There are few dinner struggles more traumatic than the debate over dessert. Should you tear yourself away from a seductive, sugar-coated menu - self-respect and waistline still intact - or give into temptation and get the biggest, most ridiculous option on offer? These are the decisions that keep anxious foodies up at night.
Most normal desserts are pretty easy to ignore. Unfortunately, every once in a while, there comes a pudding of such massive proportions that it needs to be seen to be believed. These mythical sugary behemoths are few and far between, but when they appear they deserve some special attention. Thanks to intensive and presumably very delicious research from Thomson Lakes, we can now reveal the most ridiculously indulgent desserts on earth.
10. 'Salted Caramel and Whipped Cream Crêpe' - Crêperie Bretonne Fleurie, Paris
As the creators of caramel, crêpes and a whole collection of ridiculously unhealthy sweet treats, it’s unsurprising that the French feature in the top 10. This pancake panacea contains two French crepes, salted caramel sauce, three scoops of caramel ice cream and a load of flaked almonds. Weighing in at 1,386 calories, this is not a pud to be taken lightly.
9. 'Freakshakes' - Pâtissez, Canberra
They might be a dime a dozen in the world’s trendier food neighbourhoods, but there’s no doubt that the original freakshakes remain among the most impressive desserts anywhere. Chocolate milk topped with anything and everything from brownies to pretzels, these 1,466 portions are massive in every sense.
8. 'Magnum Pancakes' - My Old Dutch, London
The French aren’t the only ones to have a handy pancake recipe. This dessert, featuring fluffy Dutch style pancakes, a white Magnum ice cream, Oreo ice cream sandwiches, Nutella and chocolate buttons totals at a stonking 1,490 calories - more than enough to intimidate even the most enthusiastic pancake fan.
7. 'Gelato Burger' - Tap Gelato, Garden Grove, California
Given that “ice cream” and “burger” are two of the least diet-friendly words on earth, this monstrous sandwich was hardly going to be a health food. With a total calorie count of 1,543 per portion, the snack comes complete with three ice cream flavours, sweets and gold plating, all inside a deep fried burger bun.
6. 'Chimney Cones' - Eva's Original Chimneys, Toronto
Despite being in Canada, these colossal towers of pastry can actually be traced back to Eastern Europe. Based on Hungarian kürtőskalács, Eva’s chimney cones are stuffed with toffee, caramel, popcorn and pretzel in a 1,648 calorie sugar mountain.
5. 'Giant Ice Cream' - Gudhjem Special, Bornholm
It may not have the most imaginative name on the list, but this Danish creation certainly earns its place in the top five. An enormous waffle cone is loaded with ice cream, tea cakes and sprinkles, before being topped with a smaller ice cream. Yours, if you can spare the 2,057 calories.
4. 'S'moreffles Supreme Challenge,' The Workbench Bistro, Singapore
Stuffing yourself with incomprehensible amounts of sugar is not always a waste of time. For instance, if you can successfully polish off the 2,380 calorie, waffle, Oreo, jam, cream and chocolate sauce stack that is the S’moreffles Supreme Challenges in 30 minutes or less, you could net yourself a $50 voucher. And diabetes.
3. 'Milky Whey Challenge' - Palačinkarnica Milky, Zagreb
For all the exorbitant pancake dishes around the world, the undisputed kings of crepe-y indulgence are the Croatians. Zagreb’s Milky Whey Challenge is over two kilos of batter, ice cream and chocolate sauce that tips the scales at a mind-boggling 2,388 calories.
2. 'Supreme Sundaes' - MO & MOSHI, Bangkok
Since bursting onto the frozen dairy scene, MO & MOSHI have been wowing diners with their array of custom made sweet treats. The most infamous are undoubtedly their “supreme sundaes”, which feature 22 scoops of ice cream topped with waffles, brownies, chocolates or anything you care to mention. With a calorie count of 3,587 calories, it takes something serious to pip them to the top spot.
'The Roman Empire' - Coco Gelato, Cardiff
18 scoops of homemade gelato sit on four hot waffles, drowned in a collection of chocolate bars, fresh fruit, brownies and syrups in a 3,845 calorie testament to sugar. The Roman Empire has become so beloved that it helped Coco Gelato win the coveted title of best dessert restaurant in Wales. This is one pudding that has the pedigree and the ingredients to earn the title of world’s most indulgent dessert.
No meal is ever really complete until you’ve sampled something sweet. If you’re ever going to treat yourself, these 10 are the best excuses you’re ever likely to get. We can guarantee that you won’t have seen anything like them before.