If you have a sweet tooth you have landed on the right spot! Before you continue reading, we warn you that your mouth will be watering soon, you will be feeling the need to try any of these desserts, maybe all of them, or get the recipe to make them as soon as you can. We have explored some of the traditional desserts around the world that you might not know about to complete your meals. Since tastes are not the same in every person for sure you will find lots of variety in from country to country on what they prefer to have as dessert, but it’s a great idea for you to start exploring other horizons and maybe even surprise your family on your next dinner together with a unique dessert!
Straight from Turkey, but also characteristic from the Levant, broader Middle East, Greece, Balkans, Maghreb and Central Asia, Baklava is a sweet pastry made of layers of filo which is a very thin dough brushed with butter or oil before baked. This dessert is filled with chopped nuts such as pistachios, hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds, and sweetened with honey or syrup.
The origin of this dessert throws back to the imperial kitchens of Topkapı Palace in Istanbul where the sultan presented baklavas to the Janissaries in a ceremonial procession called Baklava Alayi during Ramadan.
At first sight Cendol doesn’t really look as much as a dessert, but when you try it you will definitely want to have it after every meal. Cendol is an iced sweet dessert that contains drops of green rice flour jelly, coconut milk, and palm sugar syrup, plus you can add a variety of toppings according to your tastes, including diced jackfruit, sweetened red azuki beans or durian.
It’s one of Singapore’s traditional desserts, but the dessert has popularized through Southeast Asia as well. Its origins date back to the Kresnayana manuscript from the Kediri Kingdom circa 12th century Java where it was mentioned.
3. Tres Leches Cake
Tres Leches which named in English can be translated as three milk cake it’s a popular dessert around Latin America, but it’s originally from Mexico. This sweet consists of a soft cake soaked in a mixture of condensed milk, milk cream and evaporated milk topped with a meringue frosting or whipped cream.
The basic recipe can be modified and in some regions ingredients such as dulce de leche, brandy, Ron or chocolate are added to the recipe to change its flavor. The tres leches cake recipe probably results of the intercultural transference during the Colony between Europeans and Native Americans since its origins are not really clear.
4. Gulab Jamun
One of India’s traditional dessert Gulab Jamun consists of a milk-based solid, traditionally made from Khoya a dairy product from the Indian subcontinent made of either dried whole milk or thickened milk that has been heated on an open iron pan. Gulab Jamun is often garnished with nuts like almonds and presented in the form of fried, golden brown balls.
The balls made out of dough are usually soaked in a light mixture of sugar, green cardamom, kewra, saffron, and rose water. This dessert was originally prepared in medieval India, legend says that it was prepared by the emperor Shah Jahan’s personal chef by accident.
Similar to what we know has croissants, kifli is a traditional dessert from Hungary. These pastries have their origin on the culinary legend that claims that when the Christian forces freed Buda from the Ottoman occupation circa 1683, the town throws different celebrations and bakers decided to delight the town with baked bread rolls in crescent shapes.
Kiflis are basically yeast rolls presented in a crescent shape that can be turned into a sweet pastry by adding a vanilla sauce, honey or seeds to them. They can also be left plain or turn into a salty dessert by adding some sesame or turn into a sandwich.
Also known as Snake Cake, M’hanncha is a popular dessert from Morocco where almond-paste sweets are always part of the menu. It’s the perfect dessert to take to a part since it tends to be a big coiling pastry-wrapped almond paste into a snake look-alike shape, that is where its name came from, and from which people can take small pieces of it.
M’hannchas can also be made into small personal portions or prepared as stick length. The filling varies around the Moroccan region, it can be orange flower water and cinnamon or just with a honey taste, but most of the time it features sliced almonds and it can be served either hot or cold.
A pavlova is a popular dessert quite simple to make since it only consists of beaten eggs with a little bit of salt until it has a very stiff consistency, then caster sugar, vinegar, cream of tartar or lemon, vanilla essence and cornflour are added before slow-baking it to get a something similar to meringue. With a crispy shell on the outside a pavlova must remain soft and moist on the center and it tends to be topped with fresh fruit, like strawberries, kiwis, passionfruit or pomegranate.
The nationality of this dessert has always been in conflict between New Zealand and Australia, but both agree it was named after Anna Pavlova, the Russian ballet dancer, to honor her during her tours around the 1920s in between these countries.
8. Leche Asada
A traditional sweet that has its origins in Chile and its known in Spanish as Leche Asada, which can be literally translated as roasted milk. Leche Asada it’s similar to a flan’s consistency but it doesn’t have a smooth texture like it. It also differs because it is baked directly into the oven which creates its toasted layer on the surface.
This dessert tends to be made into individual cups to be served as a sweet afternoon snack or after a big family dinner gathering. Traditionally it’s topped with a caramel sauce to give a little bit more of sweetness to it, and sometimes slices of citrus fruits like oranges are added for an extra flavoring.