A Fascinating Glimpse at Medieval Desserts

The word "dessert" originated during the Medieval era. Desserts back then were obviously different to the types of desserts we have now and it is interesting to find out what was typically served for dessert in the Middle Ages.

Aged cheese and mulled wine was served after almost every dinner and, by the later part of the Medieval era, sugar-, honey- or syrup-covered fruits were also served. Sugar was viewed as a drug as well as a sweetener. Having been recently introduced from Europe, it was considered a luxury item and added to all kinds of dishes, even savory ones. Only the rich could afford sugar however.


Flans and tarts were well loved in medieval times and it is thought that rice pudding also dates from that era. A lot of these dessert recipes are still around today and some have not changed very much at all. In fact, today's jello cheesecake is not that dissimilar in flavor or texture from a medieval jam-topped cheese tart!

A Fascinating Glimpse at Medieval Desserts

Other Well Known Middle Ages Treats

Sugar-topped crepes, fritters, and sweet custards were popular medieval desserts. Darioles, which were eggs and almond milk in a pastry shell, were served, and fried dough or pastries with sweet fillings was popular in Germanic areas. Almond milk was used in desserts more than cow's milk because it stayed fresh for longer.

Marzipan was popular in southern France and Italy by the early 1300s and it is thought to have originated from the Arab regions. Tarts with cherries, plums, apples, and strawberries were well known and flower petals like violets, roses and elderflowers were used as a garnish for medieval desserts.

Wafers and waffles were enjoyed with cheese in the north of France and candied ginger with aniseed, coriander, or other spices was served at the end of a meal to aid with digestion.

Recipe for Medieval Tart with Custard

This creamy and flavorful tart was popular in France in the Middle Ages. You can make it without the crust if you prefer. If you want to do that, use a double-boiler instead of a pie dish. The combination of nutmeg and cinnamon was popular in medieval times. Other popular spices included saffron, cloves and ginger.

You will need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 pie crust
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Butter and flour, for the pie dish
How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Bring the sugar and milk to a boil in a pot, then let it cool down. Stir the water into the sweetened milk, then return it to the heat and keep stirring it until it reaches a boil.

Beat the eggs, and then stir them into the milk. Grease and flour a pie dish. Roll out the pie crust and put it in the dish, then pour in the egg mixture and bake the tart for half an hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

A Fascinating Glimpse at Medieval Desserts

It can be fun to make old fashioned recipes but sometimes you might want to make something quick and easy, which is where jello comes in very useful for making delicious desserts like jello cheesecake, jello pies and much more.

We Don't Make the Products We Just Make Great Desserts with Them!

French Ice Cream Sundae Desserts

French ice cream sundaes might include any combination of flavors, sorbets, syrups, nuts and even alcohols. There really is no limit. However, there are some popular combinations that you are quite likely to find on the menu if you visit an ice cream parlor (glacier) in France. These classic sundaes are easy enough to reproduce at home. Add on a fancy French name, and you will have an elegant dessert ready in no time.

If you do decide to serve your dessert with a French touch, do not forget to top it with one or two rolled "cigarette" or fan shaped cookies. Their slightly sweet, crispy crunch is the perfect accompaniment to a cold and rich French sundae.


Chocolate Liegeois - Chocolate and vanilla ice creams, chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and shaved chocolate.

French Ice Cream Sundae Desserts

Coffee Liegois - This is the same as a chocolate liegeois, except coffee substitutes for the chocolate.

Coupe Antillaise - Here the flavors are supposed to be Caribbean. Many times this means vanilla and rum raisin ice cream, topped with pineapple and whipped cream, but other combinations of rum and fruit are possible.

Coupe Tutti Frutti - A combination of different sorbets (for example, pear, peach, or pineapple) with different fresh fruits (for example, strawberries, grapes, melon, or pineapple), topped with whipped cream and fruit syrup.

Coupe Colonel - Watch out - the colonel has a bite! Lemon sorbet topped with vodka.

Dame Blanche - Just a simple vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate sauce and whipped cream. The elegance is all in the name.

Peche Melba - This was invented by the renowned French culinary authority, Auguste Escoffier, in testament to his admiration for Nelly Melba, who was a popular turn of the 20th century Australian opera singer. Vanilla ice cream, poached peaches, and raspberry sauce. These days you are likely to find your peche Melba topped with whipped cream as well.

Poire Belle Helene - Another cold dessert inspired by the opera - this one commemorates the presentation in 1864 of La Belle Helene, an operetta by Jacques Offenbach. Vanilla ice cream, poached pears, and chocolate sauce.

Profiteroles - This is not a sundae, but you will find it frequently offered on the menu in a French glacier. Cream puffs are typically filled with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce.

French Ice Cream Sundae Desserts

Kim Steele publishes Easy French Food, a website dedicated to bringing you all the elegance of French food, without a lot of fuss. Stop by EFF, where you'll find lots of French Dessert Recipes, including this cream puff recipe - just what you need to make your own profiteroles.

Fun Holiday Desserts You'll Love

There is nothing more exciting than sitting down at the table with your family during the holiday season and enjoying a great meal - followed by a great dessert. But after years of hosting your family's holiday parties, your relatives can often begin to predict what you'll make each year. "Let me guess ... lemon meringue pie" or "We can always count on your pound cake." Instead of being the predictable party host you've been for years, or even decades, why not add some flair to your menu with these fun and unique holiday desserts?

Honey Cake Pudding


Honey Cake Pudding is well loved by many and is one of the unique holiday desserts with origins in South Africa. With more of a bread pudding consistency, it is sweet like cake and tastes great with ice cream or custard. The ingredients include traditional cake items such as flour, butter, milk, sugar, baking soda and eggs, but what makes it stand out from other cakes is its use of liquid honey. Instead of baking it in a cake pan, it is baked in a bowl, and when is retrieved from the oven, the ingredient mixture creates a consistency that is gooey in the middle with a golden crust on top. Yum!

Fun Holiday Desserts You'll Love

Gingerbread House

Making a gingerbread house is a wonderful way to get the children involved in making holiday desserts for the family. Creating one of these unique little houses gives your entire family a chance to exercise their creative muscles, and the final product is one to be treasured forever (or at least a month). To get your children excited about gingerbread houses, show them pictures of the final product - they look so tasty no one can resist. Then make the shopping trip to buy the ingredients a family event. They'll love it!

Making a gingerbread house is traditionally a two-day project (unless you buy a gingerbread house kit, which has recently become widely available) so prepare yourself for lots of baking, a big mess, and a great deal of fun. The first day of the project is spent baking the house and the second day will be spent in the decoration phase, which is the best part. You can cut out all sorts of fun shapes to represent doors, windows, trees and much more, and buying fun candy like M&M's, Tootsie Rolls and Candy Canes for the house's decorations will ensure that your children will have some munchies to snack on as a reward for their hard work. If you'd prefer to preserve the house for guests to see you might be disappointed to find everyone wants to tear into the tasty treat. If this is the case, take some great pictures and have a blast eating the house - it wasn't going to last forever anyway, right?

Orange and Lemon Ice Treat

Not your traditional cake our pie, orange and lemon ice is a mix between a drink and a treat making it one of the more unique holiday desserts out there. It is considered to be a gourmet blend, so when you present this unique delight to the family they'll feel very special. The dessert is made, of course, with real lemons and oranges, but what really makes it stand out is its use of Grand Marnier. The addition of lemon rind and sugar makes it a fabulous option for the family.

Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake

This is one of the tastiest holiday desserts on the list! Filled with gooey caramel and sweet and crunchy pecans, you and your family will fall in love with this cheesecake. The preparation time for this dessert is about 45 minutes and the actual baking time is 30 minutes, so you need to set aside at most an hour and a half to make sure it turns out right. But trust me, it's worth the time. The full list of ingredients include caramel squares, evaporated milk, chopped pecans, cream cheese, sour cream, milk, and chocolate pudding in a chocolate pie crust, which means the children will be all over it - and so will you.

Caterpillar Cake

This is another fun option to add to your list of holiday desserts. Your children will have a ball working with you to create this fun cake. You start by getting 12 snowball cupcakes for the caterpillar parts and red or black string licorice with gumdrops for decoration. Arrange the 12 cupcakes on a baking sheet then attach the licorice as legs and the gumdrops as eyes, then bake until done - very easy and fun!

Carnation Famous Fudge

I know you're thinking, "How dare you bring us another chocolate recipe?" But you have to admit, chocolate is a staple of holiday desserts (and if it isn't, who cares?). The cool thing about this dessert is that it can be made by using items in your kitchen such as Carnation evaporated milk (hence the name of the recipe), Nestle chocolate chips, margarine, and marshmallows - you can also add butterscotch and other fun tidbits to give it that extra flair. But the best part of this dessert is the guarantee that if you didn't shock and amaze your family with the other holiday desserts on the list, you will with this great fudge treat!

There are tons of other holiday desserts that can tickle your fancy, and I suggest you search and search until you find the right ones! But hopefully one of the treats will make your mouth water enough to consider making it for your family. When the time to cook rolls around, you will already have so many aspects of the meal to worry about, that being able to remove holiday desserts off of your list of concerns is a welcome surprise. And it's possible that when you taste one of the very tasty treats above you won't want to go back your lemon meringue pie and pound cake. Give one or more of these great desserts a try - I'm sure you and your family will not regret it.

Fun Holiday Desserts You'll Love

Jeffrey Meier at Jam727 Enterprises at http://www.thearticlehome.com blog offers even more detailed information on a wide variety of topics.

A Short History of Desserts

Sweet desserts have existed since the beginning of mankind. It is now enjoyed by people throughout the world in variety of flavors. In the past, only the affluent society folk could afford it while the ordinary people could only enjoy it on special occasions. Advancement of sugar production allowed its more extensive spread and at much more affordable prices to customers. People enjoyed desserts worldwide because of the increased supply of sugar.

Desserts are thought to have originated from a custom to remove the aftertaste of a meal with a sweet taste as they leave the mouth with a sweet flavor. The name confection is derived from a French word 'desservir' which means to clear the table. Thousands of dessert varieties exist today. Ice cream, cakes and pies are some of the popular desserts that have been present around since ancient times.


The origin of ice cream dates back around the 4th century BC, the Roman emperor Nero had ordered his followers to gather ice and add fruit toppings for his dessert. A Chinese king named Tang developed an early form of ice cream by combination of milk and ice. Ice cream was brought back by traders to Europe. Ice cream continued to evolve during history and recipes were soon developed for serving the French and Italian aristocracy.

A Short History of Desserts

Ice cream was introduced in America in 1700s. Many states offered ice cream as a dessert. It was served to guests by distinguished figures like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Dolly Madison. A caterer from London advertised in a New York paper in 1774 announcing his intentions to sell ice cream in his stores.

The word 'cake' is derived from an old word 'kaka'. The first use of word 'cake' was documented by the Oxford English Dictionary in the 13th century. Cakes eaten in ancient times were very different than today. Early cakes resembled with bread and honey and flavored with dried fruit and nuts. Early Egyptians were the first who used advanced methods in baking. Medieval Europe baked gingerbreads and fruitcakes as desserts. Advancements in baking and availability of cooking ingredients helped in the development of cakes. Round cakes with icing resembling with today's cakes were introduced in the mid 17th century. Modern cakes with baking powder and white flour were used for the first time in the 19th century.

Pies originated as dessert in Neolithic Period in 9500 BC. They were known as galettes which contained honey and different grains, it was baked on hot coals. The origin of pastry was an addition of bakers fruit, honey and nuts for serving the pharaoh. Drawings relating to this practice are decorated on the tomb of King Ramses II. Changes often occurred in the making of pie because of different ingredients and conditions.

Pie recipes were brought by Pilgrim women to America which was used by the Native Americans. A tradition of using round pans for pies were started was started by colonial women. Pies became a part of American culture in the 1700s as it was served as desert by pioneer women. Apple pie became a popular evening dessert for the American children.

A Short History of Desserts

You might also be interested in learn the detailed history of Desserts and also history of Pink Floyd.

Christmas Desserts - Make Them With Splenda!

Before we begin "dishing" out some Christmas dessert recipes, let us talk about Splenda.

What is Splenda?
Splenda is a sugar substitute. It gained popularity in 1998 when the United States Food and Drug Administration approved it for use in commercially prepared baking products. Sixty other countries have followed the initiative of the American FDA.


Rose Reisman, who wrote Secrets for Permanent Weight Loss (Whitecap Books, 2005) describes Splenda as a better choice sweetener. It contains sucralose which is the only sweetener made from sugar and the only sweetener that is not associated with health problems. It is not digested as a carbohydrate, so diabetics need not worry about experiencing a surge of insulin levels.
People who have used Splenda say that one advantage it has over other sweeteners is that it retains its sweet taste even when heated.

Christmas Desserts - Make Them With Splenda!

Christmas Desserts Using Splenda

You may come across recipes that don't say Splenda; instead they will say "sucralose." They're one and the same. Splenda is available in most stores and come in tiny, yellow packets.

Recipe # 1: On a cold Christmas Eve morning, what better way to wake up sleepy heads with the aromatic smell of Pear Muffins coming straight from the oven?

Pear Muffins

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: yields 12 muffins
Canola oil
2 cups self-rising flour
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cup sucralose
2/3 cup skim or low fat milk
2 eggs
2 ripe pears
Peel and mash the pears and set aside.

Prepare your muffin pan by greasing them with canola oil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine self-rising flour and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the sucralose. In a separate bowl, blend together milk, oil and eggs. Combine this mixture with the flour mixture. Add the mashed pears. Blend all ingredients well. Spoon the batter into 12 individual muffin holes.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

These muffins can be stored at room temperature and eaten the next day, but they are best eaten the same day!

Recipe # 2: Who doesn't love New York-style Cheesecake? It is such a popular dessert that food stores and supermarkets now sell it frozen, but why spoil the spirit of Christmas by serving frozen food? Make this recipe and turn it into a labor of love. The children, grandchildren, cousins and uncles will love you for this New York-style cheesecake made from scratch!

New York-Style Cheesecake

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 12 individual servings (recipe is not for a whole cheese cake)
1-3/4 cups Ricotta cheese
3 oz light or low-fat cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
2/3 cup Splenda
3 tsbp lemon juice (preferably fresh)
3 tbsp all purpose flour

For garnish: your favorite berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries) and icing sugar.

Line your muffin pan with muffin paper cups. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Soften the cream cheese and combine with the ricotta cheese in a food processor. Add the sour cream, egg, vanilla, lemon juice (and zest), flour and Splenda. Make sure mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour into individual muffin holes.

Put the muffin tin in a larger pan containing hot water. The hot water must come up to 1/3 or halfway up the sides of the muffin tray. Put in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, take out the muffin tray from the larger tray. Set aside and let cool. Refrigerate for an hour or two. Top with garnish before serving. You can use the berries as they are, or you can mash them so they cover the top and glide on the side.

Recipe # 3: Spent the whole day in the mall for Boxing Day specials and forgot about dessert tonight? Here is a recipe for a chocolate cake. Most of the ingredients are probably already in your cupboard so no need to dash out again.

Simple & Quick Chocolate Cake

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 6
1-1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sucralose
Pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp hot chocolate powder mix (any hot chocolate mix will do)
1 tbsp vinegar
8 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup water (or 1 cup skim milk, if you prefer)


Sift the flour, baking soda, sucralose, salt and hot chocolate powder together. Add the rest of the wet ingredients. Blend well. Pour into an 8 inch round baking pan. Bake at 350 degree F for 30 minutes. Let cool and serve with your favorite topping.

Note: Instead of icing, you can use English devonshire cream. Spoon a few tablespoons into the dessert platter, enough for a slice of cake to sit on. Also, if you have left over slivered almonds or crushed walnuts, you can throw them into the batter.

Christmas Desserts - Make Them With Splenda!

Mike Cole is a freelance writer who writes about fitness, health and dieting. Mr. Cole also writes about specific ingredients and products such as sugar-free cooking and Splenda.

Chinese Desserts

Chinese Desserts are not the same as the American or European desserts which are served separately after a meal. They consist of sweet dishes which are eaten with tea as a snack or are served along with a meal. Owing to the long history of China and presence of numerous cultures, a wide variety of Chinese Desserts can be found in China.

A wide variety of ingredients that are used in the East Asian cuisine such as glutinous rice and sweet bean pastes are used in preparing these desserts. Candies or sweets which are called "tang" in Chinese are popular desserts which are usually prepared with honey, malt sugar and cane sugar. A famous Dessert from the Chinese cuisine is rice cake which is referred to as "guo" or "gao" in Chinese. Rice cakes are generally chewy and soft rice balls which are sweet in flavor. Rice cakes are sweet rice balls which are chewy and soft. Jellies collectively known as "ices" in Chinese are also eaten as desserts. Chinese jellies are generally fruit flavored gelatin products. Another popular Chinese Dessert is "tongsui" or "tiantang", as called in Cantonese, which are basically hot soups with a sweet flavor.


Wheat flour baked confections which are prepared by baking and are called "bing" in Chinese are also served as desserts in the Chinese cuisine. Though desserts forms an integral part of the Chinese cuisine, still Chinese cuisine is known for its spicy main course dishes rather than its desserts all over the world.

Chinese Desserts
Chinese Desserts

For added information on Chinese recipes and other global cuisines please look at the ifood community at Chinese Recipes. Those interested in Chinese Dessert food can take a look at Chinese Dessert Food

Pound Cake - Ten Easy, Quick, Scrumptious Desserts Made With This Dessert Staple

If you have a pound cake on hand, you have the basic ingredient for easy, scrumptious desserts that can be ready in a matter of minutes. Why, you can even offer several dessert choices to your dinner party guests -- a sure fire way to impress even the most discriminating diner.

First make your cake using your favorite pound cake recipe. There are many tried and true combinations, but most recipes consist of pretty basic ingredients. If you are not a baker, you can always purchase one ready made, but homemade is always best.


Once you have baked and cooled your cake, you are now ready to serve up a variety of sweet temptations.

Pound Cake - Ten Easy, Quick, Scrumptious Desserts Made With This Dessert Staple

  1. For the chocolate lover, drizzle a slice of pound cake with your favorite chocolate syrup, pop in the microwave and heat about 30 seconds, or until the syrup is hot enough to melt ice cream. Remove from the oven, top with your preferred ice cream and enjoy. Nuts may be added if you wish.
  2. In this variation, an old, time-tested dessert is reinvented with pound cake. For a quick pineapple upside down treat, generously spread a slice of pound cake with softened butter. Top with a tablespoon (more or less) of dark brown sugar and sliced or crushed pineapple and a cherry. With the prepared cake in an oven proof container, place under the broiler of a conventional or toaster oven and heat until the sugar is bubbly and the pineapple slightly golden. Be sure to keep a diligent eye on the heating process to prevent burning. Remove from the heat and immediately top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  3. If you prefer a fruit-based dessert, try these cobbler type variations. Purchase your favorite fruit pie filling (blueberry, apple, cherry). In a saucepan or microwave, heat the pie filling to a very warm temperature. Top a slice of pound cake with the warm filling and finish with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. Nuts or crushed crispy cereals may be added for extra flavor and texture.
  4. One of the easiest pound cake-based desserts is strawberry shortcake, although there is nothing "short" about this cake! Top a slice of pound cake with fresh, sweetened strawberries or sweetened whole frozen strawberries. Add extra strawberry syrup to soak into the cake for a more lucious result. Top the strawberries with Cool Whip, whipped cream, or ice cream.
  5. If you love the taste of Snickers bars, try this. Over the pound cake slice, pour caramel topping, add chocolate chips and chopped salted peanuts. Heat in the microwave until warm. Chocolate chips should be soft, but not completely melted. Serve with or without an ice cream or whipped cream topping.
  6. Everyone loves peanut butter and jelly. Mix together your favorite jelly and peanut butter. Spread to desired thickness on cake slice. Warm in the microwave and top with ice cream or whipped cream.
  7. For another peanut butter treat, try the Reeses spin on pound cake. Combine your favorite peanut butter with chocolate chips and follow the directions above for the Snickers treat.
  8. Coconut lovers will love this one. Mix equal amounts of Eagle Brand milk with cream of coconut. Warm pound cake in microwave. Pour 1-2 tablespoons of Eagle brand milk and cream of coconut over warmed cake slice. Let cool. Cover with Cool Whip and shredded coconut and refrigerate. Best if made a day ahead.
  9. An elegant chocolate trifle always adds a crowning touch to a meal. For this dessert, prepare two 3-ounce boxes of chocolate instant pudding according to package directions. In a trifle bowl, layer medium chunks of pound cake, pudding, crumbled Heath or Butterfinger candy bars, and Cool Whip until all pudding is used (about 3 layers). Finish with Cool Whip and chocolate curls (if desired). Refrigerate until time to serve.
  10. And lastly, try the easiest one of all. Serve a slice of pound cake with purchased or homemade ice cream...always a crowd pleaser!

Pound Cake - Ten Easy, Quick, Scrumptious Desserts Made With This Dessert Staple