Every country has its own traditions when it comes to desserts. Some countries make use of ingredients such as nuts and syrup, while others rely heavily on things like cream and custard. Then there are those nations that just love their chocolate. If you're a keen traveler and food buff, you just can't go wrong, wherever on Earth you end up!
One of the best parts of traveling is getting the chance to taste new foods from around the globe: primarily the desserts! If you can’t travel, you can make the most of them by cooking them yourself at home! Keep reading to find out more about these 10 yummy desserts from around the world.
10 Malva Pudding, South Africa
South African cuisine includes a lot of gems that are yet to gain the popularity they deserve. Malva pudding is one such dessert that you don’t really hear of out of South Africa. You should, though, because it’s delicious!
Malva pudding is made using apricot jam and is often served with cream sauce. Most of the time, it’s served hot and you can even get it with custard or ice cream. Yum! It’s widely available in South Africa and is exactly the kind of comfort food you deserve.
9 Halwa, India
Indian cuisine is not famous for its desserts, but there is one sweet that we can’t get enough of and that is gajar ka halwa, otherwise known as carrot halwa. The starring ingredient here is grated carrots, but that doesn’t mean that this dish exactly counts as healthy eating. It’s also prepared with milk, sugar, and ghee, or clarified butter.
Gajar ka halwa is often served in the north of India, while in the south, kesari halwa tends to be served frequently. This dish includes semolina and saffron and is also delicious!
8 Croquembouche, France
The French are known for the rich desserts they have gifted the world. After all, this is the land of chocolate eclairs, macarons, crème brulee, crepes, calisson, and the list goes on. We think the one French dessert that deserves the most recognition and praise is the fabulous croquembouche. Unless you’re a skilled cook, we don’t recommend trying this one out at home.
This elaborate sweet consists of choux pastry puffs, which are arranged in the shape of a large cone. They are then threaded together using caramel or toffee.
7 Basbousa, Egypt
The Middle East boasts a variety of tasty sweet dishes. One of the most famous to come out of Egypt is basbousa. The main ingredient to go into this moist and sweet dessert is semolina. After being baked, the cake is topped with a syrup flavored with rose water or orange flower water.
Traditionally, basbousa is cut into diamond shapes. Each slice is topped with a nut, usually an almond or a walnut. Although it originated in Egypt, the dessert is commonly found throughout the Middle East and the Balkans.
6 Tiramisu, Italy
When you think of Italian desserts, you tend to imagine gelato, cannoli and, of course, tiramisu. This spongy cake typically makes use of Italian coffee and liqueur to give the dish flavor. And luckily, tiramisu happens to be one of the easiest dishes to make!
The process starts with dipping ladyfingers (or something similar) in coffee and lining them in the dish. Next, you add the cream filling, usually made from Italian mascarpone cheese. Then you repeat, layering the ladyfingers and the cream until you get to the top, where you sprinkle the dessert with grated chocolate. Nothing better!
5 Pavlova, Australia & New Zealand
Although relations between Australia and New Zealand are typically friendly (in a sibling rivalry sort of way), there’s one topic that seems to ruffle feathers on both sides: pavlova. While Australia is typically credited with inventing this dessert, the residents of New Zealand believe they’ve been robbed of the title. Either way, this is a delicious sweet that you widely find in both countries.
Pavlova consists mostly of meringue that is topped with whipped cream and fruit. It’s often served at celebrations in both Australia and New Zealand.
4 Black Forest Cake, Germany
You’d be hard-pressed to find a chocolate lover who doesn’t like black forest cake. Originating from Germany (it's based on Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte), this dessert is extremely rich, but it definitely leaves an impression! This isn’t just any old chocolate cake.
Black forest cake features chocolate sponge that is layered between whipped cream and cherries. In Germany, it is also prepared using cherry liquor and festooned with cherries, chocolate shavings, and more whipped cream. This incredibly decadent cake isn’t for the faint-hearted, but is often a favorite for anybody with a sweet tooth.
3 Galaktoboureko, Greece
The ingredients that are typically found in Greek desserts include filo pastry, syrup, nuts such as walnuts or pistachios, syrup, and custard or cream. Galaktoboureko is one of the richest desserts to come out of Greece, making use of semolina custard and filo pastry.
Often, this custardy sweet will be served in square portions. The filo will be layered on top and underneath so the custard makes up the filling. Traditionally, galaktoboureko is topped with sweet syrup before serving. Each island of Greece adds their own touch to this wondrous dessert.
2 Crema Catalana, Spain
The Spanish answer to crème brulee is crema Catalana. This tasty dessert originates from the Catalonia region of Spain (where you’ll find the gorgeous coastal city of Barcelona). In many ways, it’s like crème brûlée, in that it consists of sweet custard topped with burnt sugar.
The main difference between the two is that crème brûlée is made with cream, while crema Catalana is generally made with milk. Crema Catalana is flavored with orange and cinnamon rather than vanilla, too, and they’re also cooked slightly differently.
1 Trifle, England
One of the most quintessential English dishes is trifle. This dessert is traditionally served in summer and consists of sponge fingers that are soaked in fortified wine. It is assembled in a trifle dish with custard and fruit and finally topped with whipped cream and more fruit.
Trifle was made famous in the United States by a memorable episode of the sitcom Friends. In the episode, Rachel Green attempts to make a traditional English trifle, but because the recipe book has its pages glued together, she accidentally makes half a trifle and half a shepherd’s pie. To be clear, there are no peas and beef in this dessert!