CLOSE
Original image

The Quick 10: 10 of the Most Expensive Desserts Ever

Original image

For me, there's nothing better than warm chocolate chip cookies out of the oven to satisfy a sweet tooth. If your tastes run a little more expensive, don't worry - there's something for you, too.

1. Golden Opulence Sundae. Long touted as the most expensive sundae in the world, this sweet treat from Serendipity 3 in New York will set you back $1,000. Instead of toppings like sprinkles (jimmies, to some of you) and cherries, Serendipity serves up candied fruits, gold-covered almonds, chocolate truffles, Grande Passion caviar, a gilded sugar flower and syrup made from one of the world's most expensive chocolates.
You also get to keep the Baccarat crystal goblet the Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream is served in.

2. Sometimes, though, a $1,000 sundae just seems a little too plebeian, doesn't it? On days when you really want to blow a your salary on some sweet, check out the $3333.33 banana split offered by Three Twins in Napa. It comes drenched in syrups made from rare dessert wines, and if you give the shop advance notice that you're going to purchase it, they'll hire a cellist to play while you nosh. Three Twins donates $1111.11 of every banana split purchase to a local land trust.

3. That's not even the most expensive offering from Three Twins. They also offer a $60,000 ice cream sundae ($85,000 for two) made from glacial ice from Mount Kilimanjaro. Oh, yeah - purchase price also includes first class airfare to Tanzania, five-star accommodations, a guided climb, all the ice cream you can eat and an organic T-shirt. "Five figures" of your purchase goes directly to an African environmental non-profit.

4. If you have a cool grand burning a hole in your pocket, but ice cream isn't really your thing (what?!), never fear: the Sultan's Golden Cake can satisfy your urges. It's a dish at the Ciragan Palace, a five-star hotel in Istanbul, and it takes 72 hours to make. It includes figs, quince, apricot and pears that have been enjoying a two-year dip in Jamaican Rum. It's then topped with caramel, black truffles and a gold leaf.

5. Serendipity 3 offers another luxury dessert called the "Frrozen Haute Chocolate," a blend of 28 cocoas, including 14 of the most expensive powders from around the world. It also includes five grams of edible 23-karat gold, but the kicker is probably the 18-karat gold bracelet with a carat of diamonds that decorates the base of the goblet. You don't eat that part, of course. Another non-edible is the golden spoon studded with white and chocolate-colored diamonds, and yep, you get to take that home.

6. More for the chocolate lovers - Chocopologie is a store that sells what we think is the most expensive chocolate truffle in the world. It's $5,000 a kilogram, but you can buy a single truffle for just $250. They're located in Norwalk, Connecticut.

7. The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence dessert at the Fortress Sri Lanka hotel sounds amazing - it's gold leaf cassata containing mango and pomegranate with a fisherman sculpted out of chocolate on the side. But something tells me most of the $14,500 purchase price is going toward the 80-carat aquamarine stone the chocolate fisherman is holding.

8. Likewise, I'm sure the bulk of the $130,000 price of the Platinum Cake designed by a Japanese pastry chef is due to the fact that the multi-tiered confection is adorned with platinum jewelry, including necklaces, brooches, pendants and hair pins. I feel like draping a dessert with jewelry and calling it "The world's most expensive cake" or whatever is sort of cheating. What's to stop someone from plopping the Hope Diamond down on top of a bowl of Jell-O and declaring it "The world's most expensive gelatin snack endorsed by Bill Cosby"?

9. Along that same line of thinking is the ROX cupcake, a $150,000 bite-sized cake created for the "Glam in the City" consumer show in Glasgow last year. It's an average cupcake, but it's sprinkled with diamonds.

10. A lesser cupcake indulgence is the Decadence D'Or from Las Vegas' Sweet Surrender. It doesn't pull the cheap "regular cupcake sprinkled with priceless jewels" trick. First of all, the cake is topped with Louis XIII de Remy Martin Cognac, a 100-year-old vintage. The chocolate is made from the rare Porcelain Crillo bean, and then there's the Tahitan Gold Vanilla Caviar, believed to be the most labor-intensive agricultural crop in the world. And, OK, there are gold flakes.

Would you buy any of these if you had the cash? I might actually go for the $60,000 ice cream if money were no object. I mean, you get an awesome trip out of the deal and a good chunk of your spend goes to charity. That's not so bad.

Original image
Family Communications Inc./Getty Images
arrow
Pop Culture
The Sweet Surprise Reunion Mr. Rogers Never Saw Coming
Original image
Family Communications Inc./Getty Images

For more than 30 years, legendary children’s show host Fred Rogers used his PBS series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to educate his young viewers on concepts like empathy, sharing, and grief. As a result, he won just about every television award he was eligible for, some of them many times over.

Rogers was gracious in accepting each, but according to those who were close to the host, one honor in particular stood out. It was March 11, 1999, and Rogers was being inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame, an offshoot of the Emmy Awards. Just before being called to the stage, out came a surprise.

The man responsible for the elation on Rogers’s face was Jeff Erlanger, a 29-year-old from Madison, Wisconsin who became a quadriplegic at a young age after undergoing spinal surgery to remove a tumor. Rogers was surprised because Erlanger had appeared on his show nearly 20 years prior in 1980 to help kids understand how people with physical challenges adapt to life’s challenges. Here's his first encounter with the host:

Reunited on stage after two decades, Erlanger referred to the song, “It’s You I Like,” which the two sang during their initial meeting. “On behalf of millions of children and grown-ups,” Erlanger said, “it’s you I like.” The audience, including a visibly moved Candice Bergen, rose to their feet to give both men a standing ovation.

Following Erlanger’s death in 2007, Hedda Sharapan, an employee with Rogers’s production company, called their poignant scene “authentic” and “unscripted,” and that Rogers often pointed to it as his favorite moment from the series.

Near the end of the original segment in 1980, as Erlanger drives his wheelchair off-camera, Rogers waves goodbye and offers a departing message: “I hope you’ll come back to visit again.”

Original image
© 2002 Twentieth Century Fox
arrow
entertainment
20 Things You Might Not Have Known About Firefly
Original image
© 2002 Twentieth Century Fox

As any diehard fan will be quick to tell you, Firefly's run was far, far too short. Despite its truncated run, the show still offers a wealth of fun facts and hidden Easter eggs. On the 15th anniversary of the series' premiere, we're looking back at the sci-fi series that kickstarted a Browncoat revolution.

1. A CIVIL WAR NOVEL INSPIRED THE FIREFLY UNIVERSE.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Killer Angels from author Michael Shaara was Joss Whedon’s inspiration for creating Firefly. It follows Union and Confederate soldiers during four days at the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. Whedon modeled the series and world on the Reconstruction Era, but set in the future.

2. ORIGINALLY, THE SERENITY CREW INCLUDED JUST FIVE MEMBERS.

When Whedon first developed Firefly, he wanted Serenity to only have five crew members. However, throughout development and casting, Whedon increased the cast from five to nine.

3. REBECCA GAYHEART WAS ORIGINALLY CAST TO PLAY INARA.

Getty Images

Before Morena Baccarin was cast as Inara Serra, Rebecca Gayheart landed the role—but she was fired after one day of shooting because she lacked chemistry with the rest of the cast. Baccarin was cast two days later and started shooting that day.

4. NEIL PATRICK HARRIS WAS ALMOST DR. SIMON TAM.

Getty Images

Before it went to Sean Maher, Neil Patrick Harris auditioned for the role of Dr. Simon Tam.

5. JOSS WHEDON WROTE THE THEME SONG.

Whedon wrote the lyrics and music for Firefly’s opening theme song, “The Ballad of Serenity.”

6. STAR WARS SPACECRAFT APPEAR IN FIREFLY.

Star Wars was a big influence on Whedon. Captain Malcolm Reynolds somewhat resembles Han Solo, while Whedon used the Millennium Falcon as inspiration to create Serenity. In fact, you can spot a few spacecraft from George Lucas's magnum opus on the show.

When Inara’s shuttle docks with Serenity in the pilot episode, an Imperial Shuttle can be found flying in the background. In the episode “Shindig,” you can see a Starlight Intruder as the crew lands on the planet Persephone.

7. HAN SOLO FROZEN IN CARBONITE POPS UP THROUGHOUT FIREFLY.

YouTube

Nathan Fillion is a big Han Solo fan, so the Firefly prop department made a 12-inch replica of Han Solo encased in Carbonite for the Canadian-born actor. You can see the prop in the background in a number of scenes.

8. ALIEN'S WEYLAND-YUTANI CORPORATION MADE AN APPEARANCE.

In Firefly’s pilot episode, the opening scene features the legendary Battle of Serenity Valley between the Browncoats and The Union of Allied Planets. Captain Malcolm Reynolds takes control of a cannon with a Weyland-Yutani logo inside of its display. Weyland-Yutani is the large conglomerate corporation in the Alien film franchise. (Whedon wrote Alien: Resurrection in 1997.)

9. ZAC EFRON'S ACTING DEBUT WAS ON FIREFLY.

A 13-year-old Zac Efron made his acting debut in the episode “Safe” in 2002. He played Young Simon in a flashback.

10. CAPTAIN MALCOLM REYNOLDS'S HORSE IS A WESTERN TROPE.

At its core, Firefly is a sci-fi western—and Malcolm Reynolds rides the same horse on every planet (it's named Fred).

11. FOX AIRED FIREFLY'S EPISODES OUT OF ORDER.

Fox didn’t feel Firefly’s two-hour pilot episode was strong enough to air as its first episode. Instead, “The Train Job” was broadcast first because it featured more action and excitement. The network continued to cherry-pick episodes based on broad appeal rather than story consistency, and eventually aired the pilot as the show’s final episode.

12. THE ALLIANCE'S ORIGINS ARE AMERICAN AND CHINESE.

The full name of The Alliance is The Anglo-Sino Alliance. Whedon envisioned The Alliance as a merger of American and Chinese government and corporate superpowers. The Union of Allied Planets’ flag is a blending of the American and Chinese national flags.

13. THE SERENITY LOUNGE SERVED AS AN ACTUAL LOUNGE.

Between set-ups and shots, the cast would hang out in the lounge on the Serenity set rather than trailers or green rooms.

14. INARA SERRA'S NAME IS MESOPOTAMIAN.

Getty Images

Inara Serra is named after the Mesopotamian Hittite goddess, the protector of all wild animals.

15. THE CHARACTERS SWORE (JUST NOT IN ENGLISH).

The Firefly universe is a mixture of American and Chinese culture, which made it easy for writers to get around censors by having characters swear in Chinese.

16. THE UNIFORMS ARE RECYCLED FROM STARSHIP TROOPERS.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

The uniforms for Alliance officers and soldiers were the costumes from the 1997 science fiction film Starship Troopers. The same costumes were repurposed again for the Starship Troopers sequel.

17. "SUMMER!" MEANS SOMEONE MESSED UP.

Every time a cast member flubbed one of his or her lines, they would yell Summer Glau’s name. This was a running gag among the cast after Glau forgot her lines in the episode “Objects In Space.”

18. THE SERENITY SPACESHIP WAS BUILT TO SCALE.

The interior of Serenity was built entirely to scale; rooms and sections were completely contiguous. The ship’s interior was split into two stages, one for the upper deck and one for the lower. Whedon showed off the Firefly set in one long take to open the Serenity movie.

19. "THE MESSAGE" SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE SHOW'S FAREWELL.

Although “The Message” was the twelfth episode, it was the last episode filmed during Firefly’s short run. Composer Greg Edmonson wrote a piece of music for a funeral scene in the episode, which served as a final farewell to the show. Sadly, it was one of three episodes (the other two were “Trash” and “Heart of Gold”) that didn’t air during Firefly’s original broadcast run on Fox.

20. FIREFLY AND SERENITY WERE SENT TO THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION.

American Astronaut Steven Ray Swanson is a big fan of Firefly, so when he was sent to the International Space Station for his first mission (STS-117) in 2007, he brought DVD copies of Firefly and its feature film Serenity aboard with him. The DVDs are now a permanent part of the space station’s library.

This post originally appeared in 2014.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios