Dessert of The Week: Ube Halaya Custaroons

Custaroons are smooth, creamy custard confection (similar to leche flan) delicately fused with the richness of coconut macaroon. Yet, when Custaroons and ube halaya are combined together, you get a delightful blend of flavors and textures with the soft Custaroons complementing the rich and sticky halaya. The coconut undertones in both desserts add a nutty, tropical touch, enhancing the overall flavor profile.

Gigi Gaerlan of Gigi Gaerlan Custaroons has been baking for 30 years now and Custaroons has always been her number one bestseller. Her inspiration in whipping up indulgent desserts stems from a variety of sources.

"Firstly, I'm driven by a passion for experimenting with flavors, textures and unique combinations," shares Gaerlan. "It's incredibly fulfilling to explore the culinary world and discover new ways to indulge the senses."

Ube Halaya Custaroons (Photo by Vangie Baga-Reyes)
Ube Halaya Custaroons (Photo by Vangie Baga-Reyes)

Another significant source of her inspiration is her mom, Deedee Rodriguez.

"Growing up, she was the one who introduced me to the joy of baking and creating delicious desserts. Her love for the art of dessert-making, her dedication to perfecting recipes and her unwavering creativity have had a profound impact on my own culinary journey. I strive to honor her legacy by carrying forward her passion and incorporating her techniques and flavors into my own creations."

Childhood memories of baking alongside her mom play a vital role in shaping her dessert inventions. Those moments of shared excitement and the sweet aromas filling the kitchen were deeply etched in her mind.

Chewy Coconut Halaya Bars and Chewy Coconut Bars (Photo by Vangie Baga-Reyes)
Chewy Coconut Halaya Bars and Chewy Coconut Bars (Photo by Vangie Baga-Reyes)

"Through my indulgent desserts, I aim to capture the essence of those cherished times and create treats that evoke a sense of warmth, comfort and nostalgia," she adds.

Other popular treats from Gaerlan's kitchen are the Chewy Coconut Bars, a moist, dense and chewy cake crowned with a coconut macaroon; and Chewy Coconut Halaya Bars, a chewy cake topped with desiccated coconut and infused with ube halaya.

Ube Halaya Custaroons are available at Custaroonery, St. Pio Chapel Compound, E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Bagumbayan, Quezon City. Call 0918-8282929 or email;; FB and IG: Custaroons.

Daily Tribune