Six Japanese-Inspired Sweets We're Obsessed With Right Now
When you can't travel to Japan in person, these confections offer a little bit of a trip all on their own.
This Sweet-Tangy Crisp Recipe Made Me a Rhubarb Dessert Believer
I used to think rhubarb didn't belong in sweets, but this dessert changed my mind.
Strawberry-Rhubarb Cornmeal Skillet Cake
Juicy strawberries and tart rhubarb stud the golden brown top of this simple skillet cake. The mix of all-purpose flour and fine cornmeal gives this dessert a pound-cake-like density, while goat cheese and buttermilk keep the crumb nicely tender and moist. A dollop of rosemary-infused whipped cream ties the sweet and savory flavors together.
Hazelnut and Crème Fraîche Meringues with Lemon and Parmesan
Perfect for tea or a light dessert, these elegant double-decker meringues are filled with tangy, gently sweetened crème fraîche and drizzled with a generous spoonful of hazelnut praline. But the real head-turning touch comes from the garnishes—ethereal flakes of Parmesan and sunny flecks of lemon zest. At first glance, the idea of cheese on a dessert is a bit surprising, but in concert with this dessert’s other delicious elements, the Parmesan’s rich salinity hits the palate like the best-imaginable combination of butter and flaky sea salt. Food editor Josh Miller learned to make these meringues at the École Ritz Escoffier at the Ritz hotel in Paris; read more about the storied hotel's cooking school here.
Quindim (Brazilian Coconut Egg Custards)
These Brazilian treats feature a rich eggy custard on the top and a chewy coconut crust on the bottom. Both crust and custard come from a single batter: The macaroon-like crust forms as the shredded coconut floats and browns while baking; once cooled, the desserts are inverted, revealing the shiny, sunny custard layer. White sugar will result in sunny yellow custard, while light brown sugar will tint it pale gold. Be sure to allow the quindim to cool—and fully set—completely before flipping the muffin tray. Quindim, a term that traces its etymology from both Brazilian Portuguese and West African languages, may also appear in the plural as quindins. When the custard is baked in a ring mold, it is called quindão. This recipe is from Jessica B. Harris, a scholar of the cuisine of the African diaspora who fell in love with the dessert on her travels to Salvador, in the Brazilian state of Bahia. Read more about her travels and culinary discoveries here.