Editor’s Note: This story complements the Culinary Journeys TV series, airing monthly on CNN International. See more of the show here: www.cnn.com/journeys. Share photos of your own Culinary Journeys on Instagram with the hashtag #CNNFood for a chance to be featured on CNN.
Dieticians often talk about the importance of eating your five-a-day.
Easy, just so long as those key nutritional groups are dessert, dessert, dessert, dessert and dessert.
From chocolate-covered strawberries to pistachio-sprinkled baklava, our latest #CNNFood challenge has encouraged sugar fans around the world to show us their favorite delicacies.
Here are some of the best:
Simple sandesh from India
Rajeev Bhadani, who goes by the Instagram name @yummiliciouscooking, describes himself as a chef, food consultant and recipe developer.
His homemade sandesh is a Bengali dessert that’s popular in India and abroad.
There are many variations but it’s simple and can be made from just three ingredients: sugar, chena (paneer) and cardamom powder.
These are kneaded together – the milk is curdled and separated from the whey – and then refrigerated for a few hours.
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Sweet and syrupy in Turkey
Posting via @epicurean.anoesis, Jonathan Chu showed us his baklava.
A sweet, rich pastry dessert with chopped nuts all held together with syrup or honey, baklava is eaten and enjoyed in Turkey and the Middle East.
It’s perfect by itself or combined with a small cup of strong Turkish coffee.
Due to its richness, small portions are usually quite enough.
Chocolate brownies are enjoyed all over the world.
Self-confessed “happy wanderer” @cdipinto has recreated this classic comfort food in Porto Alegre in Brazil.
Perfectly round and, by the looks of it, perfectly crispy on top.
Italian ice creams
Although not homemade, it was hard not to include at least one ice cream concoction in our dessert list.
Instagram user @brianna.nicolex bought this signature cone from Cioccolati Italiani located behind the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy.
“The cone is coated with a layer of melted chocolate on the inside and then is topped with two layers of dark chocolate gelato with a layer of almond gelato in the middle,” she says.
“The finishing touch is a swirl of meringue and a waffle disk.”
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Strawberries in summer
Another summer favorite: strawberries.
A Frankfurt local with Asian roots, @matchamichi created another simple classic.
The only ingredients needed are freshly picked strawberries and melted chocolate.
The chocolate-dipped strawberries are then frozen to create a cooling dessert for a hot summer’s day.
A blonde brownie from Qatar
Instagrammer @shailaja.rajeev in Doha, Qatar has shown us another way to make brownies.
These golden or “blonde” brownies were baked using unsalted butter, light brown sugar, egg, vanilla essence, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
The blondies are then drizzled with what appears to be chocolate sauce.
Although lesser-known than the chocolate brownie, blondies are similar to their siblings in texture and just as tasty.
From London to Lagos
Lagos-based @myburntorange created a “quintessentially South African” dessert with her own twist.
“I have created an ‘as-paleo-as-possible sugar-free malva pudding’ using almond flour, egg, butter and sweetener,” she says.
“I also played with the story of the origin of malva pudding, said to have emerged in the 1970s at a party. The word Malva is also the Afrikaans name for geraniums… hence the addition of rose-colored petals.
“I am a complete sucker for ginger too and incorporated stem ginger at the very top.”
Malva pudding is usually served with a buttery toffee sauce, but for this recipe, “I took it a step further by making an Amarula liqueur toffee sauce (an alcoholic drink made with marula fruit, which grows abundantly in Botswana).”
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Grilled banana in South Vietnam
Taking on a popular Vietnamese dessert, Instagrammer @matchamichi has made chuoi nuong – a grilled dish made of banana, coconut milk and sticky rice.
It is, Michaela says, “crispy, smoky and fragrant” and best enjoyed with a lightly sweetened creamy coconut sauce and roasted peanuts.
“If you are new to Vietnamese snacks or dessert, this banana treat is a must to try.”
Visiting Vietnam? It can be easily found on sale from street vendors.
Guilt-free Kenyan cheesecake
Not all desserts need to be bad for you.
Instagram user @kaluhiskitchen in Kenya asked the question: “Can we indulge, enjoy and eat cheesecake guilt-free?”
The answer is: Maybe.
This orange and white chocolate no-bake cheesecake replaces the crushed biscuit for the base with Oatibix, a popular cereal, because “it has a lower amount of salt at just 0.01g. What a win.”
The base mix also uses desiccated coconut and butter. The cheese filling is white chocolate, cream cheese and an orange.
It’s then topped with an orange compote made from oranges, sugar and a cup of orange juice.
Apparently the cereal base “has high fiber making you fuller faster,” meaning just a small piece will do.
The recipe, on the blog Kaluhi’s Kitchen, can be found here.
Kaluhi writes: “You can indulge without overdoing it.”
We’ll take her word for it.