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10 Most Delicious Filipino Desserts
Simply Delectable Desserts in the Philippines
Filipino desserts possibly have something really important to do with the generally sweet nature of most Filipinos.
Notwithstanding typhoons, earthquakes and countless difficulties of living in the Philippines, Filipinos almost always find solace, if not joy, in Filipino desserts.
As sugary as the Filipinos’ character and as rich as their culture, Filipino desserts come in different sizes, colors, and presentations.
They are usually served in the Philippines as the last part of the meal, giving Filipinos a sense of fullness they need to go on working for the rest of the day.
They are also eaten for merienda or the customary snacks eaten in-between breakfast and lunch or lunch and dinner.
Oftentimes, though, they are eaten randomly, satisfying the Filipino indulgence for something simply sinful yet heavenly, sweet yet yummy.
There are plenty of mouthwatering Filipino desserts that it is quite impossible to include them all in just one list. Below, however, are possibly the most delicious Filipino desserts.
1. Leche Flan
Arguably the superstar among the heavenly Filipino desserts is leche flan, a sweet, rich, and luscious Filipino dessert similar to the world renowned crème caramel.
Leche flan is commonly served during special occasions in the Philippines like fiesta or feasts, Pasko or Christmas, and Bagong Taon or New Year.
This Filipino dessert is prepared by mixing and steaming egg yolks, sugar, evaporated milk, and condensed milk in medium-sized oval-shaped aluminum pans called llanera.
As simple as the ingredients seem, cooking up the perfect – smooth in texture, syrupy, chrome yellowish in color – leche flan, however, requires plenty of practice and plain expertise.
In the ruthless heat of the tropical Philippine weather, Filipinos count on one divine Filipino dessert to keep them cool – halo-halo.
In fact, in the unforgiving summer days in the Philippines in the months of April and May, every other neighborhood street corner is likely to have its own halo-halo stand.
Halo-halo got its name from the word local word halo, which means “mix.”
To make halo-halo, Filipinos mix shaved ice; sugar; varied sweetened fruits like beans, garbanzos, sugar palm fruit, sweet potato, silky coconut, banana-like plantain, corn, mung beans, and jackfruit; and other ingredients like coconut gelatin, agar-agar gelatin, and tapioca pearls.
The whole concoction is then topped off with leche flan, haleya ube, sorbetes, pounded crushed young rice, and evaporated milk.
Halo-halo is usually served in tall glasses or large bowls.
Popularly peddled in the street of the Philippines is the Filipino dessert sorbetes, the Philippine adaptation of the world-popular ice cream.
Unlike most ice creams, however, sorbetes is made from local coconut milk and not the usual cow’s or animal’s milk.
Sorbetes comes in different flavors – mango, cheese, chocolate, ube or purple yam, and strawberry – and colors – yellow, brown, violet, and pink.
It is served in wafer or sugar cones, cups and even in bread buns.
4. Puto Bumbong and Bibingka
Inescapably linked with the Christmas season are the Filipino desserts bibingka and puto bumbong, which Filipinos feast on after attending the traditional Catholic midnight masses that precede Christmas day.
What makes these Filipino desserts special is that they are loved by people from all walks of life. They are sold as street foods in the Philippines to cater to the common people but also offered as a treat in five-star hotels and high-end restaurants for well-heeled customers.
Bibingka is primarily made of rice flour, coconut milk, and water, which are placed in banana leaf-lined terra cotta containers that are then heated on coals.
Puto bumbong, on the other hand, is steamed glutinous rice – puto – that is cooked in bamboo cylinders – bumbong.
5. Pastillas de Leche and Yema
Yema is custard candy made of condensed milk, egg yolk, and sometimes butter. Its ingredients are simply heated, mixed, and then cooled.
Pastillas de leche, on the other end, is made by boiling milk and sugar together until they are thick. It is then cooled and formed into mini logs by hand before being rolled into sugar.
Both Filipino desserts can be individually packed in paper or cellophane.
6. Ginataan or Guinataan
Made with gata or coconut milk, ginataan refers to various kinds of dessert and viands. Thus, its literal translation in English is “made with coconut milk.”
The most popular among the many kinds of ginataan is ginataang halo-halo, a dessert that is a mixture of coconut milk, sugar, sweet potato, taro, purple yam, plantain, jack fruit and tapioca pearls.
Ginataang halo-halo is best served hot during the Philippines’ rainy season.
7. Mango Float
This frozen Filipino dessert features one of the most popular and well-loved fruits in the Philippines – mango!
Mango float is made by stacking up as many layers of classic graham crackers, thinly sliced mangoes, and condensed milk as possible in a rectangular container.
It is then chilled until it becomes frozen.
8. Ube Halaya
Ube or purple yam grows abundantly throughout the Philippine archipelago and so Filipino try to make use of it as much as possible. They make them into desserts called ube halaya.
Ube halaya is prepared by boiling, peeling, and grating purple yam. The grated meat is then placed in a pan over low heat, continuously mixed with fresh and evaporated milk, and then flavored with sugar.
The resulting texture is sticky and rich, excellent enough to be a favorite dessert.
9. Buko Pie
Buko or coconut is abundantly grown in the Philippines and has served so many uses, one of which is being used as an ingredient for desserts.
A traditional Filipino dessert of baked young coconut pie is buko pie, which is made with coconut meat.
Unlike other pies, buko pie does not have custard fillings or meringue swirls. It, however, uses condensed milk, making it absolutely thick and filling.
10. Sans Rival
A Filipino dessert that literally means “without rival” is sans rival or sansrival, a flavorsome frozen treat that is made of alternate layers of crispy meringue and buttercream and then topped off with cashew nuts.
This Filipino dessert, yummy as it is, can be a bit complicated to prepare and therefore requires some practice to make.
Copyright © 2011 Kerlyn Bautista
All Rights Reserved
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