‘I have never met a problem a proper cupcake could not fix’, says Hudson in Sarah Ockler's Bittersweet. Cupcakes-the pop-divas of the American dessert scene-trendy, quick-moving, and the darling of the masses. Move outside of America, and there too, you will find some sweet-dish or another, occupy an exalted place on the culinary horizon. Like an old Indian tale goes-even when a street is crowded, people still make way for the king to pass; similarly, even when you are so full that not an extra morsel of food will go in, there is always some space for Payasam (rice pudding).

Here we list the recipes for some of the most delectable desserts of the world. Each recipe has an introduction to equip you with the background of the dish and the people eating it. Next, our chef takes you through a step-by-step narration of the recipe illustrated with real pictures. We hope, through this section, we are able to bring to you the sweetest of both worlds.

1. Pavlova, New Zealand

A dish dedicated to a famous ballet dancer, and as beautiful to behold as the dance form itself. Presenting ladies and gentlemen, Pavlova. Pavlova basically consists of a crispy white meringue and a fluffy whipped cream topping. The base is formed by baking egg whites, vinegar and castor sugar together. The A garnish of strawberry and kiwi slices gives the whole dish a dramatic look, and a tangy flavor that perfectly offsets the sweetness.

2. Iranian Ferni

The Iranian Ferni is served in every Iranian restaurant that is worth its salt. However, to serve the best, most memorable Ferni is a feat few restaurants are able to achieve. The perfect color of yellow, perfect chill level, an optimum amount of moisture, and just the right graininess- all these factors come into play when we talk of the perfect Ferni. And then, there is the presentation. Served in flattened earthen bowls and garnished with slivered almonds, the Iranian Ferni holds the power to make or break a good meal.

3. Canadian Tart

Rich brown sugary goodness that flows into thick and crunchy flower-shaped cups. There, I have summed up the Canadian Tart for you. These tiny cups of overflowing happiness need to be savored slowly, with deliberation. Nibble your way through the forts of crusty dough, to the sticky filling in the heart of the tart kingdom. The sweet yet piquant flavor lays siege on the crumbling shells, and finally the patient epicure emerges victorious.

4. Austrian Gugelhupf

Coffee time calls for a special kind of sweetness-an unassuming lazy kind. Sponge cakes are perfect for coffee mornings and afternoons- well browned, well- leavened, symmetrically shaped, and just with the right amount of sweetness that leaves you daydreaming in the afternoon breeze. The Gugelhupf is an Austrian sponge cake that is a perfect accompaniment to the bitter-sweet beverage. As the knife cuts smoothly through the Bundt-shaped cake, the oven-fresh aroma turns coffee-time into an other-worldly affair.

5. Black Forest

The black forest cake is so popular that it seems to have nothing to do with Germany anymore. And yet, you would not recognize it by its tongue-twisting German name. Of course, many countries have diluted the recipe a bit by replacing the cherry liqueur of the original recipe with cherry water. But the end result continues to entrance thousands of comfort-food lovers everyday. The specialty of the cake is the soaking syrup that majorly comprises kirsch. The kirsch, the sponge and the frosting-all come together to create a sweet and sinful mouthful that will leave you craving for more.

6. Belgian Waffles

Ideal for those who like simple and straight flavors for breakfast. The Belgian waffles, which look like a cross between a pancake and a designer slice bread, are just what you need to have at the start of a day. They are moderately crisp, and melt in your mouth before they can turn soggy. A nice layering of honey on the top and a sprinkling of some powdered sugar are all the upgrade you need if you are in the mood for a little morning indulgence. Or else, just munch on these easy-to-prepare waffles on the fly, as you head to work.

7. Pastel de Tres Leches

When the name of a cake proclaims that it contains three (Tres) kinds of milk, it takes a special kind of food connoisseur to appreciate the fusion of flavors it creates. Pastel de Tres Leches is a sponge cake soaked in a mixture of evaporated milk, condensed milk, and cream. Born in the tiny Central American country of El Salvador,which is famous for its fusion of indigenous and Spanish methods of cooking, the Tres Leches borrows from the European style of soaking a cake, while at the same time using milk as a soaking ingredient, which gives it a nice fluffy flavor instead of the usual sogginess of soaked cakes. The Pastel des Tres Leches is the ultimate in desserts for anyone who understands cakes and milk, and the perfect synergy their coming together can create.

Published On: Thursday, February 12th, 2015