11 Nov2009


When I got my copy of Martinis & Aprons, I bookmarked several recipes that I found interesting, including this recipe for tablea brownies. I have made a LOT of brownies in my 30+ years of baking and always relied on Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate as the base for those brownies. I suppose I should have thought to experiment with tablea sooner, but didn’t. So how did they turn out? Just look at them! They were surprisingly good! And the chocolate, while less intensely chocolately and slightly less dark, was a pretty darned good option at say 1/3 the price. And I already used the most expensive tableas we had in the pantry, from La Resureccion in Binondo!


I liked the simple recipe in the book, and it turned out some very nice brownies. But I will try to futz with the recipe in the weeks ahead to get a version that approximates the brownies I have made for years and years. Meanwhile, sorry to tease, but I am not giving away Mary Ann’s recipe that easily. You will have to buy one of the books to get that and many other interesting recipes. What this means though is that just about anyone with access to good tablea and an oven can now bake brownies in the furthest reaches of the archipelago. Remember, all the net proceeds from the Martinis & Aprons Lifestyle Book will support a very deserving beneficiary… :)



  1. emsy says:

    This looks fantastic…I really want to get that cookbook na, MM. Just looking for a donor I can trick into buying me one. Hahaha

    would you know if these cookbooks are/will be available in other bookstores?

    Nov 11, 2009 | 12:40 pm


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  3. shasha says:

    yahoo! i already got one can’t wait to try it out MM! Thanks for the tip… i love the book and have been flipping it over and over again!

    Nov 11, 2009 | 12:53 pm

  4. el_jefe says:

    Wow how nice…sarap naman nyan and ang galing….very ingenious…I think tablea brownies tastes stronger and better than the regular brownies…before pang champorado lang at chocolate batirol lang ang tablea…ngayon pangbrownies nadin!hehhee..They say that the best tableas comes from davao…is this true? MM..I have a suggestion…How about a Chicken Mole Sauce using tableas? I was actually thinking of using it for Mole Poblana sauce…MM have you tried cooking Mole Poblana before?I hope you’ll share me your version…hehhe…

    MM… I tried your Pipian version this morning for my grandmothers death anniversary….and voila! It was a HIT!!!! But my version has thick sauce since I combined ”bigas” and ”malagkit”..I just thought malagkit would thicken the sauce…I also added a cup of ground squash seeds…and you are right..Kamias or kalamyas as we call it here added a mild sour flavor that compliments the richness of the dish and the smell of apazote…yummy!!! Daghang Salamat MM!!!

    Nov 11, 2009 | 1:28 pm

  5. robin says:

    YES !! FINALLY !! I will be opening up my secret stash of tablea to try this one out….

    Nov 11, 2009 | 2:17 pm

  6. JoannaQ says:

    love the teaser..
    but i love the idea even more!
    galing :-)

    Nov 11, 2009 | 2:49 pm

  7. Jannah says:

    I love brownies . yummy!!!

    Nov 11, 2009 | 5:27 pm

  8. mardie c",) says:


    Nov 11, 2009 | 5:45 pm

  9. Teresa says:

    Oh boy tempation is getting stronger by the minute!! Martinis + Aprons status now moves up to a must buy soon and not wait for Christmas in my shopping list. :) Love tablea.

    Nov 11, 2009 | 6:01 pm

  10. cumin says:

    What a coincidence! I was baking cookies this afternoon and decided to experiment with crushing sweetened tablea in lieu of chocolate chips. Came out quite nice. As Mary Ann Aboitiz-Arculli’s brownie recipe demonstrates, tablea has definitely moved up several notches from champorado.

    Nov 11, 2009 | 6:38 pm

  11. wanderingfoodie says:

    i would love to try that recipe. where can i find it? we have good tableyas in bohol and its organic.

    Nov 11, 2009 | 8:44 pm

  12. Divina says:

    Mr MM. That look really, really good. They are obviously tempting using our every own tablea.

    Nov 11, 2009 | 9:48 pm

  13. aggy says:

    yummm!!! will have to go to the Filipino store to get some tablea…great use of the stuff aside from drinking it :)

    Nov 11, 2009 | 9:52 pm

  14. Vanessa says:

    Marketman, there was a Valrhona tasting at Galleries La Fayette here in Berlin. It was incredible. Tables upon tables of superb chocolate. I think those would make great brownies, too!

    Now, about the poll on the right. I can think of one main reason why shoulders/arms is winning it. We all grew up with these TV commercials of bath soap where the characters would invariably jump into the shower to give the bar a road-test. They’d always start – very enthusiastically – lathering those particular limbs, churning an improbable amount of suds. I think years of seeing the same thing on TV has definitely made an impact on Filipino shower habits! Just my 0.02 worth!

    Nov 11, 2009 | 10:18 pm

  15. mommy says:

    Supper yummy! MM, i bet it smells good too.

    Nov 11, 2009 | 10:51 pm

  16. Olive says:

    hello MM :)

    what?! no recipe? Not even a hint on how to use the tablea even if one (read: me) begs for it? kidding :)..What a great idea using our local cacao product to make delicious brownies!

    Nov 11, 2009 | 11:02 pm

  17. zena says:

    I’ve always wanted to try baking with tablea but never got the nerve to experiment. This is cool.

    Nov 11, 2009 | 11:30 pm

  18. Nina says:

    Wow, another coincidence, I just baked some last night tweaking it by using a mini muffin pan, substituting: water with coffee, butter w/ olive oil plus adding mini Guillard choc chips and meldon salt then topping it with chocolate nibs…….nothing was left this morning!

    Nov 11, 2009 | 11:36 pm

  19. Mom-Friday says:

    I am psyched to try this very soon, I can just smell the tablea! First, gotta buy the book…thanks for sharing!

    Nov 12, 2009 | 12:01 am

  20. sha says:

    hmm never had tablea brownies…. must get hold of the book soon… hello from Athens.

    Nov 12, 2009 | 3:16 am

  21. Connie C says:

    All this talk about chocolate finally got me going. Ran to the cupboard in excitement and took out my pasalubong box of tableas.

    Used my last roll of tablea (Alfonso brand), some fraction less than 8 oz total weight plus two more tableas (Batangas brand), shaved the tableas and melted them in the double boiler with 1/4 cup butter. I noted on shaving that the Alfonso was grainier than the Batangas tableas.
    Followed the marble brownie recipe from this link:


    Result: super yummy, melt in your mouth smooth brownies. I think it is actually better and more chocolatey than using the Baker semisweet chocs.

    You should all try it. With the combination of orange zest, orange juice and cream cheese marbled into the basic brownie recipe, you get brownies with a new twist.

    Cumin, you are absolutely right. Why use Baker’s when our local tableas will do just as well if not better?

    Nov 12, 2009 | 5:46 am

  22. Susie says:

    MM, emailed the link to this post to Mary Anne! I’m sure she will be pleased that you enjoyed her recipe.

    Nov 12, 2009 | 8:31 am

  23. Mary Anne says:

    MM, I am so flattered you put my recipe in your site (which is awesome,btw!) To give credit where it is due, the recipe came from my aunt Mrs. Teresita Mendezona. These are feel good brownies: Support our local chocolate industry and buy the M & A book for charity!

    Nov 12, 2009 | 11:37 am

  24. Marketman says:

    Mary Anne, you are welcome, and yes, we need to find new uses for tablea so all the small manufacturers sell more!

    Nov 12, 2009 | 12:55 pm

  25. Mangaranon says:

    MM — you have to get an Aboitiz cookbook. It is not only elegantly presented by also full of yummy recipes. Fortunately, I have one! It is a treasure.

    Nov 12, 2009 | 6:10 pm

  26. Marketman says:

    Mangaranon, I have one, and did a feature on a couple of the recipes in it. I think you asked me where to get one, in fact. Check comments in this old post. :)

    Nov 12, 2009 | 6:38 pm

  27. betty q. says:

    I don’t have tablea but if I were to do this, I would follow Wahini’s way of making hot chocolate first and letting it sit on low fire to produce a thick concoction like ganache. Snce it is pure cocoa I will increase the fat content (yup, Lee…fat rules!) by increASING THE BUTTER but these days, I have fallen in love with Olive oil Brownies so I will use olive oil instead of the butter or half butter and half olive oil and then top it with CHOC NUT!!!!!!!

    Now, this is truly PINOY BROWNIES with an ITALIAN FLAIR! However…what would it make it more BEEEEETTTTTTTTER is to use COCONUT OIL (made form latik) instead of butter or olive oil…OK…I call first dibs to this Betty Q’s AHA moment Brownies just now!

    Nov 13, 2009 | 12:54 am

  28. cherryo, yvr says:

    Hi Farida,

    Read your query about vanilla paste and Valrhona chocolate. I have seen Valrhona chocolate sold at Trader Joe’s. Not sure if they have vanilla paste but most of their stuff is good quality and their prices affordable. Perhaps check out their store locations from their website. You might be pleasantly surprised. Happy shopping!

    Nov 13, 2009 | 11:19 am

  29. Onie says:

    Great idea for tablea! Maybe I’ll experiment this weekend. I still have some really rich homemade tablea from my mom’s hometown in Daan Bantayan, Cebu :)

    Nov 14, 2009 | 2:09 am

  30. dragon says:

    My first successful foray into baking was chocolate mouse using tablea (imported chocolates were tooo expensive for my highschool allowance). It was ALWAYS huges success until I got tired making it and now I can’t even remember which recipe I used!

    Dec 15, 2009 | 1:31 pm

  31. gene o says:

    ur tablea brownies caught my attention & reminded me of the chocolate cake @ malagos garden resort. they make it from scratch, tablea being the main ingredient. the cake tastes great & the bittersweet character of the tablea makes for a decadent experience. i suggest u try it. :)

    Dec 21, 2009 | 11:17 am

  32. Mr. Devocion says:

    Hi! I am also a lover of Tablea in fact I sell Tablea and I would like to invite everyone to visit our website http://tableadeangelique.weebly.com for more information and if you like to order us, then we are happy to serve you. thanks!
    By the way please send us an email for inquiries.

    Jun 1, 2010 | 5:21 pm

  33. Harley Bulawin says:

    love drinking local tablea here in davao …. my wife is also baking brownies but yours look so different. where can i get the recipe …where & how much is the price? so i can try eating our very native tablea in brownies…hope this week…tnx so much Shalom- Peace!

    Jul 4, 2010 | 10:12 pm


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