Leche Flan, Bibingka, Ube Haleya, Ensaimada, atbp.!!!


Here is a convenient run-down of desserts you might want to make during the holiday season. Over half of Market Manila’s readers have been visiting the site less than 6 months so I figure many of you haven’t seen all of the entries in the archives and these are some of my favorites that I have personally cooked in the past… Ube or purple yam season is peaking on the island of Bohol and the intense color of this ube haleya or jam makes it a perennial holiday favorite in our home. With the right starting ingredients, you too can make a spectacular haleya. Leche Flan figured as the most sought after pinoy dessert in my list of the Top Pinoy Desserts Poll that I ran a few months ago. There are so many variations of this recipe but almost all are pretty good…there’s nothing like egg yolks, milk and sugar to put you in a good mood. My favorite version uses carabao milk with a hint of citrus peel. Pastillas de leche and/or Pastillas de Ube are also favorites and these simple but utterly delicious candies are imbedded in our memory banks from childhood…

A well-made cassava cake is to die for. Though you can buy several superb renditions of this dessert, I found that making it at home was super easy and incredibly rewarding from a taste perspective. Bibingka is close by with that nice warm cakey confection imbedded with red egg and/or salty quesong puti (carabao’s milk cheese). Not many folks still have the contraption to cook a bibingka at home but why shouldn’t you have one? A rich Visayan Torta or perhaps even some artery clogging yemas are another option. For something cold you might consider a classic halo-halo (particularly popular with visiting balikbayans and so easy to put an impressive buffet spread out at home), a refreshing buko pandan or a mango and sago dessert. Also, how can I not mention bananas in all their glorious incarnations? There is banana-que, turon and maruya. And the ultimate Christmas confection/merienda staple/dessert – the Marketmanila ensaimada, the good old-fashioned way… Enjoy these sweets from the archives!


12 Responses

  1. favorite christmas morning ritual: pastillas de leche spooned out of the jar, chased down by a cup of tablea chocolate…mmm!(but my kids always prefer the leftovers from the cheese platter the night before)…

  2. We went to the Philippine Embassy christmas bazaar here in Canberra 2 week ends ago.They had food stalls there all the time(that’s why we go) but this year they had the most yummy turon!I must have gorged myself silly with turon halo halo ang pork barbeque.

    I know I can make this at home but it’s different eating it with other pinoys and listening to pinoy christmas carols.

    I was kicking myself when i got home as I forgot to buy more to take home heheheheheeh.

    And by the way,the halo halo had ube ice cream topping.

  3. somebody or someone pinch my singit so i could wake up, this is too much for someone diabetic person that I am. woke up in cold sweat. watz dat real or wut? huh!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Just read your recipe on leche flan and good on you that you use carabao’s milk. As a kid, I used to drink the unpasteurized version of this stuff which came in Magnolia Choco-Vim bottles with a banana leaf stopper. I lived through that though I have to say that today’s “cleaner” version doesn’t seem to be as good. I guess that’s why they say that raw milk cheeses are far superior to the pasteurized ones.

  5. “Au secours” Help, MM i wanted to bite my pc seeing all those food…wahhhh! You made us miss the country!

  6. i’ve been a lurker here in your site for sometime now. seeing the scrumptous food here always makes me hungry even if i’ve just eaten lol.
    i miss all the food back home!!! yan pang mga favorite ko ang feature mo ngayon–leche flan, bibingka, turon!!!!! i miss the Philippines!!!

  7. I’m on Cloud 9 just browsing through your treats. I feel like I am in fantasy land surrounded by the fairy godmother with her magic wand. I can have all these throughout the year. Ensaimada is a treat for me in the morning to perk me up for the rest of the day with tsokolateng baterol – ground peanuts, cocoa and carabao milk. I cannot say no to all these kakanins. I love them all.

  8. Thank you for providing us with a recap of your favorite “kakanin” recipes. The accompanying photos are wonderful. Although reading your posts and seeing the photos further intensifies the longing for home in my heart, your efforts also cure my homesickness. “Bulong sa kahidlaw”, as we say in Ilonggo. “Daw mapuli na gid ko.”
    I find it ironic that before migrating here I would crave for imported chocolates and ice cream. But now that we live here, they’ve lost their appeal to me and my ultimate comfort food is maruya or banana Q at the nearest Goldilock’s.
    Friends here share my preferences that during potluck parties the native kakanins ran out way faster than the western goodies. And Filipinos flock to the June fiestas (partly to see Willie and the Wowowee girls) but more to gorge themselves on the many Filipino food sold. I long for the day when I can eat halo-halo brimming with lots of ube halaya and leche flan, and served in a real tall halo-halo glass and not a plastic cup.

  9. The ube variety from Bohol, also known as “kinampay”, makes the best halayang ube. I’ll even settle for boiled and skinned “kinampay” with sugar and freshly grated coconut.



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