Creative,  Desserts

10 Most Popular Desserts in the World

01. Mochi

JAPAN

Mochi, the tiny cakes made out of glutinous rice, is an important part of Japanese cuisine and culture. The preparation of mochi starts with a time-consuming process of pounding boiled or steamed rice, usually the glutinous mochigome variety until it forms into a thick and homogenous paste.

Later it is rolled and shaped into small circular forms. Although its origins might be in China, mochi has been associated with Japan for centuries. It initially appeared during the Yayoi period, when it was only enjoyed by the aristocracy until the Heian period when it became a food that was commonly prepared and served during religious festivities, as people believed it brings fortune and health.

Mochi can be incorporated in savory dishes, usually soups and snacks, but most commonly it is made into a confectionery item. In its dessert form, mochi is usually dressed up with food coloring, creating a myriad of delightful color combinations. The most common confectionery is referred to as daifuku – round cakes filled with different ingredients such as the traditional red bean paste, strawberries, or ice cream.
Due to its chewy texture, it is important to be extra careful and attentive while eating mochi and take tiny bites of this glutinous treat due to its chewy texture.

02. Doughnut

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Although archaeologists found some petrified remains of fried cakes with holes in the center, it is still unclear how the early Native Americans could prepare these delicious fried dough desserts that we know today as doughnuts. In the past, doughnuts were known as olykoeks (oily cakes), and the pilgrims from Holland are credited for bringing them to the United States.

Those early doughnuts were often made with prunes, raisins, or apples in the middle. During World War I, the doughnut was already an American favorite, consumed by soldiers that were fighting overseas as a reminder of home. In the 1950s and the 1960s, the popularity of these treats was so big that new doughnut chains started appearing on the market, such as Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts, helping in the perception of doughnuts as a breakfast food.
Today, there are numerous varieties of doughnuts – glazed, powdered, filled, topped with frosting, coconut, peanuts, or sprinkles, and every year on the first Friday of June people celebrate National Doughnut Day. This event was initially created by the Salvation Army in 1917 as a way to support the morale of the American troops during World War I and was later re-established in 1938, in honor of those who served the soldiers with fresh doughnuts during World War I.

03. Macarons

PARIS, FRANCE

These small, round, sweet meringue-based cookie sandwiches with filling in the middle are light and crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. Macarons, which first appeared in Italy in 1533 (albeit without the filling), got their name from the Italian word maccharone, which means fine dough.

They were originally made for the marriage of the Duke of Orléans, who later became King Henry II of France. Food historians credit Pierre Desfontaines as the inventor of the macaron. He was the first to fill the cookies with a creamy ganache and stick them together, turning the humble almond cookie into the versatile treat we know today.
Macarons are the most popular type of cookie in Paris, but they are popular throughout the rest of the world as well, and they appear with different fillings and in various sizes, colors, and flavors.

04. Tiramisu

FRIULI-VENEZIA GIULIA, ITALY

Even though tiramisù is actually a fairly recent invention, this dessert of coffee-soaked ladyfingers layered with mascarpone cream enjoys an iconic status among Italian desserts. Its name stems from the phrase tirami sù, an Italian expression that means pick me up,referringe to the uplifting effects of sugar, liquor, and coffee.

The origins of tiramisù are heavily disputed between Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia regions, but it is often suggested that the first was made in Veneto in the early 1980s. In fact, the earliest documented recipe for tiramisù (interestingly, without alcohol!) was printed in the 1981 spring edition of Vin Veneto magazine in an article on coffee-based desserts by Giuseppe Maffioli, a renowned food critic and member of the Italian Academy of Cuisine.

However, in August 2017, Friuli-Venezia Giulia’s tiramisu was officially added to the list of traditional regional dishes, but a Veneto local won the Tiramisu World Cup in November 2017, so the playing field is somewhat leveled once again. Regardless of these disputes, the perfect tiramisù should always deliver a serious caffeine kick from a shot of strong espresso, while brandy-fortified Marsala wine adds a nice sweet buzz.
In 2021, Ado Campeol, the owner of the restaurant where tiramisù is widely thought to have been invented, has died.

05. Cupcake

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

United States - Wikipedia

A cupcake is a tiny cake that is baked in a thin paper mold or an aluminum cup. One cupcake should typically serve one person. The first mention of a cupcake can be traced back to a 1796 cookbook called American Cookery, written by Amelia Simmons.

Her recipe stated that a cake is to be baked in small cups. The term cupcake has first been used in 1828 in Eliza Leslie’s Receipts cookbook. Over the years, cupcakes have become a huge industry, and the name cupcake is now given to any small cake that is about the size of a cup.
Their popularity is probably owed to the fact that they bake much quicker than larger cakes. Chocolate and vanilla are still the classic flavors, while new ones such as raspberry meringue and espresso fudge can also be found in numerous bakeries and cupcakes shops around the world.

06. Trifle

ENGLAND

Trifle is a classic British dessert made by layering pieces of sponge cake, fruit jams or fruit purée, and egg custard. The sponge is usually soaked in fortified wine or brandy such as sherryport, or Marsala, and the whole dessert is commonly topped with whipped cream.

Trifle is traditionally prepared in glass bowls. The classic version is often altered with various flavorings and additions such as chocolate, jelly, nuts, glacé cherries, and fruit juice or soft drinks in a non-alcoholic version.
The familiar form of trifle was well-known by the Victorian era, but unlike today, it was primarily made to make use of leftover sponge cakes and custards. Similar desserts can be found in Scotland (tipsy laird) and the Southern United States (tipsy cake).

07. Bavarian Cream

Bavaria, Germany

This rich, silky egg custard is thickened with gelatin and combined with whipped cream. It is traditionally served cold and is usually garnished with pieces of fresh fruit or drizzled over with sweet sauces. Although its origins are quite unclear, it is known that Bavarian cream hails from either Germany or France.

Many French chefs worked in Bavaria during the 17th and 18th centuries, so it is believed that they learned the recipe there. Some believe that the dish was invented by a famous French chef Marie-Antoine Carême, who wrote a recipe for it in the early 18th century.
Today, Bavarian cream is consumed on its own as a decadent dessert or used as a filling for various cakes and pastries.

08. Sernik (cheesecake)

Poland

Sernik is a cheesecake from Poland, stemming from old Christian and Jewish traditions. It is made with eggs, sugar, and twaróg – a type of curd cheese that has been used in desserts for hundreds of years. It is believed that sernik originated in the 17th century when King Jan III Sobieski brought the recipe with him after his victory against the Turks at the Battle of Vienna.

Today, there are many varieties of sernik, some baked, some unbaked, but it is usually made on a layer of crumbly cake. Often, raisins, chocolate sauce, or fruits are also added to sernik, and one of the most popular dessert varieties has a sponge cake as its base and is covered with jelly and fruit on top.
The Krakowski version of sernik has a lattice crust on top to differentiate it from other types of this cheesecake. Sernik can either be prepared at home or found in many Polish stores and supermarkets.

09. Ice Cream Sandwich

NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Ice cream sandwich is an American dessert that dates back to New York City in 1899. It was allegedly invented by an unknown pushcart vendor in the Bowery who sandwiched vanilla ice cream between two thin wafers. The treat was so popular that the vendor didn’t have time to make a change, so he charged a penny per ice cream sandwich.
Nowadays, ice cream sandwiches are not made with only wafers and cookies, there are varieties that are prepared with brioche, waffles, croissants, and even churros.

10. Pahlava

Armenia

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The remarkable baklava is a luscious dessert created with layers of thin phyllo dough intertwined with chopped nuts, all doused in a sweet, viscous syrup. The popularity of baklava has long surpassed borders, regions, and ethnic groups to become a dessert whose origin and invention are claimed by numerous countries.

It is probable that it has an Assyrian origin, dating back to the 8th century, from where it spread out throughout the region all the way to Greece. The Greeks altered the recipe and created the thin sheets, known today as phyllo dough, but modern-day baklava is believed to be an original Armenian creation.

Traditionally, baklava is made with sheets of paper-thin pastry at the bottom, followed by chopped nuts which are then topped with additional pastry layers.

The other traditional way suggests alternating layers of phyllo dough with layers of chopped nuts. The original and authentic baklava should always have a nut-based filling, most commonly walnuts, hazelnuts, or pistachios, but modern versions have introduced unusual fillings such as apricots, chocolate, and even ground cookies.

The dessert is typically prepared in large trays, and it is then sliced into squares, triangles, or diamond shapes before being doused in a luscious syrup made with water and sugar or honey. Very often, the syrup is flavored with sliced lemon, rose water, cinnamon, or cardamom.

It is supposed to cover the entire tray and keep the delicate pastry succulent, creating a sweet and juicy cover around it. Iranian or Persian baklava differentiates itself because it is drier and lighter than other regional varieties, and it is often flavored with rosewater.
Even though it was once regarded as a decadent treat that was mostly enjoyed by the aristocracy, the famous baklava is now a traditional pastry and a dessert offered in numerous Oriental, Armenian, Turkish, or Greek restaurants. It is also often found in pastry shops across the Balkan region all the way to the Middle East.

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