Sweets can be part of a healthy, lifelong eating pattern as long as they are consumed in moderation.
The word 'dessert' originated from the French word 'desservir', meaning 'to clear the table' with a sweet course that concludes a meal.
Usually, all over the world, basic ingredients of a sweet dessert contain sugar such as cane or palm, brown sugar to honey, and flour or other starches; cooking fats such as butter or lard, dairy, eggs, salt, acidic ingredients such as lemon juice, and spices and other flavouring agents such as chocolate, peanut butter, fruits, and nuts.
The proportions of these ingredients, along with the preparation methods, play a major part in the consistency, texture, and flavour of the end product. Thus, a dessert differs from look to taste, shape to size from one land to another.
If you have a sweet tooth, just pick any one of these recipes and celebrate your sweet day.
TURKISH DELIGHT — ORANGE LOKUM
For sugar syrup —
1½ cup water
2½ cup white sugar
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
For corn starch paste —
1 cup water
1 cup orange juice (can be used any juice, such as pomegranate)
1 cup corn starch
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 drop orange food colour (optional)
1-2 drops of orange flavour (optional)
For coating —
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup corn starch
¼ cup shredded coconut
For making syrup, combine water, sugar, and lemon juice in a pot. Turn the heat on and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil. Continue boiling over medium-low heat for 10 minutes and continue stirring.
In a separate pot, combine water, orange juice, corn starch, cream of tartar and mix well until there are no lumps. Turn the heat on and keep stirring until it becomes a thick paste.
Gradually, add sugar syrup into the paste and mix after each addition. Reduce heat to low and shimmer mixture stirring constantly until it becomes a thick paste.
Turn the heat off, add flavour and colour. Mix well and pour the mixture onto the greased mould by dusting the surface with all powdered coating mixture.
Let it set up for 5 hours or overnight. Dust the top as well. Cut it into small cubes and dredge the cubes into the coating powdered mixture and place those inside an airtight container.
THAI KHANOM LUK CHUP
1 cup mung bean (moong dal)
2 cups coconut milk
½ cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp gelatine powder
2 tbsp sugar
1½ cup water
Soak mung bean in plain water at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain and steam for 30 minutes. In a grinder, put mung bean, coconut milk, ½ cup sugar, and salt, and grind finely. Heat a pan with low-medium heat. Put the mixture, add vanilla extract and boil the dough to moisture out all water, when the surface is smooth and form a fine thick paste, it's done.
Cool the dough, divide into 7-8-gram tiny balls. Form the dough into the desired shape such as mango, carrot, chillies, corn, watermelon, etc. and put a stick into all shapes to stand it straight.
Mix 2 tablespoons of water in different food colouring and colour all the shapes by dipping into coloured water. Or use brush to colour. Dry all the shapes.
In a separate bowl, take 1½ cup water, gelatine, and sugar and mix until everything dissolves. Heat the gelatine mixture for 1-2 minutes. Or turn the heat off once it starts to boil. Dip down all the coloured shape quickly into the warm gelatine mixture and keep all shapes to stand straight so that no extra gelatine can form any shape. Allow to dry, once the gelatine coating dries pull out the sticks.
JAPANESE MATCHA GREEN TEA ICE-CREAM
240ml heavy cream
2 egg yolks
10g matcha powder
Salt a pinch
In a bowl, mix egg yolk, matcha powder, sugar and salt, and set aside. Boil the milk for a few minutes until the quantity comes to the half. Pour the hot milk over matcha mixture.
Cool down and add heavy cream. Blend the mixture in a blender for 1-2 minutes. Pour in a container and freeze it for 2-4 hrs.
After 2-4 hours, stir the ice-cream mixture with a fork or use a beater so that no ice crystals can form in the mixture. Again, freeze and repeat beating method every after 2 hours, 4-5 times.
CHINESE MUNG BEAN CAKE
250g mung beans
½ cup liquid milk
40g vegetable oil
80g caster sugar
Soak mung bean in water for at least 5 hours, but preferably overnight. In a cooking pot, put washed and drained mung beans, milk, sugar, oil and cook in low-medium heat for 30-40 minutes.
Take off of heat. Put the mung bean in a grinder and make fine paste. Heat another pan with butter and put the paste to dry out the water. Stir constantly and make a thick dough.
Separate the dough into two parts equally. In one part of the dough, mix melted chocolate and knead finely and make 10-15 gram (each) balls for filling.
Take the plain dough and divide as well (about 25-30 grams each part). Roll all parts and put a chocolate ball into each part and make round balls. Shape the balls using any cookie cutter or cookie stamps. The mooncakes are ready.
Food and photo by Chiangmi Talukder Lena