Posted in Sweets for the Sweet

In Which a Friend Sends Over a Big Purple Treat…

Meringue and ube jam, anyone?

Up until recently, I have had a sheer and seemingly irrational hatred of the color purple.  It is a color that many people of my acquaintance claim as their favorite, and several of these declare that it’s a color that makes me look good.  Unfortunately, it is a color I detest to the very core of my being – for the basic reason that I associate it with a cousin for whom I bear the basest contempt.  Plus, for all its regal connotations, purple is the Catholic liturgical color for suffering, death, and mourning.

Well, so I thought until a friend asked a colleague to send over a distinctly purple-hued dessert over to my hotel while I was in Iloilo!

My friend Chi had the lovely Ms. Louise Diana Luna, a native of the city, make her signature brazo de ube.

Have a slice?

This is obviously a riff on the more common brazo de Mercedes, a soft roll of baked meringue filled with eggy custard.  In this particular version, however, the custard is replaced with halayang ube, a thick, unctuous paste made with sweetened purple yam (ube).  Even the meringue itself takes on a lavender tinge because of, I would surmise, the addition of either purple food coloring or powdered ube.

I was a bit iffy on it at first; seeing how I detest both the color purple and halayang ube (long story).  But one bite and I was hooked: the creamy filling was none too sweet and went well with the fluffy, honeyed meringue.  For all of its Grimace-hued looks, it was totally irresistible and I didn’t pass on seconds.

Incidentally, I shared the roll with my colleagues and it served as supper for the four of us at the end of a rather hectic convention day – and, aye: none of the others passed on seconds, as well!  😉

Now, if only there was a way to get this shipped to Manila on a regular basis!



Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended in June 2016 These days, she works full time at Philippine Tatler as a features writer under the nom de guerre Marga Manlapig. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel. Follow her on Instagram at @midgekmanlapig.

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