Without a doubt, the best dessert I came across in Peru was Suspiro de Limena. If you translate the name of this dessert to English, it means something like "Sighs of a lady from Lima". As soon as you take your first mouthful, a sigh will pop out, along the lines of "how will I ever finish this?"
I don't normally post up recipes, but I enjoyed this dessert so much, I just had to put it up. I should warn you though, it's very rich and very sweet, so you don't need much. We made a giant batch of about 35 for our housewarming party a couple of weeks ago, and they all disappeared, which is always a good sign. The recipe is pretty simple, so there's no excuse not to try try it out.
Suspiro de Limena
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
6 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small glass of port
1/4 cup sugar
1. Empty contents of both milk cans in a medium sized, non-stick, heavy saucepan and stir constantly with a wooden spoon over medium/low heat, watching carefully to avoid sticking or burning. After 20-30 minutes, when the milk thickens and coats the spoon and the bottom of the pan can be seen while stirring, remove from heat (the cookbook actually says fire) and let cool for 10 minutes.
2. Add vanilla and beaten egg yolks, stirring briskly, until smooth. Pour in individual dessert glasses.
3. In a separate small saucepan, make a light syrup by melting sugar and port, swirling pan until sugar is completely dissolved.
4. Beat egg whites and gently pour syrup in a thread until meringue holds stiff peaks.
5. Top individual servings of suspiro with meringue (use a piping bag), sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon powder and serve at room temperature.
The recipe comes from Peruvian Cooking - Basic Recipes by Annik Franco Barreau, a terrific Peruvian cookbook which I picked up in Lima. If anyone is keen to get your hands on some more Peruvian recipes, please let me know.
Once you try this, you'll be hooked, believe me.