Padma Lakshmi's Unusual Birthday Dessert Is Turning Heads

Padma Lakshmi has seen incredible highs and lows this past year. The television personality and prolific writer won her first James Beard Foundation Award, three Critics' Choice Awards, and began filming season 2 of "Taste the Nation." At the same time, Lakshmi was coping with the deaths of her grandmother and friend Arthur Chadbourne and the recent stabbing of her ex-husband Salmon Rushdie (via New York Post).

No stranger to difficult moments and painful lessons, Lakshmi doesn't dwell on the negative or shy away from obstacles. Like the 7-inch scar on her arm from a car accident at 14, Lakshmi embraces imperfections, calling her scar "my brand statement" instead of hiding the mark in shame (per Biography). So when Lakshmi turned 52 this summer, the "Top Chef" host took to Instagram to express how thankful she was instead of focusing on what she lost this year.

Underscoring how blessed she felt, the former model posted a photo on Twitter proudly displaying her bikini-clad body taken on holiday in Hawaii in April, declaring, "This is 52." Receiving almost 400 comments, Lakshmi was both praised for the incredible shape she's in, called a 'role model for young women' but also chastised for being 'tone-deaf' and bragging about herself.

Not deterred by the trolls, Lakshmi continued her birthday celebration and posted highlights from her birthday dinner at Frog by Adam Handling where Lakshmi enjoyed an 18-course tasting menu, including a birthday dessert popular in London but new to the U.S.

Celebrating with edible birthday candles

Receiving its first Michelin star in 2022, Frog is the first restaurant by Scottish-born chef Adam Handling (via YouTube). While all of Handling's restaurants have interesting names (one is called "Ugly Butterfly"), the chef named his debut restaurant after the amphibian since frogs either sink or swim, which is what he was going to do, being a first-time restaurant owner. With Handling's focus on zero waste in the kitchen, it's not surprising that even the birthday candles on her dessert were edible.

Posting to Twitter and Instagram, Lakshmi describes "The Frog" as magical as she blows out the edible candle on her birthday dessert. Although her posts do not provide the ingredients used to make the edible candle, most are created from chocolate. Made from what appears to be white chocolate, the wait staff removes a small wick before Lakshmi cracks the candle open for her first bite of the treat.

Let Them Eat Candles is a U.S. company that makes tasty candles. According to the company's website, these edible candles have an FDA-approved paraffin-covered cotton wick that burns for under a minute if not blown out. Want to make chocolate candles yourself? Momtastic provides step-by-step instructions using chocolate lollipop molds to create a simple DIY version. YouTube is also a good reference for the craft/recipe, like the realistic-looking taper candle, similar to Lakshmi's birthday candle, from "How to Cook That" with Ann Reardon.