Food: Let Them Eat Cake!

And Creme Brulee and Chocolate Mousse and... Americans, dieters and fitness buffs included, are demanding their just desserts

Desserts these days are rarely what they seem. What looks like a slice of - chocolate layer cake is really a reward for jogging those extra two miles in the morning. A towering wedge of vanilla-scented cheesecake, laden with calories, is no more than fair compensation for eating only salad or fish for lunch. And warm apple pie a la mode is not the obvious self-indulgence it once was, but a vital, midday energy booster for a deserving workaholic. Whatever the reasons (or sweet excuses), desserts are back in style with a vengeance, in restaurants and bakeries, even as diet-obsessed Americans...

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