Tavuk Göğsü – Chicken Dessert
Tavuk Göğsü means literally chicken breast and indeed it is. This pudding that includes milk, sugar, fine fibers of chicken and is seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla doesn’t taste like chicken at all. This dessert was once served to the sultans living at Topkapı Palace and is now considered one of Turkey’s signature delicacies. It’s absolutely delicious and if you ever have the change to try it you should definitively do so.
Sütlaç – Rice Pudding
Sütlaç is the Turkish variant of rice pudding. You can find this pudding almost everywhere, but you may want to specifically put your hands on the sütlaç finished in the oven (fırında sütlaç) which is even more delicious.
Sıcak Helva: Baked Helva
This dessert is to die for! It’s nothing more than halva mixed with cream and ingredients such as lemon juice, fruit, chocolate, chopped nuts and even cognac, baked for a few minutes in the oven. In Turkey this dessert is traditionally eaten after a fish meal in a restaurant as it removes fish aftertaste completely.
Aşure – Noah’s Pudding
This dessert is also called Noah’s pudding and is served traditionally in the first month of the Islamic calendar, when it is believed the ark landed. Legends say that Noah made this pudding from the last remaning ingredients they had avaialble. It contains wheat, rice, beans, chick peas, sugar, dried fruits and nuts, though the exact fruits and nuts used can vary.
Güllaç – Dessert with Rosewater
Güllaç (from the words ‘güllü’ and ‘aş’, meaning “dish with roses”) is a very delicate dessert that dates back to the early Ottoman Empire. The dessert can be consumed any time of the year, but it’s traditionally a Ramadan dessert as it is light and easy to prepare with only few ingredients. This delicious dessert is one of my favorites and is made with layers of paper-thin cornstarch leaves soaked in milk and flavored with rose water. Usually it contains walnuts or almonds between the layers and is decorated with fresh pomegranate seeds and crushed pistachios.
Kaymaklı Kayısı Tatlısı – Creamy Apricot Dessert
This is a light, not too sweet, fresh dessert that looks gorgeous. Dried apricots are soaked overnight, then cooked in water with sugar until syrup thickens and then split open and filled with clotted cream. They are usually topped with crushed pistachios but also walnuts or hazelnuts.
Künefe – Cheese Pastry
Künefe is a dessert that comes from Southeast Anatolia and dates back to the Ottoman Empire. It is made from a unsalted cheese that is coated in two layers of phyllo shreds called kadayıf soaked in butter and fried until crisp and then sugar syrup poured all over it. Künefe is usually topped with pistachios, but also served with clotted cream or ice cream. It is a meal in itself and I do reccomend you to not think about your diet while eating this (or any other Turkish dessert)!