Sometimes the only way to take a meal from adequate to exceptional is with really chart topping dessert. The ultimate sweet indulgent, desserts come in many forms around the world, and every nation has their own personal preference. However, there are some specific dishes that stand head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to decadence. Gathered from cultures across the globe, here are our pics for seven of earth’s most indulgent desserts.
An Austrian classic whose name translates to “Emperor’s Mess”, this pancake dish is popular in many former principalities of the Hapsburg Empire. Shredded pieces of fluffy pancake are placed on a plate, covered in sugar and presented with a variety of different dipping sauces, including apple, chocolate and marmalade. Deliciously messy, this is one dessert that’s difficult to eat with any dignity.
Despite its rather unappetising translated name of “Oily Balls”, this Dutch and Belgian tradition is probably the most decadent doughnut you’re ever likely to come across. Made with a special dough sprinkled liberally with currants and other dried fruits, an ice cream scoop is used to create the distinct Oliebol shape. Deep fried and dusted with sugar, chocolate and an array of other naughty things, Oliebollen certainly earn their indulgent stripes.
A staple of Instagram feeds all over the world, the freakshake certainly divides opinion. Part-drink, part-dessert, freakshakes often look spectacular as well as utterly impractical. Originally an Australian invention, these monstrosities typically feature a layer of thick liquid topped with cream, cake and anything else that the creator happens to have at hand. Whatever you may think of the freakshake, its indulgent status is beyond any doubt.
With a unique look and design, Hungarian kürtőskalács present a completely new way of thinking about indulgent desserts. A split cylindrical cake baked around a metal pole, kürtőskalács are tall hollow structures of enriched dough, rolled in cinnamon and brown sugar. What takes these Eastern European treats to the next level is the potential for filling and topping with a host of sugary, creamy extras that can turn an already indulgent dessert into something really spectacular.
Created in 1940, these small chocolatey truffles are a Brazilian institution. Made from condensed milk, cocoa powder and sugar, these bite sized moreish morsels are sweet, thick and perhaps one of the most decadent street foods out there. A traditional brigadeiro comes rolled in chocolate sprinkles, helping add another sinful layer to an already tempting treat.
6. Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte
Though cheap knockoffs have not helped its reputation in recent years, there’s little doubt that a true Black Forest Gateau can go toe to toe with the most indulgent desserts out there. Taking its name from the traditional “kirsch” liqueur of south-west Germany, a proper schwarzwälder kirschtorte is built from layers of booze soaked sponge, cream, cherries and chocolate, making each mouthful more decadent than the last.
Probably the sweetest dessert on this list, koeksisters are so beloved in their native South Africa that they have a monument dedicated to them. The work of someone who clearly felt that doughnuts are not nearly sugary enough, koeksisters are made from two strips of plaited dough filled with syrup. This dough is then dunked in honey, before being deep fried in very hot oil. The result is a pastry with a crunchy outside and liquid sugar centre that is the holy grail of sweet tooth owners everywhere.
Sometimes, everyone needs a treat. This is why every country has their own version of dessert decadence that can deliver a guilt inducing sugar hit when required. These treats are far too numerous to list here. However, for anyone looking to get an introduction to the world of international indulgence, these seven dishes are a great place to start.