So after you’ve gobbled down all that turkey and veg, pulled a few crackers, and got tipsy on the mulled wine, it is time to indulge in the most enjoyable part of any meal: dessert! Wherever you are around the globe, you are sure to favour your own regional delicacies, but here are 7 of my own personal favourites, stretching from the Philippines to the Caribbean!
Yule Log is a traditional dessert originating from France and is always served near Christmas. Made of sponge cake to resemble a miniature actual Yule log, it is a form of sweet roulade. The most common ingredients used in a Yule Log is yellow sponge cake and chocolate buttercream, though many variations exist, including chocolate and liquors. Yule logs are often served with one end cut off and set atop the cake, or protruding from its side to resemble a chopped off branch. A bark-like texture is often produced by dragging a fork through the icing, and powdered sugar sprinkled to resemble snow.
Lebkuchen is a form of German gingerbread cookie, and come in a variety of shapes with round being the most common. The ingredients usually include honey, spices, and nuts or candied fruit. Lebkuchen hearts, usually inscribed with icing, are available at many Christmas fairs in Germany.
Bibingka is a type of rice cake from the Philippines, usually eaten during the breakfast and Christmas season. It is traditionally cooked in clay pots lined with banana leaves, which makes it one of the more exotic entries on this list! Bibingka has a soft spongy texture similar and is eaten hot. The top and bottom surfaces (including the traditional banana leaf lining) are also usually charred, adding to the flavour.
Rum Cake is a type of dessert from the Caribbean, traditionally eaten over the holiday season. It is usual for the dried fruit to be soaked in rum for months and then added to dough which has been caramelised by boiling water. The result, also known as “black cake”, is similar to a fruitcake, though consisting of a lighter texture.
Vaniljekranse are unleavened cookies consisting of butter, flour, and sugar. They come in a variety of shapes such as circles, squares, ovals, rings, and pretzel-like forms, and with a variety of appearances, including marbled, chequered or plain. Although in Denmark these cookies are considered a delicacy at any time of the year, in other parts of the world they are often devoured around Christmas time.
Turron is a nougat-type of confection, typically made of honey, sugar, and egg, with toasted almonds, and then usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake. It is frequently consumed as a traditional Christmas dessert in northern Spain and in other Spanish-speaking enclaves.
Christmas Pudding is a type of pudding traditionally served as part of the Christmas dinner in the UK and in other countries where it has been introduced by British emigrants. It has its origins in medieval England, and is sometimes known as plum pudding. Many families make their own Christmas Pudding using their own family recipe, and it is tradition to make it weeks before eating and ‘hanging it out to dry’ in order to get the best flavour come Christmas dinner time!