Category Archives: Cakes, Pastries & Desserts

Brazo de Mais small

Brazo de Mais

I am more familiar with Brazo de Mercedes which my mom often baked but Chef Sau del Rosario shared a different twist to this all time favorite dessert at a recent cooking demo for The Maya Kitchen’s Elite Culinary Series.

The “corn-like look” of the meringue is a delight but wait till you taste the filling. Try this recipe

Brazo de Mais small

For the Meringue:
8 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
¾ cup sugar
3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

For the Filling:

8 egg yolks
1 cup canned corn kernels, drained
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup condensed milk
1 tablespoon MAYA Cornstarch, dispersed in 1 tablespoon water


For the Meringue:

Preheat the oven at 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and grease with butter. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add sugars gradually while continuing to beat until the mixture stands in stiff peaks. Do not overbeat. Spread meringue evenly on prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until top is medium brown. Allow to cool.

Tip: To give the meringue a “corn-like look”, use a piping bag and shape the meringue into strips, making small contours that would look like corn kernels when baked.

For the Filling:
In a sauce pan, mix the egg yolks, corn, vanilla, and condensed milk. Cook over low heat while stirring constantly. Thicken with cornstarch slurry.

To Assemble:
Sprinkle the meringue with confectioner’s sugar then top with wax paper. Flip the baking sheet and remove the wax paper lining. Spread the mais filling on top of the egg white, then roll.

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Baked November 25, 2014

A taste of home: My Golden Fruitcake recipe

Update: Use the banyo maria or Baño Maria (or bake steaming) to prevent over-drying of your fruit cake.

December 2013
December 2013

It’s the time of the year when one needs to plan for the holidays. As early as September, I already know what to bake for Christmas. A childhood memory that never fails to remind me of the Christmas season is Fruitcake. I used to bake a lot of fruitcake in the past but the girls never really got around to acquiring a taste for it. They preferred the Gingerbread Man Cookies because of the story behind it , after I bake the first batch.  It must have been the empty nest that inspired me to start baking Fruitcake.  The memory of my mom baking this every Christmas season gave me so much comfort. The aroma of the fruit cake adds to the festive spirit of the season.

I am also surprised that more and more people are raving for fruitcake. I see it in my facebook wall. In the past, friends hated it when they were given a fruitcake. It was only last year that I started baking two batches. Two good friends received my fruitcake because I was sure they appreciated fruitcake. This year, I showed the fruitcakes that I baked in Facebook, and I was again surprised that some even wanted to buy. Maybe next year, I will bake a few for sale. At least, I will be prepared to buy the ingredients at wholesale prices.

Anyway, fruitcake flavor is best when it has been aged for a few months in a cool place (preferably the refrigerator in the Philippines). Ideally, one month of storage is a to bring out the best flavors. I know others age starting January. I should try it too.

golden fruitcake slice

Fruitcakes taste better with age. This is called “ripening.”

For those of you who want to bake Fruitcakes for the Holidays, here is a recipe which I call Golden Fruitcake. I’ve modified this based from my mom’s original fruitcake recipe. My Golden Fruitcake does not have a strong taste of brandy nor is it too sweet. Anyway, there’s a lot of preparation so make sure you run down the list carefully.

Here is my Golden Fruitcake recipe

Prepare 2 loaf pans (a 8.5×4.5 pan) or 5 loaf pans (6 x 3 pan)  or a combination of both


I buy most of my ingredients at Chocolate Lovers in Quezon City (see Facebook Page)

1 Cup butter (I use Golden Crown)
1 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
4 large eggs (1 cup) or 5 medium eggs
3 cups all purpose four
1/2 cups flour (to dredge fruits and nuts)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
5 Tablespoon prune juice
3 Tablespoons Molasses
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (mix in molasses)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 cups nuts (Combination of walnuts, pecan, cashew, pili or almond slivers)
1 1/2 cups dates
1 1/2 cups fruit glaze (combination of local and imported fruit glaze)
1/2 cup cherry brandy

Extra Cherries, fruit glaze,nuts for decorating on top of cake
Cherry brandy to brush top of the cake (use wine or even a fruit juice of your choice)


Fruit Mix

1. Soak fruits in 1/2 cup cherry brandy overnight.
2. Drain the fruits for 1 hour. Set aside.
3. Dredge fruit and nuts with 1/2 cup flour so they won’t sink in batter. Shake off excess flour and use in the recipe.

Preparing the Baking pan

1. Don’t use waxpaper.
2. Use thick cellphane (1 piece only) and use enough to cover the cake after baking.
3. You can also use aluminum. More messy but more sure.


fruit cake batter

1. Heat oven to slow.

2. Cream Shortening and add sugar slowly until fluffy.

3. Beat in egg one at a time, beating after each addition until light.

4. Blend Flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg.

5. Stir in alternately with milk, molasses, juices and vanilla beginning and ending with flour.

6. With 1/2 cup flour. add to fruit mixture.

7. The batter is then mixed to the fruits. Add the nuts on top of the batter.

8. Put batter in cellophane lined or aluminum lined pans (4 pans)

9. Bake for one (1 1/2) hour to 2 hours at 300 F. ( But do check the temperature based on the pan you use. Never bake beyond 325 F)

bano maria

IMPORTANT: To prevent dryness in the fruit cake, use the banyo maria. Place the pans in a larger pan containing an inch of water, the result of which is bake-steaming the fruit cake batter.

10. At 45 minutes baking time, remove pans from oven and decorate top with cherries, nuts and fruits.

11. Cover pan with overlapping aluminum foil to prevent burning.

12. Bake one hour or so until done. Test for doneness by placing a metal/wooden skewer in center of cake. If it comes out clean, cake is done. Be careful not to over bake.

13. Always cool fruitcakes completely in pan and remove when cold.

After Baking

  • Keep cellophane or aluminum intact with the cake
  • After baking and the cake has cooled down, brush the top of the cake with cherry brandy
  • Wrap the whole cake with the overlapping cellophane or aluminum , then more aluminum foil to cover the whole cake ending with colored cellophane.
Baked November 25, 2014
Baked November 25, 2014


1. It’s important to drain the fruit mix for 1 hour. This is because alcohol destroys the cake batter.
2. Nuts are not placed in the batter; rather it is placed ON TOP of the batter. I still mix in the buts anyway. I use a combination of nuts.
3. Never use peanuts but do use pili, cashew, walnuts, or black walnuts.
4. The batter is mixed to the fruits so that the emulsion in the batter is not destroyed.


1. Once a week, brush the cakes with more liquor/cherry brandy. (or wrap the fruit cake with cheese cloth soaked in liquor)
2. Seal the cakes in plastic wrap or in plastic storage bags.

Yield: 2 loaf pans (a 8.5×4.5″ pan)

5 loaf pans with 6 x 3 pans
In another batch  I had 3 cakes 8 x 3 and 1 cake 6 x 3

I have 5 recipes for fruitcake but based on my past experience, the above recipe gave me the best results.

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Leche Flan Recipe

leche flan

The original leche flan recipe was from my Mom but my sister Lorna reconfigured it to fit her tastes.

The perfect flan is such that when you slice through it, it barely quivers like jello. There is very little syneresis, that is, no weeping (or lots of holes in it!). I am sharing this precious recipe so you may prepare it for your family.

5 eggyolks
2 eggs
1 can condensed milk
1 can water (use the condensed milk’s can for measuring)
1 tbsp. vanilla to add to the mixture
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup sugar for caramelization

  • Get a pyrex loaf dish (or equivalent oval, square, or round dish).
  • Caramelize 1/3 cup sugar in it. Use your oven. When the sugar is starting to melt, make sure that you watch carefully. You don’t want the caramel to be too dark or it will taste burnt. Manipulate the dish until you are sure that the caramel is evenly placed on the bottom of the pan. Let the pan rest on the stove top.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

These are the cooking times:

For the first 45 minutes: 325 degrees Fahrenheit
For the next 20 to 25 minutes, until the toothpick test shows that the flan is done: 350 degrees Fahrenheit

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Ube Halaya or Jalea de Ubi

ube HalayaUbe (Purple Yam) Halaya is one of my favorite desserts that I remember with fondness. Mom often prepared Ube Halaya in a pyrex dish. I liked the natural purple color instead of the bright purple color that I often see in commercial ube halaya. The best ube comes from Bohol because of its aromatic fragrance and sweetness. Perhaps, this legend explains the gift granted to the Bohol Ube Kinampay. Kinampay is a kind of ubi, the most expensive kind yet there are many varieties that are named Kinampay. The Bohol Ube Kinampay can be found in Dauis, Panglao, Tagbilaran, Corella and other southwestern towns of Bohol.

Granting you have the Bohol Ube, here is a simple recipe of Ube Halaya prepration. There are many variations that use coconut milk and evaporated milk but I use condensed milk.

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How to bake and decorate Christmas Sugar Cookies

Baking sugar cookies are not my cup of tea. It’s labor intensive. I’d rather bake bar cookies because they are so much easier. You dump all the dry, wet, mix and voila, one gets a yummy cookie. Not with sugar cookies. Whenever I bake sugar cookies, my kids know it’s a labor of love. It’s the love that makes me continue on with this tradition even if they are now adult children. Let me share with you the Christmas Sugar cookies that have been a continuing Christmas tradition for the past twenty years in my family. You can even prepare sugar cookies weeks ahead before you give them to your friends and relatives. Just store them in a cool, dry container.

If you are located in Manila, Philippines, you don’t have to go far to Divisoria to buy your ingredients. You can purchase at Chocolate Lover.

NOTE: The Christmas Sugar Cookie recipe can be used only for your personal use and cannot be posted in your website, blog or any other site, form or means without my WRITTEN permission

Ingredients for Cookie dough

4 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup soft butter
2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


1. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, nutmeg, and salt.
2. In a large bowl combine butter, sugar, eggs and flavoring.

3. Cream on Speed no. 7 for 2 minutes.

4. Turn to speed no. 3.
5. Add milk and flour mixture gradually beating until blended (3 minutes)
6. Refrigerate dough until easy to handle
7. Set oven to 375 F to preheat
8. Grease Cookie Sheets
9. Roll dough on lightly floured board (Tip: in this case, I rolled straight onto the cookie sheet)

10. For crisp cookies roll to 1/8 inch thick
For soft cookies, roll to 1/4 inch thick

(Note: I prefer crisp cookies because I can hang them on garlands)

12. Cut with floured cookie cutter

13. Place on prepared cookie sheets, brush with milk (optional)

(note- since I rolled it on the cookie sheet, it makes dough handling easier)

14. Bake at 375 F for 10-12 minutes until edges become light brown

15. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on brown paper or paper towelling.

Some of the cookies tend to burn easily if the rolled dough is thin.

YIELD: 10 dozen 1/8 inch thick cookies

Icing for decoration

3 Egg Whites (1/3 cup)
3 to 4 cups Confectioners Sugar
(this yields around 4 cups of icing which you can use for Christmas cookie decorating)


1. Beat egg whites until stiff.

2. add 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

3. Add confectioner sugar until well blended

To decorate

You will need sprinkles, icing and imagination. I assume you know how to use an icing tip. If not, then I will have to teach it in another entry.

Prepare sprinkles. I buy my sprinkles from “Chocolate Lovers”

Just outline the shapes, or ice and add sprinkles

After the icing has set, I wrap the cookies individually and hang them on the Christmas garlands

I am not an expert in decorating cookies. For more ideas , watch this video:

Contact address of Chocolate Lover– to buy baked ingredients

45 P. Tuazon Blvd. corner
C. Beniztez St. Cubao
Quezon, 1109 Philippines

(632) 411-7474
(632) 724-5752
(632) 724-4964

[email protected]

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The Gingerbread Man Cookie Recipe

Every Christmas season, I bake “Gingerbread Men Cookies” for my children. Even if they are much older now, the memories and the aroma of molasses, cinnamon and other spices give them a warm cozy feeling. It’s one reason that I’ve continued this tradition year after year. I will share this recipe with you if you want to bake it too.

This recipe is modified for a tropical climate. The original recipe requires immediate rolling after the dough has been made but our tropical heat just makes it gooey to handle.

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Food For the Gods

It’s that time of the year when I plan the baked goodies that I plan to give as gifts to my friends. Food for the Gods is such a delightful recipe to bake during the holidays when one doesn’t have the time to bake Fruit Cake. It entails less preparation and baking time. It’s the perfect dessert to prepare beforehand. Baked with a delightful blend of dates and walnuts, molasses, tinge of brandy and cinnamon, the taste is reminiscent of fruit cake sans the fruit glaze. You should try it. It’s simple to bake. Your kitchen will also emit holiday aroma that gives you more reason to keep baking and baking.

Here is my recipe to start you off baking a dessert fit even for gods.

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Wickedly-tasty Halloween recipes

Next to Christmas , Halloween has got to be the most awaited holiday for my growing kids. During those internet-less days, I scrounged around for ideas from magazines just to make Halloween day wickedly fun. I served food with orange color themes, and even decorated my home with pumpkins and ghouls. After the trick or treat fun, my kids and their friends often troop to our house for culminating party. Now here is where one needs to be creative and present a frighteningly Delicious Halloween Spread.

I am sure a lot of moms out there want to think of creative ways to spice up their celebration. Let me share you some wickedly tasty goodies especially created by The Maya Kitchen. Chocolate cupcakes get bright orange icing then topped with melted chocolate webs and hair-raising spiders. Hotdog waffles get dipped in rich chocolate syrup and rolled in chocolate crumbs. Colored sweet gums create impish grins and devil eyes. A round chocolate cake is ringed by fondant-covered ghouls cookies with open mouth shriek and haunting eyes.

Halloween in 1991

These recipes will entail some basic knowledge of baking .


1 package MAYA Oven Toaster Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix 230g
¼ cup butter
1 piece egg
1 tablespoon water

Buttercream Frosting:

¼ cup butter
¼ cup shortening
3 ½-4 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup milk
½ teaspoon vanilla
Orange food color
Halloween inspired candy decorations
Melted chocolate (for web)

Preheat oven and line 3-ounces muffin tins. Set aside. In a bowl, cream butter until fluffy. Add egg and water. Mix in the brownie mix until well blended. Pour the mixture into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 350°F/ 177°C for 10-15 minutes or until cake is done. Cool and set aside.

Prepare Frosting:

Beat butter and shortening until well mixed. Alternately add the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until creamy. Divide mixture into two portions. Tint one portion with orange color and the other portion to remain as is. Set aside.

To Assemble: Fill pastry bag fitted with desired tip with icing and pipe out icing on top of each cupcake. Decorate with Halloween inspired candy decorations on top or using web stencil trace it using melted chocolate to create Halloween chocolate web.


1 piece egg
2 tablespoons oil
¾ cup water
1 package MAYA Chocolate Hotcake Mix 200g
cocktail hotdogs, cooked
popsicle sticks
chocolate syrup
prepared chocolate crumbs (from left over brownie or chocolate cake)
assorted colored candies and licorice

Lightly grease and preheat waffle maker. In a bowl, beat egg then add oil, water and hotcake mix. Stir just until blended. Pour in little amount of hotcake mixture into waffle maker then put cocktail hotdog and pour more hotcake mixture to fully cover hotdog. Cook waffle until done. Set aside. Do the same procedure with the remaining mixture. Set aside to cool. To Assemble: Insert popsicle stick at one end of each waffle dog then dip into chocolate syrup, remove excess syrup. Cover waffles with chocolate crumbs. Create mummy face using assorted colored candies. Serve.


1 piece egg
½ cup water
3 tablespoons oil
1 package MAYA Oven Toaster Chocolate Cake Mix 200g

Butter Cream Frosting:

2/3 cup egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
black food color

1 dozen Prepared ghost cut-out cookies

Poured Fondant:

9 cups confectioners’ sugar
½ cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 375°F/ 190°C. Grease and line 8 inch round pan. Set aside. Prepare Cake: Combine egg, water, oil and chocolate mix until well blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake until done. Cool and set aside.

Prepare Frosting: In a bowl, mix egg whites and sugar together over a simmering water. Whisk gently until egg whites are hot. Transfer mixture into a mixer bowl and beat in a high speed until thick and glossy. Then at low speed add butter and shortening one at a time. Add in vanilla extract and beat until well incorporated. Tint frosting with black food color. Set aside.

Prepare Poured Fondant: In a bowl, over simmering water. Mix all ingredients until well combined, smooth and warm.

To Assemble: Cover cake with butter cream frosting. Set aside a little of cream frosting. Get your cut-out cookies and fully cover with poured fondant. Cool and set aside. Decorate cut-out with ghost face design using reserved butter cream frosting. Use cookies as decors around the cake.

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Pork Barbecue, Filipino Cooking Style

Pork barbecue is a fast selling food item. It’s easy to cook and convenient for the hungry customer. The only thing I dislike about grilling the pork barbecue is the smoke. In our old neighborhood, I told the maid to grill just outside the gate. Now some passerbys often think we are selling barbecue. Hehe, maybe I will sell them one of these days. Anyway, I prefer my barbecue to be a bit sweet. Here’s my recipe for Pork Barbecue Marinade:

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