After enjoying a hearty lunch or dinner, haven’t you experienced that rumbling sensation in your tummy urging you to take a bite of something sweet to properly finish off the meal? Okay, let’s face it, working professionals or busy moms, teens or tweens, young or old, all of us love dessert. So much so that no matter if it is a hectic weekday, lazy weekend or the festival season, you never say no to a bite of a delicious treat such as motichoor ladoo, gulab jamun, coconut barfi.
Yes, of course, you have savoured these desi mithai on numerous occasions and yearn to sample some global saccharine delights. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in India do not permit travelling to distant exotic locations yet, coming as a huge disappointment to the tourist as well as the foodie in you. Well, what if we told you that you can turn your chef mode on and rustle up some yummy international sweet treats right at home, that too with not just one level but stacks and stacks of enticing flavours?
What Are Layered Desserts?
You guessed it right, we are indeed talking about layered desserts. While baking a cookie, sponge cake or brownie consists of only one layer with a distinct taste, in layered desserts, many layers are prepared and arranged in neat rows on top of one another. Each line comprises different ingredients to bring about a delicate balance of flavours and texture – soft, jelly-like and brittle. Popular examples of layered desserts include trifle, pudding from England, baklava from Turkey, torte from Austria, Germany, France, tiramisu from Italy, flan from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain and layered cakes baked on festive events and weddings.
Irresistible Layered Dessert Recipes From Around The World:
Wondering how to make these appetizing globally acclaimed desserts? Worry not, for we bring you two customary mouth-watering recipes of world-renowned layered desserts - Tiramisu from Italy - consisting of mascarpone cheese, whipped cream, coffee and Baklava from Turkey - encompassing filo dough, pistachios, sugar syrup. These desserts are made with wholesome ingredients packed with essential nutrients of fibres, proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings and augment overall wellbeing. Just head to the nearest supermarket where global ingredients are available, stock up on the necessary items to prepare these layered desserts and get set baking, for a truly rich sweet indulgence this weekend.
7 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
500 grams mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
3 tbsp brewed coffee, at room temperature
1 pack of ladyfinger cookies – 100 grams
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp rum (optional)
Pro Tip: While tiramisu is traditionally prepared with rum, it can also be prepared in a non-alcoholic version without adding the beverage.
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar.
Add milk, mix well, transfer to a pan and cook on medium heat, stirring continuously until it begins to boil.
Cook for about 1 minute, turn off the stovetop and let it cool a bit.
Seal this mixture with a lid and cool it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
In another vessel, beat the heavy cream along with vanilla extract so as to obtain stiff cone-like peaks.
Take out the yolk concoction from the fridge and mix in the mascarpone to form a smooth homogenous blend.
Cut the ladyfingers in half vertically and dip them in the brewed coffee.
In a rectangular 8x12 inch dish, place half of the soaked ladyfingers at the bottom, then half of the mascarpone blend and finally half of the whipped cream to form three layers.
Repeat this stacking to ultimately get 6 layers, dust off with some cocoa powder on top, cover the dish and chill it in the fridge for 4 – 6 hours.
Once the layers are set, cut them into equal portions and enjoy the delicious tiramisu.
Eggs and mascarpone cheese are excellent sources of protein for building strong muscles, while milk is packed with calcium, magnesium for fortified bones, joints. Coffee and cocoa powder are high in caffeine, as well as stimulating phytonutrients, to elevate brain power, memory, concentration, nervous system functioning, keeping the mind alert, active and combating depression, anxiety.
1 pack readymade phyllo dough/filo dough - 25 sheets, thawed
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups walnuts, chopped
3 tbsp ground pistachio, for garnish
3 cups sugar
3 cups water
2 thin slices of lemon
Since the filo dough is frozen, thaw it in the fridge overnight the day before and prior to starting the prep, let it sit at room temperature for 30 – 40 minutes.
Heat water, sugar, lemon slices in a vessel until it boils, then simmer on low flame for 20 minutes and allow the syrup to cool down.
Neatly cut the phyllo dough sheets along the sides to fit the baking pan and as you layer them, use a damp cloth for cover to prevent them from drying out.
Preheat the oven to 390 Fahrenheit i.e. 200 Celcius.
Grease the base and sides of the 9x13 baking pan with melted butter.
Stack up one phyllo sheet on top of another, coating it with melted butter to a total of 5 phyllo sheets.
Pour half a cup of chopped walnuts for the next 4 layers, covering it with phyllo sheets in between and on top, applying some butter to smoothen the surface.
Cut the arranged layers vertically into diamond-shaped pieces.
Bake at 200 Celcius for 30 minutes so the top surface becomes golden brown.
Carefully remove it from the oven, drizzle the cooled lemon-sugar syrup on top of the hot baklava, allow it to sit for 4 – 5 hours until the syrup is absorbed into the layers.
Garnish the warm baklava with ground pistachios and bite into the tempting crispy puff pastry-like dessert with some tea or coffee.
Phyllo dough provides ample calories, carbohydrates for instant energy and butter possesses vast reserves of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, K for healthy vision, bones, immunity, besides optimal antioxidant potential and blood clotting, wound healing mechanisms. Walnuts offer dietary fibres to aid in digestion, potassium to alleviate hypertension, control blood pressure, while pistachios supply key minerals of iron to combat anaemia, fatigue and copper to uplift iron absorption by cells and preserving nerve functions.