Because of the quarantine, my family has rediscovered their love for cooking. My son Franco is selling individually vacuumed-sealed steaks. Very good, I must say. Ali makes baked herb and mustard chicken, and Arturo makes gourmet tinapa and tuyo, both in extra virgin olive oil. My youngest Danielle bakes cookies. I cook a surprise dinner every night. We’re all having fun.
Recently, Danielle asked if I knew anyone who made good ube pan de sal.I get excited when it’s like this, like I’m looking for treasure. One of those who suggested was a friend, Sylvia. Not only did she suggest, she actually got a box for me.
There are many who now make ube pan de sal. It’s become a craze here and abroad. My sister Mariles in San Francisco claims her office mate does a good version. Anyway, I drove to Dodo and Sylvia’s home in Commonwealth, Quezon City. I was handed this purple bread, I bit into it and boom! It was compact, had the mild flavor of ube, but was also moist, not too sweet and just good. As you bite more, a delicious, well-made ube halaya comes out. So the mild taste of ube goes to a more concentrated level.
Then there’s saltiness from the cheese. What a wonderful combination!
I spoke to the maker, Twinkle Azul (tel. 0905-4538469) and had to congratulate her. This ube pan de sal was for my Danielle, but I was worried she wouldn’t get a chance to try it. My other kids also loved it.
The next day, I just had to order more to have enough stock. It was like a pandemada, a combination of pan de sal and ensaymada. Masarap! Baby Pat and Joy San Gabriel make very good versions of this ube ensaymada!
Another discovery I made are from two Danielles.
Danielle is a student/athlete at the Ateneo. Before the lockdown, she was already doing some baking. She bakes two delicious cookies, S’mores and chocolate chip with sea salt (tel. 0917-5555762). Quite good. Another Danielle who’s experimenting in the kitchen is my own daughter. Her cookies were good but some needed more work. One day, she came out with a surprise: ube crinkles with sea salt (tel. 0917-5011596). I encouraged her to offer it as is. It was moist, not too sweet and had a nice contrast with the sweet cookie and rock salt. “Don’t change anything!” I told her.