Durian season in Singapore typically falls between June and September and fans of the fleshy, strong-smelling fruit have their favourite varieties and vendors. For those who are bored of eating the fruit in its natural form, there’s a wide variety of desserts that are made with durian and durian paste. Traditional treats such as durian pengat (a creamy dessert of durian pulp and coconut milk) and good ol’ durian ice cream are a dime a dozen, so we’ve sniffed out a few more unconventional confections for the adventurous.
1. Durian Salat from Chalk Farm
This dessert is the perfect marriage between the Peranakan dessert kueh salat (a two-layered cake of coconut and pandan custard over sticky rice that’s tinted blue by butterfly pea extract) and the king of fruits. Chalk Farm’s durian salat (S$13 per slice, or S$165 for a 2kg cake) uses only the flesh of Mao Shan Wang or Wang Zhong Wang durians, considered premium varieties, for a rich and decadent custard layer that’s nicely balanced by the sticky and slightly salty glutinous rice underneath.
2. Durian Mile Crêpes from Classic Cakes
The classic French mille crêpe gets a durian makeover at Classic Cakes. Here, layers of thin crêpes are interspersed with pastry cream and a pure D24 durian filling (S$90 for the whole cake). The flavours are aromatic without being overpowering.
3. Durian Galaxy Ice-Cream Roll from Goodwood Park Hotel
Durian fans look forward to Goodwood Park Hotel’s annual durian fiesta (until 10 August, 2020) for its novel confections featuring the finest quality durians (only premium D24s and Mao Shan Wangs are used). This year’s highlight is the creamy ice-cream roll (S$15 per piece or S$62 for the roll, available at The Deli) – house-churned durian ice cream is encased in a delicate sponge roll that’s bright blue, to mimic a galaxy cake.
4. D24 Summer Dream from Goodwood Park Hotel
Another creation this year from Goodwood Park Hotel is an elegant cake of durian pulp and sponge cake layers topped with jelly studded with grapes, blueberries and edible flowers (S$72 for a whole cake, S$12 for a slice). The summery toppings make a nice contrast to the rich D24 durian.
5. Mao Shan Wang Tiramisu from Sinpopo Brand
Sinpopo’s specialities are its locally inspired desserts, and the durian-flavoured take on the tiramisu is a bestseller for good reason. Here, pure Mao Shan Wang durian paste and mascarpone cheese are layered with coconut finger biscuits. The result is a rich, creamy and decadent treat sold in a conveniently lidded glass jar for S$19. Try the Cat Mountain King durian cake (from S$58) as well, in which Mao Shan Wang cream is served between gluten-free cake layers made with black glutinous rice flour.
6. D24 Durian Yogurt from from Yanmi Yogurt
A delicious and healthier alternative to bubble tea, Yanmi Yogurt’s fresh yoghurt drinks will satisfy your sweet tooth – they’re made with imported Australian yoghurt, and the usual tapioca pearls are replaced with chewy purple rice imported from Mojiang, China. Try the D24 durian yoghurt drink (S$5.50), which consists of D24 durian paste and probiotic-rich yoghurt that is rich in vitamin B1, vitamin B2, folic acid and protein.
7. Durian Éclair and Strudel at Sunlife
This family-run bakery is helmed by a former SIA cabin crew member. Wendy Quek has helped her family’s durian puff business evolve from a heartland bakery to one whose confections are available on numerous online platforms. Its unique creations include a durian strudel (S$3 onwards), with 100% D24 durian paste layered between flaky puff pastry, a chewy Japanese-style D24 durian mochi (from S$7.50) and durian éclairs (S$7 for six mini éclairs), where the typical French-style crisp choux pastry is filled with pure D24 durian and glazed with chocolate.