Late-Night Puds at Princi.

Forget the nightcap – it’s nightcakes all round

When the time inevitably comes to leave London, I know I will miss the food the most – specifically (and unsurprisingly) the vast array of puddings.

Soho, in particular, has an excellent number of eateries serving dessert well into the night. Of these, the Milanese bakery Princi always seems to be the busiest, with a plethora of Italian treats available until midnight every day (except for Sunday, when it closes at 10pm).

As enticing as their bakery counter is, however, I’ll admit I’ve been reluctant to pay many visits.

It’s the price, mainly: the average slice of cake is about £4.60. And they’re not huge slices either.

In addition to this, the last time the Man and I went there for cake (now over a year ago), neither of us were that impressed. Indeed, the fact that we can’t remember what we ate seems like rather telling, and nowadays, when the munchies hit us on Wardour Street, we tend to spend our savings on sweet treats elsewhere.

However, after recently sampling some awesome savoury goodies from Princi a couple of weeks ago, it seemed like a good idea to give the place another chance.

Last night the selection on offer was seriously appealing, with at least ten different treats to choose from, all of which looked like worthy contenders for Pud of the Year.

There were Pear and Chocolate Slices; three different types of chunky Cookie; glistening Chocolate Profiteroles; Cannoli the size of bath taps…

I deliberated for minutes on end, eventually plumping for the Creama and Ricotta Slice (a cheaper choice, at £3.60), while my pal (not the Man, but a knowledgeable Princi regular), went for her favourite Peach Pistaccio Cake (a high-end £4.60 classic).

So. Was it worth the dosh?

I have to say, this time I was more impressed – though admittedly not so much with the Peach Pistaccio.

Yes, it was tasty – with layers of ground Nut, and a fruity Peach slice topping – but the overall flavour was more like Almond than anything else, while the bottom crust verged on being too dry.

In essence it was very much like a Frangipane – no disaster, of course, though it could have done with more Peach and more Pistachio. Especially given its title…

My own choice suited me better (and jolly good too, I might add). It was, indeed, as creamy as I’d hoped: a thick, mellow topping on a thin Pastry base.

Inside were even a few cooked Cherries – three, to be precise – which added a very nice change in texture. Five or six Cherries would have been better, mind, but maybe that’s why it was the ‘cheap(er)’ option.

Overall, though, I didn’t regret the spend: as puddings go, they made for exciting finales.

Then again, as London puddings go, I’ve had a lot better for less: Gelupo’s Ice Cream Panettone; that Hungarian Sweet Cheese Strudel; the Pear and Whisky Pop Tart.

Our desserts were undeniably nice. But as far as this Pud-Hog’s concerned, there are plenty of worthier candidates for the throne of London’s Best.

In other words, Princi may be princely – but probably won’t ever be my king.

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