Tag Archives: Philippine pastry

#320 Biscocho

The Philippine biscocho is obviously derived from the Spanish original. In the Philippines ‘biscocho’ is usually toasted left-over bread topped with butter or margarine and generously sprinkled with sugar. It can also be a week-old butter cake bread that is toasted and hardened.

Biscocho (Spanish for sponge cake) has prompted the Filipino version which has now become a popular pastry snack. There are even biscocho houses or stores in central Visayas particularly in Iloilo and Negros provinces where this pastry is a favourite food souvenir item. With its sugary crust and toasty crunchiness, biscocho is often paired or eaten with coffee, tea or warm chocolate drinks. An old-fashioned way of eating bischocho is to dip the crust in the coffee or choco drink to soften the crusty bread.

Bon appétit!

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#293 Piaya

Piaya (pronounced as “Pee-A-YAH”) is a flat unleavened bread filled with mozcovado (raw) sugar. A product of the Negros provinces, sugar capital of the Philippines, it is now also produced by other regions in the Visayas.

Flaky on the outside, this thin crust pastry is a well-known souvenir for visitors and locals alike.  The bread is flaky, just like hopia, and the filling is sweet. The dough is prepared then formed into small balls. The filling of mozcovado sugar is spooned at the center of each ball after which the ball is re-shaped. Rolling pins are used to flatten them. Ovens used for commercially produced piaya are not enclosed contraptions but more like huge open griddles. The flattened piaya are arranged in rows and columns, cooked until the underside is lightly browned then flipped over to brown the opposite side.  Piaya is best when freshly baked.

Bon appetit!

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