When it comes to our main meals we easily travel the world with our culinary experimentation; Indian, Italian, Mexican and so on are all foods we regularly consume, but I have noticed we tend to overlook the desserts which are available. For example, we all know chilli is a Mexican dish but can you name any Mexican desserts?
Here we have some great desserts from around the world, how many have you tried, have you made any? If you haven’t tried any why not find the dessert recipes and make one yourself?
Pantanos de Centla, Mexico
Mexico: Spiced Chocolate Brownies
Mexican desserts are generally custard or bread based, and it was hard to choose our favourite! Although thought of as more of an American creation the Chocolate Brownie has strong roots in Mexico! They are slightly different though with Mexican Chocolate Brownies potentially containing more spices giving a completely different culinary experience. Spices often added include cinnamon, cayenne and of course chilli powder, all of which bring something new to the table.
Spiced Chocolate Brownies
Royal Palace and Santa María la Real de La Almudena, Spain
When looking at the huge choice of Spanish desserts available you will see they are based around eggs and almonds with a flan base and almond flavours such as marzipan, almond biscuits all being popular. Churros however can easily be found as one of the most popular desserts in Spain, having originated from Madrid. Simple to make these are strips of dough, deep fried and topped with sugar and a choice of toppings or dips.
Churros con chocolate
Kedar Range, Greater Himalayas, India
India: Carrot Halwa
India desserts are as flavoursome as their main meals; Kulfi, a frozen milk dessert, Payasam and Coconut Chikki are just a few of them! Some are slightly complex to make but that is part of the fun. Coconut, mango and carrot are pretty popular ingredients in many of the Indian desserts. Carrot Halwa is an easy creamy dessert you can make at home in about an hour consisting of carrots, raisins, nuts, cream and milk.
Carrot Halwa with fruits
United Kingdom: Eton Mess
The UK has a huge variation of traditional desserts which have been popular for decades, examples include the Battenburg Cake, Victoria Sponge Cake and Trifle. Our favourite has got to be the exceptionally simple but effective Eton Mess. Now you can go simple and use ready made meringues from the supermarket or, make them yourself! Make a puree blending strawberries with icing sugar, crush the meringues and mix them with whipped double cream and some more chopped strawberries.
Great Wall, China
China: Banana Spring Rolls
Chinese desserts are as exciting as their main meals and starters with some of the favoured options centering around steamed puddings, fruit pudding and cakes mung beans and egg tarts. Banana spring rolls are popular throughout the year and is a sweet take on the traditional spring roll. The rolls are filled with a banana and brown sugar and are typically served warm after being deep fried with vanilla ice cream on the side.
banana spring rolls and purple yam ice cream (image via http://www.flickr.com/photos/extracelestial/)
Lighter than ice cream, but just as delicious: Frozen Yogurt or FroYo. In most countries, it can be bought just like ice cream for so many years now, but in this city it has, I think, taken recognition just a few years back. The nearest shop from our place offering frozen yogurt closed down and since we have an ice cream maker, I’ve decided to try making them at home. The kids love all yogurt flavors and when topped with candy sprinkles or m&m’s they’d finish a whole serving. Taking inspiration from http://www.yogofactory.com
‘s many flavors and toppings, my kids can choose which flavor to have.
Yogofactory, a leading frozen yogurt franchise in New Jersey and surrounding areas, has a lot of ideas, combining flavors from Hershey’s kisses to Reese, from Dulce de Leche to Cheesecake, from English Toffee to Tahitian Bean. Then the toppings are of endless possibilities. True, yogurt has less calories but with toppings ranging from crushed oreo cookies, m&m minis, truffles, chocolate chips the purpose is defeated…well, it doesn’t always have to have toppings so I don’t think it will hurt. Of course, ours are just remakes, would love to visit one of their many stores should we get the chance to be somewhere near New Jersey.
So to share one of our favorites, here’s an easy recipe that your kids will love.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2/3 cups honey
1 teaspoon lemon rind (grind)
2 cups of plain yogurt
2 egg whites
To make this simple as could be, combine the first 3 ingredients in stainless steel saucepan over medium heat and stir well. You can add a pinch of salt then let the mixture cool.
When cooled, combine mixture with yogurt and chill this for 2 hours. Afterwards, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, slowly put in the yogurt mixture and chill until when you’d like to have your frozen yogurt. Top with your favorite fruits.
Honey and lemon, though I use them mostly for my face (lols) goes well with yogurt, not to mention both are healthy additions!
There are a lot of baked goodies that son1 would request from time to time. I could easily make almost all of them except for doughnuts…I found this recipe from youtube but I changed it a slightly. My dilemma was I deep fried it instead of baking so maybe it was not a good idea after all. The next time my son requests for donuts, I’ll bake this.
3/4 cup castor sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup of milk
50g melted butter
2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
white chocolate bars
1. In a bowl beat eggs using a hand mixer. Put in castor sugar, vanilla extract, milk and melted butter. Mix well.
2. Fold in flour and baking powder into the egg mixture and mix again, when it gets tough to mix, use a wooden spatula. Let the dough sit in half an hour or so.
3. Heat up oil for deep frying.
4. Flour surface (table or countertop) and flatten dough…not so thick so that they cook easily.
5. Shape your doughnuts, I use a small glass to shape the doughnut and I make use of a piping tip for the small hole.
6. When oil is hot enough, drop dough one by one, just when there’s enough space for them. Flip after 30-40 seconds using a wooden stick. If you think that they aren’t cooked through leave for some seconds more.
7. Let oil drip, leave doughnuts on cooling rack.
To make glaze:
I make glaze out of laziness; simply melt the chocolates and dip the dough one by one. You can add color to the white chocolate too, I made use of matcha powder for it. Decorate with assorted candy sprinkles. Serve.
Mohr im Hemd is an Austrian dessert of chocolate cake pudding served with hot chocolate and whipped cream and most of the time, ice cream. Its basic ingredients are chocolate, bread crumbs, sugar, egg yolks, almonds and red wine and has the shape of a small Gugelhupf but the above form is acceptable too. ^_^ Like the plum pudding, it is cooked in water bath, doused with hot chocolate sauce and garnished with whipped cream and some berries of your choice.
Mohr im Hemd means moor in a shirt. The term Moor (black man) is used only rarely, and today – often perceived as negative – because of its colonial and racist partial use. The dessert is so named because the whipped cream is often put on top of or around the cake…pertaining to being worn.
For this post, I don’t have a recipe to share as this was something that son1 asked me to buy prepared, I only did the heating and plating…He loves this dessert to bits and I won’t say no either — you know how I’ve always said Austrian cakes are sour…this one is an exception.
Food Friday, Thursday Brownies
One of the best way to bond with kids is baking, it’s an enjoyable activity for my kids, at least. They love to put tins, crack eggs, measure the ingredients, mix the batter, watch them in the oven as they “grow.” But I think the most they’d like to do is to frost and put those sprinkles.
I’ve bought some edible pearls and colorful sprinkles. We’d be baking again today.
Mochi. Those molded Japanese rice cakes of various colors following its flavor and ingredients. This came from seeing my photos of the ginataang bilo bilo we cooked at mom-in-law’s place. Those are glutinous rice balls cooked in coconut milk added with tapioca pearls, jackfruit strips, cubed sweet potatoes and plantain banana. Hubby specifically requested for this dessert. She taught me how it’s done.
Since glutinous rice flour is the same ingredient used for making bilo bilo (balls) and mochi, I thought that it’s possible for me to make them at home too.
So the little boy was more than willing to help. He enjoys everything that can be done in the kitchen…baking, stirring soup, setting the timer, putting muffin paper into baking tins and most of all, eating. So here, his hands are full of glutinous rice flour that he’s making into balls.
We’ll soon make mochi.