Monday 9 July 2012


All hail to halo halo, the stuff that Filipino dreams are made of. You might scream for ice cream but if you were Pinoy (Filipino), it is halo halo that you will always hanker for. Halo means to stir and halo halo means an assortment. It is a dessert with as many ingredients (all individually cooked in syrup) as you could name at the bottom, topped with shaved ice,  then crowned with a dollop of ube jam (purple yam jam), a slice of leche flan (creme caramel) and if you can still take it, a scoop of ice cream. All of that is drizzled with evaporated milk then served to you as is so you can grapple with stirring the ingredients. The ingredients can include canellini beans, azuki beans, chick peas, macapuno (coconut sport), kaong (palm seeds), nata de coco, sweet jackfruit, sweet bananas, sweet potato in syrup, sago, leche flan, haleya and puffed rice. 

Classic halo halo.
Like ice cream sundaes, it is something best had in a restaurant or food stall because preparing it takes so much effort. If you are in the Philippines, there is no problem as it is served everywhere. When I see a halo halo station in a buffet restaurant, I have to exert a lot effort not to start with that. 

Halo halo station at a buffet restaurant.
If you are living abroad like I am, you might be pleased to know that there are  shortcuts to making halo halo. First of all, ditch the ice shaver. Put crushed ice in a beaker, add evaporated milk and blitz. I find it easier to fill glasses with this first then adding the toppings. You can buy all the halo halo ingredients in one jar or buy them separately. I like making my own to make sure that it tastes right. I buy tinned cooked, unsalted cannelloni beans and chick peas. I drain and boil then on low heat in syrup for 5 minutes then leave to cool to absorb the syrup. 

I chanced upon Rachel Ray's version of halo halo and I do approve of her healthy twist. It tastes good, has more nutrients and fewer calories. If you do get the itch to make halo halo, but want a fresher and lighter version, then this is for you.


2 cups of crushed ice
1/2 c. evaporated milk
1/4 c. condensed milk
1/4 c. strawberry jam
1/2 c. cooked tapioca pearls
fruits such as strawberries, peaches, bananas, blueberries


Wash prepare and cut up the fruits. Put the ice, evaporated and condensed milk in a beaker and blitz. Divide into 4 bowls or glasses. Top each with a selection of fruits, 2 tbsp. of tapioca pearls and 1 tbsp. of strawberry jam. Serve immediately.

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  1. beautifully presented colourful desserts

  2. Wow, I loved your description. All those options have my mouth watering. Beautiful photos Adora:)

  3. Beautiful halo halo! But I'll prefer to try the classic version instead because I can stop drooping at the ube jam and leche flan! :P

  4. That is what I call buffet of yum! This hot, hot weather, I could use your halo halo Adora.

  5. I love the fruit halo halo, it is so cute.

  6. I love this! I enjoyed several cold, sweet treats with tapioca pearls, fruit and coconut milk when in Thailand. I know that this would be most refreshing!!!!

  7. I haven't yet tried Halo Halo and I've seen so many yummy posts about it. There's buffet section dedicated for Halo Halo? That must be exciting - I might go straight to that station before main course. Looks like a fantastic dessert for summer!

  8. What a beautiful dish - and something I have never heard of.


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