Desserts around the World: Pastéis de Belém – Portugal

When in Lisbon, one does as any tourist does and one visits the Pastéis de Belém bakery for a lovely delicious little custard tart. Sure you can buy them anywhere else, but we’ve tried others and the one at the bakery in Belém – with the long line of tourists in front – is definitely the yummiest. (They sell like a million a day, so don’t expect to find much love and care inside these pastries.)

Pasteis de belem

Pro tip: Notice that you’re supposed to line up in two lines, while all the tourists line up in one line. Queue up there and get some old tourist lady really angry at you for cutting in line. Point annoyingly at the signs that say that you should line up in two lines. Then have that lady push in behind you so that she can get in front again. Fun times!

Pastéis de Belém

Rijstevlaai done right (by professionals)

Ok, we get it professional pie baking people, you’re better at your job than we are at dessert science. You might remember this failed desserting moment in our long history – though, let’s be honest, you probably don’t, because we almost did not remember this one (since we got the flu right after). Anyway, you can buy these rijstevlaai’s at actual bakeries and then they look like this:



Professional-rijstevaaiI know, so unfair. Why are people that get paid for it so much better at making desserts!


Desserts around the world: Spekkoek

Here is something good that came out of the Dutch colonisation of Indonesia: Spekkoek (or kue lapis legit). Wikipedia says:

The cake is very rich – a 20 cm × 20 cm (7.9 in × 7.9 in) cake can contain up to thirty egg yolks, 500 grams (18 oz) of butter, and 400 grams (14 oz) of sugar.

So, definitely not for people on diets. It is best eaten in small bits anyway, because it is heavy enough that you can eat one slice and then skip lunch. Not spoken out of experience or anything.Spekkoek


Desserts around the world: Onde-Onde/Jin Deui

This one really travelled the world. Originally a Chinese fried pastry, but bought in The Netherlands (probably made here too). So, this time around we present you a true international superstar dessert: Onde-Onde, also known as Jin Deui.

Onde Onde
Look at how round this ball of rice flour is. And it’s completely covered in sesame seeds!
Jin Deui
Look at this fried goodness. What could be inside!?
Jin Deui
Ahh, yummy sweet mushy stuff! I’m thinking this is black bean paste, but they also come with lotus paste or red bean paste. Does this sound like I have no idea what I’m eating? Then that sounds very correct. #YOLO

Crushed it! Nuts and a Delicious Cake

In today’s research we evaluate the following hypothesis: Sometimes you have to crack a few eggs to make an omelet. But that doesn’t really make sense in the world of dessert science, so our final hypothesis is: Sometimes you’ve got to crush some nuts to get yourself a delicious cake. Any nut will do, but for the purpose of this experiment, we went for walnuts. Perhaps the craziest nut? We paired them with a classic: chocolate. Because what could go wrong with chocolate!? Nothing. Nothing went wrong with the chocolate. I am not being sarcastic, it was completely fine.


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