Whether in Brazil or Mexico, India or Egypt, desserts are the window to a culture’s sweet spot. No matter the difference in preparation, ingredients and texture, we all seem to find a little bit of home in a hot beverage and a sweet local specialty. We’ve highlighted some popular desserts from countries around the globe that pack a sinfully sweet, yet delicately delightful punch in one delicious bite.
Brazil Quindim: This popular baked dessert is made primarily from sugar, egg yolks, and ground coconut. Often referred to as a Brazilian doughnut, this decadent dessert is actually a custard with a glistening surface and intensely yellow color. Click Here for Recipe
Egypt Umm Ali: Often referred to as Egyptian bread pudding, this dazzling dessert is made with cream, puffed pastry, dried fruit, pistachios, almonds, coconut, sugar and cinnamon. Umm Ali dates back to the Ottoman era in Egypt, when legend has it that the sultan stopped in a poor village looking for something to eat and the village’s best cook, named Umm Ali, made something akin to this dish. Click Here for Recipe
Indian Subcontinent ( India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh) Gulab Jamun: This dessert is a little bit of fried dough heaven. It is made of a mixture consisting mainly of milk solids and tossed into a sugar syrup flavored with cardamom seeds and rosewater, kewra or saffron. The dessert also became popular in Turkish-speaking areas, becoming known throughout the Ottoman Empire. Click Here for Recipe
Mexico Champurrado: This thick chocolate drink, based on masa, piloncillo, water (or milk) and occasionally containing cinnamon, anise seed and vanilla bean, is often served warm at breakfast with churros, or as the featured dessert. Mexicans will commonly purchase a cup of champurrado from street vendors in the morning. Click Here for Recipe
Persia Faloodeh: A cold dessert consisting of thin vermicelli noodles made from cornstarch mixed in a semi-frozen syrup of sugar and rose water. Faloodeh is often served with lime juice and sometimes ground pistachios. It is a traditional dessert in Iran and also in neighboring Pakistan. Click here for Recipe
The Philippines Bibingka: This traditional cake is made with rice flour and coconut milk or water. Secondary ingredients vary greatly, with eggs and milk used most commonly among them. The traditional preparation can be time consuming — a terra cotta container is lined with a section of a banana leaf and placed over preheated coals. The mixture is gently poured into the container before another piece of banana leaf is added to the top and covered with more preheated coals. Click Here for Recipe
Thailand: Thong Yod: An ancient Thai dessert made from the mixture of egg yolks and flour and boiled in syrup. The history of Thong Yod dates back to when Dutch explorers arrived in ancient Siam and taught the local people how to make desserts using the yolk of an egg. This dish symbolizes the sweetness of love between bride and groom, and the gold color symbolizes good fortune in married life. Click Here for Recipe
Vietnam ChÃ¨: A sweet dessert beverage or pudding usually made from beans and sticky rice. Many varieties of chÃ¨ are available, each with different fruits, beans (i.e., mung beans or kidney beans), and other ingredients. ChÃ¨ can be served cold or hot and with coconut milk. Click Here for Recipe
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