The Christmas season is fast approaching, which for many means amazing food, an abundance of family time and booze. In the spirit of the holidays, our team at the Jamaica Epicurean Escape has surfed the globe in search of some of the season’s most tantalizing treats, since, let’s face it, no big feast is complete without dessert. We’ve also paired each item with a drink selection that complements the taste of each treat. Without further ado, here’s our list of yummy holiday desserts that make the world merrier.
Originating in England, this festive biscuit has become a holiday symbol in Europe and the United States. The Gingerbread Man is often accompanied by a few pals (differentiated by their ornamented, frosting or candy attire) and a lavish Gingerbread house. The biscuit/cookie contains key ingredients such as ginger root, cinnamon and depending on the recipe, honey. Gingerbread Men are fun to prepare and are a great way for children to express their artistic during the holidays.
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Recommended Drink: Enjoy these festive cookies with a Hot Chocolate or a Spiced Cappuccino…yum!
Christmas Fruit Trifle
Fruit trifles are exceedingly popular during the Christmas season in Southern Africa. The aesthetically crafted dessert paired with a crisp cocktail goes swimmingly with the Southern Hemisphere’s summertime, holiday weather. Fruit trifles are prepared by layering a sponge cake moistened with sherry or rum, an assortment of fruit, homemade custard, jelly and whipping cream.
This cupola shaped sweet bread hails from Milan, Italy, but has since been adopted as a popular Christmas dessert in several other European and South American countries. Panettone’s fluffy, light texture and subtle, sweet taste have made it a worldly . Some of the sweet bread’s main ingredients include candied fruits such as orange peel and raisins. A slice of Panettone also goes delightfully with a scoop of ice cream.
Even though the origin of this yummy treat has often been contested (most sources suggest the recipe is Turkish), one undisputed fact is its magnetic pull to the sweet tooth. Made from paper thin sheets of buttery phyllo dough with a mixed nut filling, Baklava is frequently enjoyed in Southeast Europe during the holiday season and Easter time. A syrup made by combining honey, sugar, cinnamon and grated orange peel is generously poured on top of the flaky pastry, which gives it its astoundingly sweet taste.
Black Cake or Christmas Cake
Black cake or Christmas cake is the Caribbean’s rendition to the widely popular European fruit cake. What differentiates the tropic version from its British equivalent, is its distinct dark colour and the extensive prep process that the cake’s fruits undergo. The fruit mixture, which usually consists of currants, raisins, cherries and sultanas are thoroughly soaked in a blend of wine and rum for up to 6 months. This gives the dessert its rich texture and bold taste. Christmas cake is sometimes served with a lovely rum sauce.
Recommended Drink: In keeping with the Caribbean theme try this with Sorrel
This Israeli dessert is customarily eaten during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. The jelly filled doughnut, covered with powdered sugar is small in size but big in flavour. As a Jewish custom, foods containing oil are consumed during Hanukkah in recognition of the miracle oil that kept the Holy Temple alight for 8 days.
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Recommended Drink: What better to go with donuts than coffee…try the Café Afuch, known as the “upside down” cappuccino
Hailing from the historically rich nation i.e. Greece, this holiday dessert takes very little time to prepare and similarly quite quickly devoured. The egg-shaped cookie, is made with olive oil and honey and dipped in a honey based syrup and of walnuts are sprinkled on top as the final touch.
Recommended Drink: Try an Elliniko Cafe