Popular in India and other South Asian countries, Gulab jamun is a dessert made from milk solids which are kneaded into a dough, deep-fried and soaked in sugary syrup flavored with cardamom and rose water, kewra, or saffron. You deep-fry anything and I'm there.
Ever wished your sorbet had noodles in it? Then faloodeh is for you! It's a cold dessert of vermicelli noodles mixed in a frozen sugar and rose water syrup. It's often accompanied by lime juice and ground pistachios.
What is Canada known for if not overly polite people and maple syrup? It stands to reason that a traditional Canadian treat would be maple taffy, which is made by boiling sap past the syrup point then pouring it on fresh snow to harden to a sticky, chewy taffy state.
Snuour, aside from having the most fun name to try and say, is the Icelandic version of cinnamon rolls, except they're frosted with melted chocolate. Let's take a hint from the people of Iceland, shall we?
Mooncakes are traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival in China. Not only are they absolutely gorgeous looking, they're also filled with red bean or lotus seed paste and yolks from salted duck eggs (hence, the "moon" in the title).
There are a couple different variations of this traditional European dessert. One is traditionally made for Easter Sunday and is a round, spongy, almost poundcake like dessert glazed with frosting and decorated with nuts or candied fruit. The other, pictured here, is a traditional Eastern European and Jewish dessert. It's a yeasty loaf twisted with cinnamon and/or chocolate filling and topped with streusel.
If you take an extremely moist sponge cake made with dates and cover it in toffee sauce, you get this classic British dessert. Often it's served with vanilla custard or ice cream, for extra deliciousness.
Arroz con leche is a popular dessert throughout Central and South America. It's similar to rice pudding, and variations of it can be found all over the world. In the Colombian tradition, rice is cooked with milk, cream, sugar, and sometimes coffee. It's mixed with raisins that have been soaked in rum or red wine and seasoned with vanilla, cinnamon and cloves. Mmmmm.
Daifukumochi is mochi, a glutinous rice cake, stuffed with some sort of sweet filling. Most of the time, it's stuffed with anko, or red bean paste, but it can be stuffed with other flavors or even ice cream.
Flan is a delicate, egg custard dessert that's often served with a sweet syrup. It's soft and delicious and has roots that go all the way back to ancient Rome (though their flans looked and tasted quite different).
Australia gets a little crazy in the dessert department. Pavlova is a meringue cake topped with whipped cream and fruit. It's light and fluffy and named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova. The story is that a hotel chef created the dessert when Anna was visiting New Zealand on a world tour in 1926.
While soufflés and mousses and petit fours and cream puffs are all French staples, clafoutis is distinctly French””it comes from the Limousin region of the country. It's traditionally made with black cherries, which are arranged in a pan, covered in a creamy, flan-like batter and baked to perfection. It's simple yet delicious.
These Portuguese egg tarts are sweet and creamy and delicious! They are popular in similar forms all around the world, particularly in China. They were created by Catholic monks in a monastery in Lisbon and sold to a sugar refinery, which opened a bakery in 1837. To this day, you can visit it and purchase fresh, sweet pastels de nata, sprinkled with cinnamon and powdered sugar!
Bibingka is made from rice flour and coconut milk or water and baked in a special terra cotta container lined with banana leaves, which give the dish a specific aroma. It can then be topped with a variety of things, from butter to cheese to grated coconut and pineapple.
Real Belgian waffles aren't like the giant, fluffy monsters you get at the diner. They are small, dense, and chewy, not to mention peppered with chunks of pearl sugar that caramelize the outside of it, making it sweet and blissful beyond belief.
The Brigadeiro is a fudgy truffle-like dessert from Brazil made from condensed milk, powdered chocolate and butter. They're cooked into little balls then coated in chocolate sprinkles. Well, this sounds incredible. Simple, chocolatey, delicious.
If you've never had baklava, stop what you're doing and find the nearest Mediterranean restaurant ASAP. It's delicious. Layers of phyllo dough are filled with chopped pistachios or walnuts and held together with sweet, syrupy or honey. It's a perfectly sweet and decadent dish.
Pancakes for dessert? Yes please! These Russian delights are made by mixing quark (a dairy product similar to cottage cheese) with flour, eggs and sugar. They are then fried, which gives them crisp exteriors and warm and creamy centers. They are served for breakfast or dessert, and can be topped with sour cream, varenye (whole-fruit preserve), jam, honey or applesauce.