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August 2016

5 Delicious Summer Desserts From Around the World

Learn how to make these five delicious desserts

Summer is still in full swing, meaning we’ve plenty of time to indulge in warm weather treats. Add some pizazz to your remaining months with these five summer desserts from around the world. Recipes follow each of the entries, but you can always make them entirely your own.


Spain - Tarta de Santiago

The Tarta de Santiago is a Spanish almond cake that features the nuttiness of almonds and the sweetness of, well, lots of powdered sugar. It’s a tart that’s great for the summer months because it can be served at room temperature, rather than served hot. Popular in Madrid, the moist cake bursts with the flavor of almonds. The optional addition of fresh fruit adds both color and vibrant flavors to the dessert.

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Italy - Granita

Take a trip to sunny Sicily and you may see granita vendors on the streets. More modern vendors sell their treats using those spinning beverage machines often seen in gas station convenience stores (think Bart Simpson and his Squishees). Traditional sellers, however, push around carts containing a big block of ice. Upon order, they scrape layers of ice into a cup and top the freshly shaven ice with fruit syrups and some sugar. It’s not unlike shave ice (no, not “shaved”) for those of you who have been to Hawaii.

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New Zealand/Australia - Pavlova

One might think the Pavlova a Russian dessert. After all, it was named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. The dessert was created for the dancer by a hotel chef in Wellington, New Zealand. Today, it's a popular dessert item in both New Zealand and Australia. While identified with the summer, its simplicity makes it a great dessert to prepare throughout the year. The Pavlova features a light, crisp crust and meringue, all topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

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England - Scones with Fresh Fruit

Scones are a magical, buttery quick bread. Capable of being either sweet or savory, they satisfy across numerous culinary frontiers. For the summer, opt for taking freshly baked scones and topping them with whipped cream and fresh fruit. The possibilities are endless, however the recipe below adds the additional glory of soaking the scones in Pimm's for an extra adult kick, thus making it worthy of exploration.

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France - Crêpes Suzette à la Mode

What could be better than a delicious crêpe drenched in orange essence and topped with refreshing ice cream? While the recipe is simple enough (especially if you opt to purchase pre-made crêpes from the grocery store), it requires several costlier items like Grand Marnier and cognac. Suzette refers to the French sauce, one made of caramelised sugar, butter, citrus juice (usually from oranges or tangerines), and orange liqueur (usually Grand Marnier, though another variety could do). For a final bit of flair, one could prepare it tableside en flambé (in flames) as they do in restaurants. Just be sure to keep a fire extinguisher handy.

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What are your favorite summer desserts? What refreshing treats are enjoyed in your country? Let us know on our Facebook Page, and be sure to “like” TELC English for more articles on culture from around the world!

Picture: (c) Fotolia, oah1611