Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Many of us know desserts to be the last guilty pleasure after a meal. But did you know that before the 17th century in Europe, what we know as desserts were used to cleanse the palate between courses? In many parts of the world, sugar was a rare and expensive ingredient. It wasn't until colonists generated and expanded the production of sugar fields through slave labor that the price of sugar was lowered. By the mid-17th century, cookbooks dedicated to desserts were published. With many different textures, colors, and flavors, here are some of the best desserts that exist around the world. This sweet treat got its name from the politician Eduardo Gomes, who ran for president of Brazil in the 1940s. Brigadeiros, which were inspired by Gomes' military rank, brigadier, quickly became a popular treat sold by women who supported him at rallies. He lost the election, but the bite-sized treat lives on. It is made with condensed milk, butter, and cocoa powder and covered with chocolate sprinkles. In Nigeria, the act of repeating a word twice is deeply embedded in the culture. It is used for clarity and emphasis. Puff puff is deep-fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar in some cases, and it can be served as both an appetizer and a dessert, savory or sweet. When I first think of mochi, I think of the mochi ice cream in boxes sold at Trader Joe's, but that's just the American take on the famous dessert. Mochi is actually a rice cake made from mochigome. This rice becomes glutinous when boiled and doughy when steamed. Water and air are huge factors in the transformation of mochigome to the mochi dessert that we know. Water prevents the mochi from being a sticky mess, and air contributes to the gooey stretch. The word tembleque is associated with the Spanish word temblar, which means to jiggle or tremble. This definitely represents the consistency of this dessert. A coconut pudding, or custard if you wish, templeque is a holiday dessert that has numerous variations throughout Latin America. But no matter where you are, it is best eaten cold. Legend has it that chimney cakes were invented by women in Transylvania during the Mongol invasion in 1241. In order to convince the Mongols that they would outlive them during a stalemate, the women of Transylvania came up with a plan that mixed flour with water wrapped around a wooden stick. This gave the illusion of large portions of bread, but they were in fact hollow on the inside. Starving and disappointed, the Mongols left, and chimney cakes went on to be popular in both Romania and Hungary. This next dessert takes us here to Little Cupcake Bakeshop in New York, home to one of my favorite American desserts. And, no, it is not apple pie. Many people wonder, is red velvet cake simply just chocolate cake with red food dye? And the answer is: not exactly. Though the dessert has cocoa powder as one of the ingredients, it also calls for vinegar and buttermilk. The acidic flavors mixed with the cream-cheese frosting makes for a dessert that is definitely not chocolate cake. The red velvet cake stems back to a marketing ploy by an American food-coloring company. During the Great Depression, in order to boost sales, the Adams Extract company added red food coloring to velvet cake in order to give it the bright, distinct color that we know today. So as demand for the dessert increased, so did their revenue. Banoffee pie is a sweet combination of bananas, toffee, and whipped cream on a thick graham-cracker crust. The word banoffee itself is actually a portmanteau from words banana and toffee. It was invented at a restaurant in Sussex, England, and became world-famous. Yakgwa, meaning \"medicinal confection,\" got its name because honey was known in Korea as healthy medicine. Yakgwa is a deep-fried cookie soaked in honey for six to eight hours. The history of this dessert is tied to special occasions like royal banquets or Chuseok. Though originally enjoyed mostly by the upper class because of the honey, it is commonly eaten today and still served for Chuseok. Soaked in a series of three milks, evaporated, condensed, and heavy cream or whole milk, this dessert is incredibly simple yet deliciously complex. Although people are not entirely sure where the dessert originated, the main consensus is Mexico. It was Nestlé that took the tres leches cake mainstream by featuring the recipe on cans of evaporated, condensed, and cream milk. Despite the marketing scheme, tres leches developed its own cultural significance in families all across Latin America. Stroopwafel is a sweet, caramellike filling sandwiched between two thin waffle cookies and was invented in the Dutch city of Gouda. Gerard Kamphuisen, who is credited as the inventor, took leftover bread crumbs and mixed them with a thick syrup. Warm up the caramel by letting the stroopwafel sit on a cup of coffee or tea before consuming, and you won't be sorry. A Filipino word meaning "mix-mix," halo-halo is a popular dessert in the Philippines made up of shaved ice, condensed milk, and fun sweet toppings like fruit, jellies, beans, ube ice cream, or sweet custard. This sweet treat is derived from the Japanese dessert kakigori. With the mix of Japanese occupation before World War II and the ice plant built by Americans in the Philippines in 1902, it was only a matter of time before Filipinos redesigned the ice treat to make what is known today as halo-halo. The origins of this dessert are a bit murky, with the Catalans saying their crema Catalana preceded France's crème brûlée as well as Britain saying its trinity cream was the first. However, thanks to chef François Massialot, France has the oldest recipe in writing, dating back to 1691. Crème brûlée is a custard topped with sugar that gets torched to create a caramelized, hardened top layer. Unlike crème brûlée, where the curdling, or clumping, of eggs in the custard is the sign of a mishap, baked custard welcomes the slight cooking of the egg. Instead of including only the egg yolk, like most custards, baked custard includes the entire egg and can be served warm or cool, based on preference. Did you know that the correct way to eat a Belgian waffle is with your hands? The Belgian waffle, originally called Brussels waffle, is one of two types of waffles that originated in Belgium. Americans know the Belgian waffle as a delicious breakfast food, but not many of us are actually eating the waffle as it was intended. Belgian waffles are not to be eaten with a knife and fork, but rather with your hands. And no syrup. Maybe fruit or whipped cream at most. Maurice Vermersch was the one who changed the name from Brussels waffle to Belgian, because Americans did not know where Brussels was. Partly influenced by British colonial occupation, this dessert actually has health benefits. Currants are high in fiber; manganese, which helps strengthen bones; potassium; and copper, which helps with metabolism. Trinidadians eat the rolls casually as an afternoon snack or sometimes breakfast. This dessert actually is not pudding at all.