Noche Buena brings the best food to the table. This, of course, includes the creamiest and most indulgent desserts. Do you remember your nanay or lola busy in the kitchen, making desserts of all sorts for the Christmas Eve spread? When it comes to Pinoy sweet treats, the ones below have endured the test of time. Learn how to make them and pass them on to your kids, too.
If we left anything out, share with your favorite Christmas family dessert at the comments below or send us a message in Facebook.
1. Buko Pandan
Young or old, buko pandan holds a special place in every Pinoy's heart. It's hard to resist taking a scoop of this cold and creamy dessert. Plus, it's easy to make as well. Make a big batch because you can bet a lot of guests are taking seconds. See how to make it in the video above.
One of the best things about Simbang Gabi is the smell of freshly baked bibingka in the crisp morning air from vendors who only seem to come out in December. Suprise your family and make this Christmas treat at home. This version is baked in the oven and can easily be recreated with a handful of pantry staples.
2 cups rice flour 1 cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 (400-ml) can coconut milk 2 tablespoons butter, melted 5 large eggs, beaten Salted egg slices, to top
We still remember nibbling on broas and graham crackers while watching our mothers prepare this Pinoy favorite dessert. Another crowd-pleaser, this mango cake needs no baking. You can freeze it or place it in the refrigerator to keep its soft and fluffy texture. Makes 6 to 8 servings
300 grams broas or ladyfingers 1 tea bag earl grey tea 2 cups hot water 4 teaspoons white sugar juice of half a lemon 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, crushed 100 grams butter 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped into stiff peaks 4 large mangoes, cubed 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
Uncomplicated but always welcome at the Noche Buena feast is this easy-to-prepare Pinoy panna cotta and gelatine dessert. Perfect for Christmas with its festive colors! Do you remember helping your nanay make this as a child?
Makes 2 5x8-inch squares
For the gelatin squares 3 packs different flavored powder gelatin (preferably different colors) 3 cups hot water 1 1/2 cups cold water
1 cup water 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin 1 cup water 350 ml evaporated milk 500 ml all-purpose cream 1/2 cup sugar
Our lolas know how to make suman so why can't we? It's not as difficult as it looks afterall. Perk up your sticky rice cakes with a chocolate center and serve with coco jam or slices of mango.
6. Leche Flan
Here's another must-have dessert on the holiday spread. This soft, rich and creamy Filipino custard only needs four ingredients but can be a little difficult to perfect so have a few test runs before the big day. Makes 4 servings
1/2 cup sugar 12 pieces egg yolks (large eggs) 1 can sweetened condensed milk (300 ml) 1 can evaporated milk (370 ml)
Like adobo, every Filipino family has their own version of fruit salad. Even so, every recipe has three basic ingredients: fruit cocktail, buko juice and milk (whether evaporated, condensed or all-purpose cream). If you want to try something new with your recipe though, try adding buko pandan. Watch the video above to see how.