Haitian desserts are vibrant and delicious with a blend of French, West African, and Caribbean cultures. Sweet treats like Gateau a L’Orange and Gateau Au Beurre clearly have French influence in it. All of them are made with readily available ingredients. However, they are also flavorful by the inclusion of rum or citrus peels. They also have diverse flavors and textures and can be enjoyed any time of the year.
This appetizing fudge-like dessert was first made by Fernand Macos, a Belgian entrepreneur in the town of Petit-Goave. It usually consists of three layers or more, each distinguished by its different flavor and color. The main ingredients going into its preparation are milk, sugar, and butter.
Flavors included in each layer can be chocolate, almonds, citrus peels, vanilla, cinnamon, or peanut butter, alongside red food coloring. These attractive fudges have a soft creamy texture and diverse taste, cut into rectangular slices before serving.
Doukounou is a Haitian cornmeal pudding that does not have any sweetness of its own. Its preparation includes a combination of cornmeal, milk, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, whipping cream, and vanilla extract. The thick mixture is wrapped in small portions in banana leaves and steamed. It is best served with a sugary sauce of cinnamon and vanilla.
Pain patate is a favorite Haitian dessert primarily made with sweet potato. Grated coconut, coconut milk, whole milk, butter, sugar, and ripe bananas also go into its preparation. It is made rich and flavorful by including lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and vanilla. Enjoying the baked sweet pudding with accompaniments like whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes it a perfect way to end any meal.
Gateau a L’Orange is a simple orange cake made with flour, butter, eggs, sugar, orange peel, and orange zest. Additional flavors of vanilla extract and rum are also added to enhance its taste. Before cutting it into slices and serving, the top is dusted with icing sugar. Soft and moist, it immediately melts into the mouth leaving behind the fresh citrus flavor to relish.
Blan Manje is a light Haitian dessert with a coconut milk base. Other ingredients like gelatin, evaporated milk, condensed milk, and vanilla also go into it. Adding a dash of rum makes it extra flavorful. It is served cold with toppings of shredded coconut or any sliced fruits. A summer delight, it has a smooth jelly-like texture with the dominating flavors of coconut.
Tablet cocoye is a popular Haitian street food. Though it can be confused with peanut brittle at first glance, it actually does not contain any peanut. Instead, the main ingredients include freshly grated coconut, condensed milk, cinnamon, and sugar. Sticky and chewy, the toothsome coconut candy is served once it cools down and hardens.
What makes this butter cake different from other cakes is the inclusion of Barabancourt rum, which contributes to its unique flavor. It is typically prepared in a bundt pan with flour, sugar, eggs, evaporated milk, butter, vanilla extract, lime zest, and rum. The simple yet flavorful cake can be enjoyed plain with a glaze of lemon juice, sugar, and butter or even used as the basis for birthday cakes, cupcakes, or other baking delights.
These are some of the lip-smacking Haitian desserts that you can easily and instantly whenever craving for a sweet delight. With the chewiness of coconut and flavors of rum, each of them would stay on the top of your favorite dessert list.
Best Haitian Christmas Desserts: Pain Patate
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