Ube Halaya Cream Puffs

  I’ve been wanting to make homemade ube halaya for a few years now.  Ube halaya is a Filipino dessert made up of a purple yam, sugar, and a couple of dairy products.  It’s sticky, pasty, and has a very distinctive flavor.  I refer to ube as the vanilla of the Philippines, but that’s just me.  It’s just yummy, especially when you add the milk or cream and the sugar.  I’ve found them shaped into bars or just bottled like jam.  The only times I’ve eaten ube halaya is on top of halo-halo, an iced Filipino dessert.  I love how … Continue reading Ube Halaya Cream Puffs

Ube Olive Oil Cake

  Now, that I’m getting older I like to incorporate my Filipino heritage into my baking.  There’s no better example than the ube cake.  When I was a little girl, I have countless memories of eating it.  Sometimes, I thought it was too much.  The color of the cake itself is almost like a neon purple, really deep in color.  The only way I can describe the scent is that of vanilla.  Over the years, my family has become more American, and now the go-to cake is chocolate.  From time to time, I like to go to the Filipino bakery and … Continue reading Ube Olive Oil Cake

The Silent Rantings of a Lost Baker

I miss baking. I miss everything about it. I miss how my whole body would ache after a day in the kitchen. I miss having a wet towel tucked under my apron ties, and being aware that it’s wet because I washed my hands so many times that day. I miss feeling my fingertips glide through a cake turntable, as I frost a cake. I miss having small, random burns on my arms and fingertips, which I considered signs of fortitude and toughness. I miss my shoulders aching and my legs being numb from standing for so long. I didn’t … Continue reading The Silent Rantings of a Lost Baker

Rice Flour Tea Cake (Bibingka)

There are different versions of this cake, including one with salted egg and cubes of cheese sprinkled on top. It’s that combination of salty and sweet that makes this cake delicious. Fresher is always better, but you may substitute any of the ingredients that are available in your local grocery store. I used frozen coconut milk, sweetened grated coconut, and frozen banana leaves, and the results were acceptable. This recipe is adapted from Filipino Cuisine by Gerry Gelle. The original recipe is for a 9″ x 13″ baking dish (@ 250F for 2-3 hours). You may use any baking dish … Continue reading Rice Flour Tea Cake (Bibingka)

Pick Me Up

I remember the first tiramisu recipe I came upon. I was in college and I just discovered my love for coffee. I think around that time Martha Stewart had a cooking show, so of course I looked at her website. Back then, it was a new site, with no ads and the website would load easily, but now that’s no longer the case. I actually never made her version but here’s a version I made from a baking book (it makes me cringe to call it a cookbook), Extraordinary Cakes, based in San Diego. I hope to go there one … Continue reading Pick Me Up