Cronuts and muffles: the new foodie trend of dessert fusion

Cronut. Photo: Shutterstock
Cronut. Photo: Shutterstock

Here at Insight Guides we like to stay up-to-date with the latest happenings in culture and cuisine. For example, we’ve had a lot of internal discussions about the latest foodie trend sweeping New York: fusion desserts. A number of staff members have courageously volunteered to taste the cronut (croissant + doughtnut), the townie (tart + brownie), and the muffle (muffin + waffle). 

But rather than simply try other people’s adventurous creations, we thought we’d post a few sample ingredients to see if our readers can come up with their own unique combinations. Here are some of our favorite desserts from around the world. 

Can you combine any of the tasty treats on our list into the latest in tasty desserts?

My first suggestion is a Cocoleche (Coconut + dulce de leche)...

 

Argentina

Dulce de leche: The impossibly sweet caramel-like concoction known as dulce de leche is said to have been accidentally invented by a maid working for 19th-century dictator Juan Manuel de Rosas (she forgot about a pan of sweetened milk simmering on the stove), gets loaded onto pancakes, stuffed inside churros and croissants, dolloped onto plates beside wobbly flans, sandwiched inside alfajores (a type of cookie, and another bona fide national obsession), and quite often eaten straight from the jar in surreptitious night-time refrigerator raids. 

Alfajor, a traditional Argentine sweet dessert. Photo: Shutterstock

 

Brazil

Quindim: Portuguese-style egg yolk desserts are delicious, especially quindim (a rich egg yolk and coconut custard). The custard makes another appearance in olhos de sogra (mother-in-law’s eyes), in which it is used to stuff prunes. 

 

Costa Rica

Rambutan: The most exotic sight in a fruit market in Costa Rica has to be the rambutan (mamon chino). The bunches of red and orange fruits, sometimes called ‘hairy lychees,’ look like gooseberries covered in fleshy spines. To eat them, simply cut the leathery rind with a sharp knife and pull it back from the pulp.

Sapodilla: One of the best fruits of tropical America, from the province of Guanacaste, is the sapodilla or naseberry, here called chicozapote or níspero. It is a dessert fruit, rarely cooked or preserved in any way. The French botanist Descourtilz described it as having the "sweet perfumes of honey, jasmine, and lily of the valley."

 

Iceland

Flatkökurflat, rounded, unsweetened pancakes with a somewhat smoky taste. These can be found in most corner shops and supermarkets and are a good source of fibre and excellent for picnics. 

 

India

Kheerthe Indian equivalent of rice pudding, usually flavoured with cardamom, saffron, pistachios, almonds, cashews or dried fruit.

Shahi tukraa variation on bread pudding; phirni, made of powdered rice and served in earthenware bowls.

Kulfi: a rich nutty ice cream. 

Halvascreated from ingredients as diverse as carrots, semolina, dals, eggs or even wholemeal flour.

 

Japan

Anmitsua mixture of agar jelly cubes, azuki bean paste and boiled peas, served with tinned fruit like peach. Ice cream, shiratama dango (sweet rice-flour balls) and a sweet black syrup called mitsu are often added. 

Wagashi: is usually served with matcha, powdered green tea, or just after a meal. The main ingredient is an, a paste made from sugar and azuki beans, sweet potato and other ingredients. 

 

Jordan

Mastic Ice Cream: Look out for the elastic-like “mastic ice-cream” in ice-cream parlours. It is made with the powdered sahlab root and flavoured with mastic or Arabic gum, a resin that gives it its unusual texture. It’s often coated with chopped nuts.

Ma’amoulbaked pastries with nuts or dates perfumed with rose water.

 

Oman 

Dates: These fruit have remarkable nutritional qualities, offering an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals. Their high sugar content (up to 80 percent) protects them against bacterial decay and makes them extremely durable – dried dates can last for years, making them perfectly adapted to survive in the heat of the Gulf, even without refrigeration. They can also be pressed for their juice or used to make wines and syrups.

 

Philippines 

Coconut: The coconut in the Philippines, as in any other Pacific Rim country, controls much of the dessert menu. Its mature flesh can be grated or squeezed out as coconut cream or milk. The water and flesh of the green nut can be drunk or made into sweets. The sap is fermented or distilled into the potent lambanog

Bibingkamade from ground rice and sugar as well as coconut milk, then baked in a clay oven and topped with salted duck egg. 

Leche flan: a crème caramel made with coconut milk and flavored with the rind of local limes.

 

Southwest France

Pastis: Not only can pastis mean an aniseed-flavoured apéritif like Ricard or Pernod, but it also denotes two completely different types of dessert, depending on their location. Pastis bourrit of the Landes is a sponge cake traditionally eaten at weddings and fêtes. Pastis estirat, a feather-light strudel-like accumulation of crisp filo-pastry layers interleaved with apples, is made, as befits its Gascon origin, with goose fat rather than butter. 

 

Thailand

Kluay buat chee: banana slices in sweetened and salted warm coconut cream. 

Kluay kaek: bananas sliced lengthwise, dipped in coconut cream and rice flour, and deep-fried until crisp. 

Taap tim krawpwater chestnut pieces covered in red-dyed tapioca flour and served in coconut cream and crushed ice.

Sangkhaya ma-praoawna coconut cream custard steamed in a coconut or a small pumpkin.

Khao niao ma-muang: sweet mango with sticky rice and coconut cream.

 

 

If you have any fusion dessert ideas, add them to the comments below and we'll tweet the best of them.

 

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