Unforgettable desserts worth the trip
If the words 'croquembouche', 'bee sting', and 'snow egg'* get your tastebuds tingling, you probably know your desserts fairly well. Whether you've been fortunate enough to try them yourself or have only seen them created on cooking programs such as MasterChef and the Great Australian Bake Off, as a connoisseur of sweets, you'd leap at the chance to taste them (again!).
For the traveller with a sweet tooth, innumerable dessert opportunities await. Whether you've got your eye on a once-in-a-lifetime indulgence or simply want to eat as the locals do, here are some delicacies to inspire your tastebuds and make your trip unforgettable.
Some people seek out the legendary dishes they've read about in magazines, heard about from gushing friends, or seen on the TV. While world rankings, Michelin stars, or a famous chef might pique interest, sweet connoisseurs want to taste the proof in the pudding. Renowned dishes on the wish lists of many foodies include:
- Macerated Strawberries from experimental, award-winning, TV-star chef Heston Blumenthal. These can be tasted as part of the tasting menu at Blumenthal's London restaurant The Fat Ducki.
- Sea Buckthorn and Beetroot Flødeboller at Noma, Copenhagen. As with all food served by this restaurant, this dessert is made from local ingredients and is the epitome of Nordic cuisineii. This restaurant was named the World's Best Restaurant for three consecutive years (2010-2012) by The World's 50 Best Restaurants Awards. In 2013, it was awarded second placeii.
- Any dessert made by Jordi Roca, pastry chef at 2013's Best Restaurant in the World, El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spainiii.
- Named best restaurant in South America for four years straight, D.O.M. (Sao Paolo, Brazil) creates culinary masterpieces with food from the Amazoniv. A favourite dessert? Banana, lime and priprioca caramel ravioliv.
- Macarons from the original Ladurée in Paris (rue Royale). The patisserie has been making macarons and other desserts since 1862vi and now has stores all over the world, including Sydney. Each boutique store serves only macarons made in Switzerland (snap frozen and delivered to the store), so whether you visit in Sydney or New York, the macaron will taste the samevii.
Sweet and simple
If a Michelin star restaurant isn't your scene and you're just looking for a local experience, there are plenty of signature desserts from around the world to satiate your sugar cravings.
Spanish flan: For an authentic dessert experience in Spain you can't go past el flan - vanilla custard with a jelly-like consistency and caramel topping.
Italian gelato in every flavour: Enough said. Look out for gelatarias where the gelato is stored in vats below the counter - these are the best!
Beat the heat with ice kachang: a favourite for locals in Malaysia and Singapore, ice kachang (ais kachang in Malay Bahasa) is shaved ice topped with colourful sweet syrups, nut, redbean, sweetcorn and fruit - the combo will depend on your preference and where you go to eatviii!
American favourites: pecan pie, apple pie, doughnuts, cheesecake, whoopee pie - all delicious, you simply can't go wrong.
South American dulce de leche: a caramel sauce that defines South American desserts, dulce de leche is known in Chile and Ecuador as manjar and called cajeta in Mexicoix. This delicacy is tasty on and in anything - it'd be a crime not to try it when in South America.
Nutty baklava: a favourite across Greece, Turkey and the Middle East, these little pastries are filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrupx.
Marvellous mochi: Colourful Japanese sweets made from glutinous rice paste, with a variety of fillings - favourites include red and white bean pastexi.
Do you have a favourite dessert that you'd travel the world for? Share it with us and others on the Allianz AU Facebook page.
*If you're wondering… the 'croquembouche' is a tower of choux pastry and caramel, and a bee sting cake (the German Bienenstich) is a dessert with a caramelised almond topping and a rich vanilla cream filling. The snow egg, synonymous with Quay chef Peter Gilmore, now has a cult following after his signature take on the dessert was the finale cook-off challenge for MasterChef Australia season two (watched by more than 5 million viewersxii).