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British puds with an Arabic Twist

British puds get a local twist in Dubai

Here in Dubai, it's possible to get hold of foods from almost every cuisine you can think of; it's no effort at all to eat your way around the world here, and that goes for desserts too. Sometimes you'll hanker after desserts that are made just as they would be in their country of origin, but at other times, it's good to try those classic dishes that have been given a local twist.

Sometimes, the origins of some desserts become difficult to unpick, so embedded have they become in other cultures and cuisines. Take baklava, for instance. One person might think of baklava as being a Greek dessert, but to someone else, it's a Lebanese speciality, and to others it's an Armenian one.

And it happens with other national dessert dishes too. Brits tend to think of apple pie as being British, but we've all heard the expression "as American as apple pie". Of course, claiming nationality for a dessert isn't what's important; it's how it tastes that counts. We've focused in on which British puds and cakes have been given a local twist right here in Dubai.

1. Apple pie

At Gourmet by Kcal, international dining is on offer, with dishes as diverse as Mezzeh Platters through to Vib's Goulash Soup. The dessert menu includes banana sushi, strawberry cheesecake and fudge brownies. There's also the classic British dessert, Apple Pie. However, the addition of almond and coconut in the pastry crust gives it an altogether different flavour to the type of apple pie and custard you might expect to be served in the UK. The custard element is still present in this dish, though, with a generous helping of vanilla sauce on the side.

2. Custard tart

If you've ever had a British custard tart, you'll have a certain taste in mind when you order one. Be prepared for a surprise (albeit a pleasant one) if you order Lemon Ghewar Tart at Peppermill in Festival City. This Indian restaurant's take on custard tart seems like quite a distant cousin to the British custard tart. A fried milk lattice is covered in lemon custard, which is infused with flavours of rose and black pepper kulfi.

3. Bakewell tart

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One dessert that's a veritable British institution is Bakewell tart. Traditionally, this is a pastry shell lined with jam and topped with a frangipane sponge and toasted almonds. The Bakewell tart cheesecake at Life'n One draws on the same subtle flavours but transforms the tart into a cheesecake, topped with raspberries and chia seeds. One taste and you'll see Bakewell tart in a whole new light.

4. Sticky pudding

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While the Brits may lay claim to having invented sticky toffee pudding, the version on the menu at Avec is a little different, but just as comforting. Their Sticky Date pudding may not feature toffee like the original version, but it is served warm and deliciously sticky with an extra portion of caramel sauce and vanilla ice-cream on the side. Great to order when you've had a bad day, and want all your worries to go away!

5. The archetypal British cream tea

There's nothing quite as traditional a British dessert as a cream tea. And while variations on a theme are always welcome, sometimes you hanker after the real deal, the original. When you order a Smith's Cream tea, that's exactly what you'll get. Along with a freshly baked scone, you'll get some jam and clotted cream to load it with. It gives you a feeling of being in the UK without having to travel there. A cup of tea is the perfect drink to go with this taste of British life.

Has all this talk about dessert made you hungry? Choose your favourite British dessert at Deliveroo.

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