Ube Waffles with Coco Jam Syrup

This was an experiment that I wasn’t expecting to be a good one, but I guess luck was on my side.

ube waffles with coco jam syrup

Ube Waffles with Coco Jam Syrup
Yield: 8 servings
Prep time: 75 minutes (includes resting)
Cook time: 10 minutes

1/3 cup hot milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup ube jam
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ube extract
2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
coco jam syrup, recipe follows
toasted coconut flakes, for garnish

1. In a measuring cup, combine the hot milk, melted butter, and ube jam until fully incorporated. Whisk in the eggs and ube extract. Set aside.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the warm milk mixture in a slow steay stream. Increase the speed to medium until the dough barely sticks to the bowl, about 7 to 8 minutes.
3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
4. Once doubled, turn on the waffle iron. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Spread each waffle dough in the hot iron and cook until deep golden brown.
5. Serve with warm coco jam syrup and toasted coconut flakes.

Coco Jam Syrup
1 15-oz can coconut milk
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon pandan juice extract, optional

Bring the coconut milk, brown sugar, salt, and pandan extract to a boil in a saucepan. As soon as the milk starts to vigorously boil, quickly reduce the heat and let it simmer over medium-to-low heat while stirring frequently. The sweetened milk will slowly thicken and its color will gradually darken into deep chocolate brown. The jam is ready when a spoonful firms up when cool.

Coco Jam Syrup Recipe adapted from Jun Belen


Baked Macaroni

This is a very popular dish for Filipinos and it’s usually served during Christmas or New Year’s eve dinners. I felt a little nostalgic when I made this…and I am missing my hometown even more.

baked macaroni

Baked Macaroni
Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

1 pound dried elbow macaroni
1 recipe sweet-style bolognese sauce, recipe here
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces neufchatel cheese, softened and cubed
salt & pepper, to taste
cooking spray

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
2. Cook the noodles a little shy of al dente. Drain and toss the noodles with the sweet-style bolognese sauce. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and spread the pasta evenly.
3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Quickly stir in the flour to form a smooth roux. Once the roux is smooth and bubbly, slowly pour in the milk, briskly stirring to make a smooth sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.
4. Season with salt and pepper. Add the ground nutmeg and stir in the cheeses. Whisk until all the cheese has melted.
5. Turn off heat and pour the cheese sauce over the pasta, coating evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the topping has slightly browned.
6. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Serve with garlic toast.

Recipe by JG

Custard Cake

This is a Filipino version of an upside-down cake, but there are no pineapples involved. Think of caramel, custard, and chiffon cake layered into one decadent goodness.

custard cake

Custard Cake
Yield: 1 6-inch cake
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes

For the caramel:
1/3 cup granulated sugar

For the custard:
2 eggs
5 ounces condensed milk
1/3 cup milk

For the cake:
1/2 cup cake flour, sifted
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons milk
1/3 teaspoon lemon zest

For the meringue:
2 egg whites
1/3 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
2. Caramel: Heat the sugar on medium heat in a small saucepan until dissolved. Transfer immediately to a 6×3 round baking pan. Set aside.
3. Custard: In a medium bowl, whisk all the ingredients together just until combined. Pour the mixture on the caramel. Set aside.
4. Cake: In a small bowl, combine the cake flour and baking powder. Set aside. In another large bowl, beat the egg yolks using a hand mixer. Gradually add sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Alternately add flour mixture and milk, starting and ending with the flour, mixing to fully incorporate the ingredients each time. Stir in the zest and continue to mix until the batter is smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside.
5. Meringue: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at medium-high speed until frothy. Gradually add the sugar until stiff and glossy.
6. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the batter, until lightly blended. Gently fold about 1 cup of batter into beaten egg white mixture. Repeat until all the batter has been blended into the egg white mixture. Spread evenly over the custard in the pan.
7. Bake in a water bath for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Move to a cooling rack to cool for 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate then chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, or overnight, before serving.

Recipe adapted from Panlasang Pinoy

Mango Pearls

Every so often, my mom sends out care packages to me. Such a lovely to surprise to find some Philippine mangoes all tucked neatly inside the box. Made me miss my home country even more, though.

mango pearls

Mango Pearls
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

1/2 cup dried small tapioca pearls
1 1/2 cups mango juice
1/2 cup condensed milk
2 Asian mangoes, cut into small cubes

1. Soak tapioca pearls in cold water for 20 minutes. The pearls will expand and turn bright white. Drain. In a medium pot, add about a quart of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the tapioca pearls. Cook stirring constantly until they become translucent, about 2 minutes. Immediately drain in fine-mesh sieve and and rinse with very cold water. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine mango juice, condensed milk, mangoes, and cooled tapioca pearls. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or overnight. Best served chilled.

Recipe by JG


I’ve been missing my mom’s cooking a lot. I’ve tried making this stew thrice and still couldn’t get the same taste as her’s. She says there isn’t any, but I know she’s using a super-duper secret ingredient.


Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours

1 pound honeycomb tripe
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon annatto powder
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, minced
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed clean and cubed
2 whole carrots, scrubbed clean and cubed
1 11-ounce can pork and beans
4 ounces tomato sauce
1/3 cup red bell pepper, seeded and cubed
1/3 cup green bell pepper, seeded and cubed
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a pressure cooker, cover the honeycomb tripe with water and season with salt. Pressure cook for 30 minutes*. Reserve the broth and slice the tripe into cubes when cooled; set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven on medium heat. Add the annatto powder and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook until they’re soft enough to mash, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the tripe, potatoes, carrots, beans, tomato sauce, and one cup of the reserved broth. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. When the vegetables are fork-tender, add the peppers and simmer for additional 5 minutes.
6. Serve hot with steamed white rice.


  • Cooking time varies on the pressure cooker used. Consult your manufacturer’s manual.

Recipe by JG