By Paulina Anaya.
To all the foodies out there, this is it! Here is the greatest compilation of sweet goodies that represent the world we live in. Do you consider yourself a dessert connoisseur? See how many of these palate-worthy desserts you know.
Tiramisu, a classic coffee-flavored Italian dessert made in layers so you appreciate each spoonful with a blast of flavor. Wrongly mistaken for a Japanese dessert, tiramisu is nothing less than a fine representation of Italian cuisine. Carefully made, the textures of each ingredient combine beautifully to make this delicacy that melts in your mouth, but not before letting the flavor of coffee-dipped ladyfingers and a mixture of whipped egg, sugar, mascarpone and cocoa simmer for a few instants. Over the years, variations of tiramisu have been made to include strawberries and lemon, but I suggest trying the original version first so you can better appreciate tiramisu before wandering off into fusions of the same dessert.
These little treats are so traditional that they’ve even got their own festival: the Mooncake Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated in many countries throughout Asia. To the Chinese, the Mooncake Festival is the second most important in their country, right after Chinese New Year. The festival honors the full moon and family unification; during the festival, lanterns are lit and mooncake pastries are exchanged between people. Mooncakes may be savory just as they are sweet; the ones preferred by the Chinese are filled with red-bean paste, but they may also be filled with chocolate, fruit, egg yolk or other savory fillings. Whichever the case, mooncakes are so delicious that they are sold throughout the year.
Brigadeiros… practically the synonym for chocolate-heaven. These small treats are made with butter, cocoa powder, condensed milk, and chocolate sprinkles. It is the sweet of the Brazilian people; young and old, poor and rich, everyone can enjoy them. Brigadeiros are small in size, which means… you can eat more! Break the diet! I swear these buddies are worth the calories. Have a go at making them at home and be delighted by their buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture that will leave everyone wanting another. Be careful not to finish the mixture while it’s still in the pan… the chocolatey smell it gives off while cooking is almost irresistible.
Beware, macarons are not the same things as macaroons. Macarons are the small sandwich-like confections you can see in the picture. They are made from ground almonds, icing sugar, granulated sugar, egg whites, food-coloring (hence, the nice variety of colors which almost make macarons the cutest dessert on the planet), and different flavored fillings. Macarons are an example of haute cuisine in France and around the world; don’t be deceived by their small size, they’re harder to make than it seems. While macarons make the perfect gift, they can also be appreciated in a petit-four. Usually, the meringue-like crunchy tops keep a constant almondy flavor, the variety begins with the colors and flavor of the filling. Let yourself be fascinated with each small bite, so why not dare to try several and find your favorite new macaron?
Baklava: the mother of all Turkish desserts. If you like the flakiness of danish pastries, then you are bound to like baklava. Baklava is made with filo pastry, nuts, sugar, cardamom, butter and honey. The filo pastry has nuts embedded throughout the inside and mixes perfectly with the sugar or syrup that holds it all together, meaning that a certain crunch is to be expected with each bite. Traditionally, it is cut up in diamond shapes and served with strong Turkish coffee. Note: this dessert is not recommended for people who have nut allergies.
One of the most popular desserts in the world, cheesecake is an American classic. Its dreamy and creamy consistency has enamored the world since its invention and inspired many variations from the original version. Blueberry cheesecake, raspberry cheesecake, and chocolate cheesecake are just some of the most popular variations of this cheesy dessert. Today, cheesecake is not just cheesecake, it has to be the cheesecake. Today, New York City-style cheesecake is the preferred type around the world; grabbing a bit of this iconic dessert is certainly a must of any visit to the city. It may be baked or unbaked, and it is usually eaten cold. Many cafes offer it as their signature dessert at a reasonable price (and that’s putting a price on heaven), so why not try it out and see what you think?
If you’ve ever visited Japan you’ll know just how delicious a mochi can be. Mochis are made from grounding rice grains into a fine paste which will eventually be filled with a sweet or savory filling. The most common filling is a red-bean paste like in many Asian countries. Be sure to have a drink on hand, though, as it is not uncommon for people to choke on them because of their sticky consistency. In a way, mochis can be regarded as the Japanese equivalent of French macarons; they make good gifts and their wide variety of colors and possible fillings drive many people crazy. They can be wrapped up in nice boxes or fabric as presents or can be eaten from a stick and covered in chocolate, the possibilities are endless! In traditional desserts, mochis are as kawaii as it gets.
Although erroneously regarded as Mexican, churros are a Spanish dessert. Let us not forget that the Spanish took their culture to Mexico during the colonization era, but churros are Spanish, not Mexican. Churros are made of fried dough which is then cooled and rolled over a mixture of granulated sugar and cinnamon. They are best served warm along with a nice cup of your favorite hot chocolate during a rainy day. Churros make good comfort food, unfortunately, they do not befriend diets, but once every now and then churros are treats your taste buds will thank you for.
Great Britain: Fairy Cakes
Cupcakes and fairy cakes are basically the same thing, they are individual-sized cakes that come in thousands of flavors, and are often frosted and decorated with sprinkles. They are cherished around the world by both old and young who love the versatility the wrapped little cakes offer. Out of the thousands of flavors available, one is sure to be of your liking. Traditional flavors come in chocolate and vanilla, however, more extravagant ones come in rum and red wine. They can be as simple or as sophisticated as you want them to be, though the “cherry on the cake” for fairy-cakes is not an actual cherry, but the frosting. Frosting either makes the fairy-cake or breaks it – deal with it, and Great Britain makes some killer buttercream…
So that’s about it, for now, I believe these desserts encompass the world and its corresponding cuisines in each ingredient. Think I missed some? Don’t hesitate to comment below and let us know which your favorite ones are.