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Both dinners were so decadently rich that a big, fattening dessert would have been a scandalous finale. That's why the corporate decision to shrink some of Houlihan's most popular desserts, like the cappuccino cake and the upside-down cheesecake, is a brilliant idea. Who could feel guilty about eating a miniature dessert?
The fudgy cappuccino cake tastes the way it always did but now arrives as an iced circle slightly smaller than a hockey puck ("No, dear, a large cosmetic compact," Martha corrected me), topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Four shared bites and it's gone. Ditto the fluffy little puff of cheesecake or a tiny, dome-shaped confection that attempts to capture the chewy wonder of that divine Snickers-bar pie of another era. Unfortunately, the Mini Snickers Dome was served on a cookie crust that was so hard to cut that a sledgehammer would have been the only way to eat it successfully.
I told Martha that I might dig out my old fringed vest and peace-symbol pinkie ring just to protest that dessert!