Just Desserts!

As I have travelled around the globe in search of food, I began to realise that dessert is my most enjoyable part of a meal. I began to realise that even generic things like ice cream are made differently depending on the location, and different countries have different recipes and ingredients for even the most traditional of after-dinner treats. Here is a slideshow of my absolute favourite desserts from around the world. Which ones have you tried?

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Everybody knows that the United States of America have a huge range of desserts and candy snacks, and I put on a lot of weight during my time in New York City as I tried out various after-dinner dishes. My favourites were frozen custard, which I thought was a nice alternative to the usual froyo (frozen yogurt), and pumpkin pie, which I had NEVER tried before arriving in NYC – and there’s nothing better than traditional pumpkin pie in a dessert café in Manhattan! For snacks, the candy apples are always sold as street food around the country, especially at funfairs and near to public beaches, and they can be coated in every sugary and sickly flavour imaginable!

Read more about my favourite American desserts!

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India may not be known for its wide array of desserts, but there are some that caught my attention, especially Gulab Jamun which I have tried in every Indian city that I’ve visited to date. Barfi is a fudge-like sweet that is often served at special occasions, but can also be found in markets around the country. Gajar ka Halwa is another of my favourites from India and is perfect with mango lassi or ice cream!

Read more about my top desserts from India!

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In Australia, they sell Tim Tams everywhere, especially in small packets in corner shops. But they are like chocolate bars, not the real thing. As you can see from the Tim Tam Chocolate Cake above, it is no surprise the Aussies love it! Lamingtons are also extremely popular in Australia and are arguably the most scrumptious dessert item I have ever been lucky enough to try (some claim!). Pavlova is often the focus of arguments between Aussies and Kiwis over who created the dish – but regardless, it tastes scrumptious!

Read more about some dreamy desserts from Down Under!

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Next stop is Japan. There are so many amazing desserts here to choose from here, including the ever-so-Japanese Green Tea Ice Cream (matcha)! It just looks so sweet you could almost eat the photo! The fish-shaped taiyaki, which can be filled with any filling imaginable (but traditionally Azuki bean and custard) is also one of my favourite sweets from Japan. Sakuramochi is an advanced form of mochi, and is a popular children’s birthday party treat!

Read more ideas for Matcha desserts from Japan!

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Heading down to the northern parts of South East Asia now, and Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam have an abundance of desserts and sweets. My best from Myanmar is Shwe Yin Aye which is similar to Kueh in a sugary broth. Khao Niao Mamuang (Mango Sticky Rice) is certainly the best dessert in Thailand, whereas the banana cake known as Banh Choui Nuong is arguably my fave from Vietnam!

Read more about my favourite Asian desserts (including from the Far East)!

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Heading down to the African continent, we will notice that desserts are not really part of the daily cuisine of people in this part of the world. In Madagascar there are quite a few sweet treats, but the best dessert there is known simply as Malagasy Cake. The delightfully soft texture melts in the mouth! South Africa has a few traditional delights, including Malva Pudding. N’Dizi No Kastad is popular in eastern parts of Africa, such as Tanzania, and is a kind of custard and banana pudding.

Read more about my take on African desserts!

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One of the last places I explored for food was South America, and I may have saved the best for last. What more can be said about the chocotorta from Argentina (made with plenty of eponymous dulce de leche), the incredible Limono Suspiro from Peru, and the small coconut delicacy native to Brazil, the Beijinho de Coco?! I LOVED them all!

Read more about some of the sexy South American desserts I have discovered!

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For those that want to explore culinary traditions, then China has a wide variety of desserts to find within. As far as visual style goes, the lai wong bao is a fluffy round bun filled with fresh warm custard. The Chinese love their lai wong bao and it can be eaten as part of dim sum cuisine or independently. Mango Pomelo Sago is extremely popular in the south of China and Hong Kong, whereas Bird’s Nest Soup – a somewhat controversial delicacy – can be added to dessert menus with a healthy dose of rock sugar to harden the texture before consumption.

Read more about my favourite Chinese desserts!

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Heading over to Europe, what kind of desserts can we find here? Well, from France, the famous Crepe Suzette is a traditional favourite and everybody seems to eat it (especially in coastal regions), and it instantly became one of my favourites. A German speciality is Black Forest Gateau, which if served correctly should have plenty of cherries and a little bit of alcohol! Finally, how we mention European desserts and not include the incredible panna cotta from Italy. Surely one of the best desserts in the world if you’re keen on Instagramming your food!

Read more about my favourite European desserts! And read even more about European desserts in Part 2!

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Now we step over to the Middle-East. In Turkey, it will come as no surprise that the eponymous Turkish Delights (Lokum) are always a firm favourite. Basbousa is a sweet cake made from semolina and is a huge delicacy in the Arab World, including Egypt and Kuwait, whereas Mehalabiya is one of the more eye-catching desserts from Qatar, and is a kind of milk custard with rose water!

Read more about my favourite Middle-Eastern desserts!

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Finally, we come back to the lower parts of South East Asia to examine Malaysia and Indonesia. Pisang Goreng has long since been one of my favourite sweets of Asia. They are basically deep fried bananas, and are sold all over the region, especially in roadside warungs. Bubur Cha Cha has been known as something of a celebratory dessert, and is essentially a delicious coconut-based soup. And if all else fails, why not try some basic ais kacang (shaved ice), which is perfect to cool down with on a hot day in the tropics!

What is your favourite dessert? Is there anything delicious that I have missed from the list?

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10 thoughts on “Just Desserts!

    1. Oh man, that ice cream sandwich is delicious! I have many of them as I am strolling through Boat Quay along the Singapore River. There is a woman who always sells it from her cart on the sidewalk! There is also a regular seller of ice cream sandwiches on the Anderson Bridge, near to the Esplanade.

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  1. One better than the other!!! I would love to try all of them, specially the Lamingtons and the mooncakes! I also love eating dessert when Im traveling…very dangerous! 😀 I loved the post.. very yummy..and now Im hungry!

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    1. I have tried a lot of desserts from the world, but certainly nowhere near enough of them! I am always eager to discover more! I wonder what my next delicious dessert will be… 😛 Do you have a favourite Cammal?

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      1. Hehe thats true! I can never get enough of desserts! Well, I am a dessert freak too, its so hard to pick (just) one. Hmm if I had to choose, I would say I love Tiramisu, Mango sticky rice (Thailand) and chocolate cake. I tend to get adventurous in trying out new food trends but the classic ones remains my favorite. Dont get me started with any desserts with nuts (I will go crazy lol).

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