Travel with the World’s 10 Best Desserts

Girls Who Travel | Travel with the World's 10 Best Desserts

We all need to treat ourselves a little bit, and while we are stuck at home there is plenty of time to try one of these, in my humble opinion, world’s 10 best desserts.

Travel with the World’s 10 Best Desserts

1. France – Crème Brûlée

Girls Who Travel | Travel with the World's 10 Best Desserts

What you need:

1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup vanilla sugar, divided
6 large egg yolks
2 quarts hot water


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  In a medium saucepan, mix the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then remove it from the stove, cover and allow to sit for about 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.
Use a medium bowl to mix 1/2 cup of vanilla sugar and the egg yolks. Blend it well blended until the color starts to lighten. Add the cream little bits at a time while stirring. Pour the batter into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins and place those into a large cake or roasting pan. Pour hot water into the pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the Crème Brûlée is set, but still trembling in the center. This will take approximately 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove the ramekins from the oven and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or for a maximum of 3 days. Remove the Crème Brûlée from the refrigerator to let it warm for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on the top. Divide the other 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread it on the top. Melt the sugar and form a crispy top using a torch. Allow the Crème Brûlée to sit for 5 minutes or a bit more before serving.

2. Turkey – Baklava

What you need:
For the syrup:
4 cups of water
3 cups of sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon

For the Baklava:
36 leaves fresh or frozen packaged phyllo dough (14 x 18-inch size)
1/2 pound unsalted clarified butter
1/2 pound raw, hulled pistachio nuts, ground to a powder
2 tablespoons sugar

14 x 18-inch shallow metal baking pan
Pastry brush
Pastry cutter or sharp knife


First prepare the syrup. You will need it to pour it over the hot baklava later. Combine water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then let it simmer uncovered while you prepare the rest.
Prepare the clarified butter, then mix the ground pistachio nuts with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Grease the bottom of the baking pan with some butter and sprinkle a little of the ground pistachio nuts in. Take the first layer of phyllo and set it into the baking pan. Brush the phyllo with butter. Repeat this with all 18 leaves of phyllo. Then use all of the ground pistachio mixtures to make an even layer going all the way to the edges of the pan. Place one more layer of phyllo over the nuts and cover it with butter. Repeat this until you have used all the phyllo. Use a sharp knife or a pastry cutter to carefully cut the baklava into squares.
If you have any butter left over, drizzle it over the top. Preheat the oven to  395° F, place the pan in it and bake for 45 minutes, or until the layers puff up high and the top is golden and crispy. As soon as the baklava is in the oven, remove the syrup from the heat and let it cool down. When the baklava is ready and still piping hot, pour the cold syrup evenly over it. Generously sprinkle more ground pistachios over the top. Serve the baklava at room temperature.

3. Peru – Picarones (Peruvian donut)

What you need:
1 Tbs. dry baking yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1/4 cup water
1 Tbs. ground corn or cornmeal
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. crushed anise
3 cups white flour
1 cup premium beer
1 cup cooked butternut squash, pureed
1-2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
3 lemon or orange peel shreds


To make the doughnuts use a small bowl  to dissolve the sugar and yeast in 1 cup of warm water.  Mix the cornmeal, salt, anise seed, 1 cup of flour and the beer in another bowl. Add the yeast mixture and stir it up. Next add the squash and 2 cups of flour o the mixture. Stir it until it forms a soft dough. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for approximately 2 hours, or in the fridge for 4 to 12 hours, covered with film.
For the syrup add the rest of the ingredients to a saucepan and boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and leave the mixture to simmer until a thick syrup forms. This should take about 15 minutes. Then remove the saucepan from the heat.
Finally heat oil in a wok. Drop tablespoons of dough into the hot oil and fry them until they are crispy golden. Use paper towels to drain them. Serve hot with the hot syrup.

4. Spain – Tarta de Santiago (Almond Cake)

Girls Who Travel | Travel with the World's 10 Best Desserts

What you need:

3 whole eggs
3/4 cup of sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups ground almond meal or almond flour
Zest of half an orange
1/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly crushed or chopped
Powdered sugar for decorating


First preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9” springform pan with some butter. In a large bowl mix the eggs, egg whites, salt, sugar, and the extracts. Stir well for until the mixture is a little frothy and well combined. Then add the almond meal and mix it in with the other ingredients. Pour the batter into the greased pan. Sprinkle some almonds and turbinado sugar evenly over the top.
Bake the cake for 45-55 minutes, until it is golden brown and the center feels firm when pressed lightly. Let the cake cool for about 10 minute. Slide a knife around the edges of the pan remove the cake from the collar. Let it cool before serving.

5. Russia – Syrniki (sweet cheese fritters)

What you need:
1 lbs farmer’s cheese, i.e. well-drained ricotta
2 large eggs
2 tbsp oil
4 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla


Combine the cheese, eggs, sugar, oil, flour, baking powder and the vanilla in a bowl and mixeverything with a hand mixer until you get a smooth dough, about 2-3 minutes. In a non-stick or cast iron frying pan heat 3 tbsp of oil. Add some flour to a clean work surface. Scoop some of the dough directly on the floured surface, roll it in the flour and finally flatten it with your hand to make it into a patty. Continue the process with the rest of the dough until it’s all gone. This recipe makes about 14 patties.
When the oil in your pan is very hot start frying your syrniki. If yout put some flour in it and it sizzles it’s hot enough. Fry the syrniki  exactly the same you would fry pancakes.
When done dust the syrniki with icing sugar  and serve them with your jam or a fruit sauce., or a bot of sour cream.

6. England – Banoffee Pie

What you need:
For the crust:
7 ounces graham crackers (about 13 crackers)
5 ounces (10 tablespoons) butter, unsalted
½ cup granulated sugar

For the toffee:
½ cup granulated sugar
5 ounces (10 tablespoons) butter, unsalted
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ripe bananas, sliced
½ cup heavy whipping cream, cold
1 ounce dark chocolate, 70%


Add the crackers and sugar to a food processor . Mix until they have about the size of breadcrumbs. Drizzle in the melted butter while continuing to mix. Pour the mixture into a loose bottom, 9-inch (23 cm)  fluted tart pan. Press it firmly into the pan and up the sides until everything is covered. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
To prepare the toffee, add the sugar and butter to a small sauce pan. Heat it over medium-low until the sugar melts into the butter. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the condensed milk and bring to a simmer again. Stir constantly until it is  thickened and golden brown, approximately 10 minutes.  Don’t worry if the butter starts to separate. Once mixture is golden and starts to pull away from the side of the pan, remove from the heat and stir until it is smooth again and the butter is well mixed in. As it cools it will blend more. When it has slightly cooled pour it into the crust. Smooth and refrigerate for about 30 minutes until it has cooled and set.
In the meantime whip the cream until it is thickened but not too stiff. When your cake has cooled enough, slice the bananas and spread them evenly on top of the toffee in two layers. Top with the cream and shave dark chocolate over the top.

7. Australia – Lamingtons

Girls Who Travel | Travel with the World's 10 Best Desserts

What you need:

For the sponge cake:
1/2 cup of plain flour
1/4 cup of cornflour or cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
3 large eggs
1/2 cup of caster sugar
2 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoon of butter

For the icing:
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1  1/2 cups of icing or powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup of milk
2 cups of shredded coconut


Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line and grease an 8 inch baking square tin with baking paper. The inside of the paper should also be lightly greased with a little butter. The flour, cornflour and baking powder need to be sifted twice and combined in a large mixing bowl. Set aside and add the eggs into a separate bowl. Bet them until they are thick and foamy, then add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time.
Add the milk and butter to a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or until the butter is melted. Leave to cool.
Add the sifted flour mixture to the eggs, pour the butter mixture down the side of the bowl and gently fold until flour is just combined. Do not over-mix. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Bake for about 20-23 minutes or until cake gently springs back when lightly touched on top.
While your sponge cake is cooling, prepare the icing. Sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar into a bowl. Add the melted butter and milk and whisk until the chocolate is smooth.
Finally cut your cake into 12 squares. Dip each piece of cake into chocolate, let the extra chocolate dip off, then cover with coconut. Put onto a cake rack to dry.

8. Japan – Mochi

What you need:
1 cup Mochiko (sweet rice flour or Mochi flour)
3/4 cup water
2 cups sugar
Anko (sweet red bean paste) or green tea ice cream


Add the Mochiko and the water to a bowl and stir. If the mixture is too dry add little bits of water. Then steam the dough in the bowl in a steamer for about 20 minutes. Take the the steamed Mochi out and put it  into a pot. Cook it at medium to medium low heat, adding, 2/3 cups of sugar. Wait until the sugar is completely dissolved, then add another 2/3 cups of sugar. Make sure to stir it well.  Finally add the rest of the sugar. Cook until all of the sugar is dissolved. Don’t put the heat too high or you will burn the sugar. Then take the Mochi out and put them onto a sheet pan dusted with cornstarch. Shape into balls or whichever shape you like. Serve with Anko or green tea ice cream.

9. Iceland – Skyr Cake

What you need:
8 ounces digestive biscuits with dark chocolate
1 stick (½ cup) butter, melted
1 pound blueberry skyr (yogurt)
2 eggs
seeds from ½ vanilla bean
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup milk
2½ tablespoons gelatin powder
fresh berries and/or edible flowers for garnish (optional)


Use parchment paper to line an 8-inch round spring form. Crumble the biscuits until they are coarse then mix with them the melted butter. Make an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate while you prepare the cake. Add the skyr (yogurt), eggs and vanilla to a bowl and stir. In another bowl, whip the cream until it is about medium. Add the cream into the skyr mixture.
In a small saucepan warm the milk. Then add the gelatin, whisking until it is dissolved. Pour into the skyr and cream mixture, and fold to combine. Pour the skyr cream over the biscuit layer in the spring form and cover it with plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator and let it set for a minimum of 8 hours. You can also freeze it for later use. If you are freezing the cake, defrost by thawing for 8 hours in the refrigerator or about 3 hours at room temperature.
If you wish you can decorate the cake with fresh berries and edible flowers.

10. USA – Snickerdoodle

Girls Who Travel | Travel with the World's 10 Best Desserts

What you need:
1 cup softened butter
1.5 cups of sugar
2 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla
2.75 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp salt
1.5 tbsp cinnamon
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix 3 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of cinnamon and set aside (used to coat the dough before baking). Mix together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and set aside. Cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs and vanilla. Blend together. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

Click here to listen to Away She Goes, the Girls Who Travel podcast. On this episode: recreating your favorite meals at home.


Sailor, adventurer, writer, editor, dog mom, off the beaten path lover.

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