ramsbottom’s self control desserts her at The Lowry Hotel

Written by . Published on September 29th 2009.


Sweet Treats Sunday review

Sunday’s are odd for food in the city centre.

While several places serve a good roast they’re largely done and dusted early doors. This means that if you’ve got yourself back in gear mid-afternoon following a killer hangover it’s often too late to take advantage.

Sarah, who was at this point reaching a higher state of erm, excitement, had uttered the words “Oh my God, oh my God, ohhhh myyyyy Goddddd,” countless times as she literally inhaled it.

This happened the other Sunday. I’d been dancing the light fantastic the previous night with my good friend Sarah and had one too many margaritas. We’d had the obligatory revival fry up but late afternoon we started getting itchy for another feed.

A solution appeared with the Sweet Treats Sunday special at The Lowry Hotel. Normally lovers of cheese and a full-bodied red this represented something of a change so off we popped.

Sweet Treats is the brain child of Austin Appleton at The Lowry Hotel, who wanted to create a menu to showcase the patisserie talents of the kitchen. It takes place once a month in The River Room and you can either go for the full twelve desserts at £25 or choose six for £15.

There was no question as to how many we were going for. So what to drink? We handed this conundrum over to the sommelier who suggested Veuve Clicquot’s demi sec champagne. Any excuse.

The first sweet treat was the vanilla cheesecake; a perfect little presentation of loveliness, adorned by a cheeky raspberry, a nub of smooth praline cream and a svelte chocolate cigarette. The cheesecake had faultless consistency and the subtle vanilla flavouring was punctuated with a sharp tang from the fruit, followed quickly by a satisfying crunch from the biscuit base.

The next contender was donuts with toffee dipping sauce. The outer casing was just crisp enough as my teeth sank into it, the sugar dissolving in my mouth, while warmth escaped from the freshly baked, fluffy interior.

Just as the diabetes police were about to round the corner we were saved by a non-sweet option. Normally from the ‘savoury for dessert’ school of thought I was looking forward to this. Goats cheese and rosemary muffin with red onion marmalade. Beautifully baked I eagerly dug in only to exclaim, “I thought this had goats cheese in it!”

Sarah, who was at this point reaching a higher state of erm, excitement, had uttered the words “Oh my God, oh my God, ohhhh myyyyy Goddddd,” countless times as she literally inhaled it. As the last morsels were just about to be demolished I saw hers was warm and moist and full of tasty, tangy goats cheese whereas mine was more bread, less chèvre. Scooping up a spoonful of her's I saw the world through her eyes. Oh my God indeed. Delicious. (Er....Helen, I didn’t ask for pornography, just a food report. Ed)

Now the two of us are renowned for our eating capacity, but at this point, only three in, we started to become aware of our own food mortality. It was time to pace ourselves.

Fortunately salvation came in the form of bucks fizz sorbet. Palette-cleansing perfection. With a champagne top.

Word count means a little more brevity is needed. So to summarise, the remaining sweet offerings included snickers brulee, milk chocolate and cardamon mousse, gin and tonic sorbet, caramelized banana bavarois, strawberry milk shake with chocolate straws and lemon tart.

On the savoury team we had the Mediterranean vegetable bread and butter pudding and the butternut squash creme brulee.

It’s so hard to draw out edited highlights, all had their own individually heavenly naughtiness. The sweet brulee with semi melted, hunky chunks of the peanut chocolate bar, caramel swirling throughout. The gently textured chocolate mousse with a slightly spiced, aromatic aftertaste. Another exquisite sorbet (shot glass the right serving size, a few of those and you’d be on your ear hole).

The decadent bavarois, nuggets of banana inside, butter biscuit on the side. The lemon tart, just bursting with flavour from the juice and zest, soft, smooth and intensely flavoured. And not to overlook the scrumptious bread and butter pudding layered with roasted vegetables and a piquant red pepper coulis.

My favourite of the night though had to be the butternut squash creme brulee. There’s no photo of this, it arrived very unassuming in a plain white coffee cup with some milk froth on the top, the most modest in appearance of the evening. But through the foam there was a whole mix of textures, creamy mousse, a parmesan crisp, lumps of squash – a very distinctive dish.

Sweet Treats should possibly come with a health warning as this is not for the faint hearted but it’s definitely worth trying if you fancy something indulgent and different. Either with or without a hangover.

The next Sweet Treats Sunday is this week - 4 October. To book click here...


Bucks fizz sorbet

Caramelized banana bavarois


Donuts with toffee dipping sauce



Gin and tonic sorbet



Goats cheese and rosemary muffin



Lemon tart



Milk chocolate and cardamon mousse



Strawberry milk shake with chocolate straws

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

MolsterSeptember 29th 2009.

Went and tried this last night, was gorgeous! I went for the full fat 12 course menu (although I wasn't fussed about the savoury one's to be honest!), whilst my girlfriend just picked her favourite 6. I was well and truly stuffed by the end!!! The only one that we didn't really like was the Butter Nut squash Brulee. My faves were the Cheesecake and Snickers Brulee, whilst the misses loved the Med veg B&B pudding. The Bucks Fizz Sorbet was also worth a mention, and very much needed at the time.Another highlight for the misses was The Don coming and sitting next us... Jason Don(ovan)... apparently his mum's gone to "Iceland", so we can all look out for that ad... times must be hard for him.

DidsburyGirlSeptember 29th 2009.

This loks freaking amazing. Im coveting big style.

west lancsSeptember 29th 2009.

Fish eggs and fizz pop, how could she resist an offer like that!

Randy RogerSeptember 29th 2009.

Helen, may I take you and you friend along this Sunday to the Lowry. Watch you eat. And then well, I have some lovely beluga caviar and finest Moet back in my apartment in Beetham. We could loosen our clothing, take in the views and.....

lucky-chrisSeptember 29th 2009.

I never had food envy while eating haribo before now.

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