"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Crema de Fruta

This is a reposting from my old kusina.

Crema de Fruta
Thanks to Celia K for her crema de fruta post, I thought this would be good alternative to the usual chocolate cake that my hubby always prepares for anyone's birthday in our family. I wanted for my in-laws to have something to look forward to during birthday celebrations, and not only to bring their gifts and greetings to the celebrant.

I deviated from CeliaK's method by preparing my own sponge cake. Why? Because when I told hubby about my plan, he grimaced a bit, saying that sponge cake is usually rubbery, chewy, tough and dry...and that he preferred the crumbly type of cakes. BUT he said, "if that's what you want, then go on. It's your birthday anyway."

Good thing I found a sponge cake recipe with this promise: " While most sponge cakes are light and somewhat dry, a sponge cake made with milk, has a softer more tender texture." The recipe is that of Boston Cream Pie which I got from Sarah's baking911 site.

Here's the recipe for the sponge cake:

Milk Sponge Cake

1 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
3 tablespoons unflavored vegetable oil
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla


Adjust rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment or waxed paper; do not grease. Sift flour, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl add the the milk and oil; do not be concerned that they do not blend together.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, yolk and sugar to combine. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, whip the egg mixture until it is light ivory in color and very fluffy, about 6 minutes. Add the vanilla toward the end of whipping. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture in two additions. Pour the milk mixture down the side of the mixing bowl. (It will sink to the bottom of the bowl under the batter.) Gently fold until the milk mixture is thoroughly incorporated. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until the cake is golden on top and it springs back when lightly pressed in the center. Remove pan from oven to a wire rack until cool.poouring the batter into the prepared springform pan Posted by Hello
cooling the cake

While baking the sponge cake I prepared the custard. Comparing CeliaK's custard filling with that of the Boston Cream Pie Recipe, I noticed the only difference in the ingredients were the amounts, and the inclusion of rum in the latter. I thought it would not hurt to follow that in BCP since I used a springform pan, so that the custard would just be enough to cover the top of the cake. I just eliminated the rum. I leave to you to include it or delete it from this custard filling recipe from baking911.
Boston Cream Filling
Only half of this rich, thick pastry cream, lightened with whipped cream is needed for the dessert. Enjoy the remaining filling with fresh fruit.

1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon each dark rum and vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped
In a small bowl whisk to combine the egg yolks and 1/4 cup sugar, then the flour. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk and 1/4 cup sugar and heat just until it comes to a boil. Remove, and pour half of the hot liquid over the yolk mixture, stirring to combine. Pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan, and bring it to a boil again, stirring constantly. When it is thick and smooth, remove the pan from the heat and pour the mixture into a large bowl to cool. Cover surface with plastic and refrigerate. When ready to assemble the dessert, stir in the rum and vanilla until smooth, then fold in the whipped cream.

preparing the custard top of the cake sliced off
Then while cooling the custard, I sliced the top off the cake as soon as it was cool enough to do so. I just thought this would create more traction for the pudding and the fruits, plus it gave me an excuse to taste the cake. And guess what I discovered: It tasted like that of Special Mamon Tostado (almost like the Goldilocks' Mamon but without that greasy unpleasant film that it leaves on your palate). I had hubby taste it too, and he said it was not what he expected of sponge cakes as it was not tough.

Next I prepared the gelatin. I used Knox unflavored gelatin and then followed the instructions on the packet using 2 envelopes. Posted by Hello
cooking the gelatin pouring the cool gelatin on top of assembled cake-pudding-fruits
While it was cooling in the fridge, I started assembling the fruits (peaches, Mandarin oranges and Maraschino cherries) over the custard that I poured on top of the sponge cake. Then I placed inside the fridge covered with a plastic wrap to let them chill for about an hour, and then poured a thin film of gelatin. I let that thin film set for about 30 minutes, sort of like laminating the surface, acting like a seal, before I poured more gelatin to cover the fruits completely. Let the gelatin set. (It was a minimum of 3 hours from the approximated time of serving, but feel free to make this several hours earlier). (Note: I made a mistake before of pouring the gelatin while it was still very liquid, and the cake, custard and fruits were room temp. The gelatin seeped through the cake and soaked it, making it tough when the cake cooled completely. Believe me, you don't want to make the same mistake again.)

My visitors were intrigued by it. I served it very informally as such; only separating the sides off from the pan using a small silicone spatula, then gave them each a slice of the cake. No, the number of cherries did not correspond to my age (wish it did!) . They all said it was different and good. None was left (there were 13 of us in all; no leftover on their plates!) at the end of the day (much to my older son's dismay). Any Filipina can hold her head up high when serving this dessert to a foreign crowd.


  1. hi manang! glad to see hindi mo pa kami nilisan..really ha, i have to try your mala-mamon sponge cake! kids love them. i dont have to ask my utols to send fr LA anymore...
    happy 3 kings!

  2. stel,

    Oo nga. gamit ka na lang nung individual muffin tin cans na parang flower. Ano ba tawag dun? On the lookout ako dito sa wal-mart ala akong makitang exactly ganon. I am planning nga to get some of my father's baking equipment when I go visit the PI in the future or ask my sis there to mail them na lang pag me pera na ako pang-S&H. (medyo mabigat ata...several baking sheets, accordion type of baking pans, those flower-shaped muffin tins, loaf pans (with cover) both small and big...ako na lang ang bibili sa Tatay ko! Haha!

  3. How come my crema de fruta wasn't clear at all after I poured the gelatine. I got mixed up with the cream and turned cloudy.

  4. Anonymous,
    Maybe the gelatin was not cooled down enough? or maybe you poured it too fast? I poured the cooled gelatin slowly and carefully over several spots (esp over the fruits), at first leaving a thin layer, then chilling it some just so it will form a thin sheet, then I poured the rest of the gelatin. It will also help to prevent soaking the cake if your poured cold gelatin, not when everything is warm (maybe chilling the cake, custard and fruits will also help).

  5. Hi Manang,
    Happy Holidays...
    I tried ur crema de fruta recipe...ok na sana kaso ung sponge cake ko matigas..then ung bottom nya sobrang tigas to point na para syang naging crust na...so ang ginawa ko, i sliced off the bottom of the cake everytime i had to serve a piece of it...Please advise...Thank you in advance :)

  6. hi aileen,

    is it the sponge cake itself? Or did it turn out hard after you added the gelatin???

    If it is the latter, I suggest you let the gelatin kinda set for a while (like really really cool and soft gel) so that when you pour it onto the cake, it won't seep into the cake itself but will stay on top.

    Now if the problem is really the sponge cake that turned hard, I can only think of it having been exposed to dry air for a long time that it hardened. Other than that, I cannot really think of any other problem that you might have had.

  7. Hi Manang,

    Thanks for the prompt reply...

    The gelatin was cool when i placed it on top of the cake...I think i might have over-baked the cake so it became very dry...Yung bottom part ng cake ko was almost like a thin crust...But, the rest of the cake was ok naman, kaso nga lang medyo matigas sya...

    I am planning to bake another batch of this cake using ur recipe. My husband said that the cake tasted really good kaso nga lang medyo matigas ang cake...So that means ur recipe is really yummy but i might have done something wrong in the process...

    My husband said that since i am using an electric oven, i should try lowering down the temperature when baking. He suggested that i should try baking the cake at 300-325 degrees instead of 350 degrees since electric ovens give more heat than the ovens with gas.

    If i baked the cake at 300-325 degrees, would it become "under-baked" or hilaw?


  8. Hello,

    What brand is your milk and the cake flour?

    Thank you.


  9. sabel,
    The milk was a grocery brand fresh whole milk and the flour was a Pillsbury cake flour.

  10. hi manang

    thanks for this recipe...i think i will try it...by the way, do you have a recipe of mocha cake or goldilocks type of cake my husbad craves for goldilocks type of cake ..i tried baking vanilla cake, he likes i but he still asks me if i can make the cake lighter and soft and fluffy?

    thanks in advance...i love your site...

  11. anonymous,
    I have not really tried experimenting with the goldilocks types of cake (like mocha cake - yan ba yung roll type?) or ube cake. Right now I have just baked an experimental ube cake, and waiting for it to cool down so I can fill with ube flavored cream cheese filling. I might come up with a totally different cake far from that of Goldilocks, but if it will taste good, I will keep the recipe.

  12. thanks for the quick reply...yes the roll type of cake...myhusband loves ube cake too! can you plase share the rcipe too? thanks...

  13. A comment I received on my crema de fruta post in my old kusina:Hi Manang,

    Yesterday, easter sunday, I tried the recipe of your crema de fruta only i topped it with just fresh strawberries(very cheap this time of the year)and crossed my finger that the crowd i am gonna serve it to will like it.. they were raving for it! it was so good and i can't even believe i've made something that good from scratch.. the sponge cake recipe was perfect, almost tasted like mamon from goldilocks. and the boston cream filling was just right and not too sweet.. my husband is requesting me to make some again today.. Thanks so much again..

    Joy Leaming

  14. hi...i have tried your crema de fruta and i could attest it's yummy. the sponge cake was soft although a bit sweet(will try to reduce the sugar next time) and the custard was so nice. thanks so much for sharing your recipes and tips to us :)

  15. Hi rheag,
    Glad you liked it! Feel free to reduce the sugar to your taste. :)

  16. Dear Manang..my pan de sal was a huge success. I gave some to my pinay friend and she was gleefully excited about the looks of it. ANd I felt the same way too. Sarap talaga....para na king nasa pinas! Salamat po ng marami.

  17. Hi Nori,
    Thanks for letting me know about pandesal and how you and your friend like them, kahit naligaw dito sa crema de fruta post. Haha!

  18. manang pwede bang instead na springform pan eh sa 9 x 13 pan ko ilagay? ok lang ba yung amount ng recipe (for the sponge cake and custard) for a 9x13 pan? thanks!

  19. HI Anonymous,
    I think it will be ok, baka lang medyo mas manipis (and don't bother to remove the top portion of the cake when placing the custard).

  20. hi manang ask ko lang ano pong flour ang gamit ninyo ty

  21. thanks for all your recipes, just finished baking the sponge cake for the crema de fruta, my friend is coming later so we can assemble it, so far cake looks nice, hope it's a success.

  22. hi Anonymous,
    How did it turn out? I hope you read all my answers to comments because lots of tips are found there. The important thing is let cake and gelatin cool down enough so gelatin does not seep into the cake.

  23. it was a success, my MIL ask me to make it again minus the fruits, thanks for the recipe.

  24. Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks for your feedback! Such comments really make my day! :)

  25. Yeyyy!!!! Ubos lahat pati crumbs ng aking crema de fruta!-- much to my hubby and sons' dismay. To say it was a success is an uderstatement kaya-- super Mom yata ang feeling ko after my very first ever crema de fruta venture turned out really good. Thanks much Manang. Our guests during noche buena dinner only had praises and requests for me to make it again for media noche. Though I was pressed for time dahil galing pa ng work (full time Nanay and full time RN) I just grabbed a Betty Crocker cake mix on my way from work but the rest of the recipe I got from your blog. Kaya eto inspired ako to try some other recipes from your blog Manang. I've browsed some of them and they seem easy to follow -- hindi intimidating, so to speak. FYI, I'm not a good cook hehehehe but after the crema de fruta episode, sa isip-isip ko, kaya ko to. Wish me luck!!! Again maraming salamat.

  26. Hi Anonymous,
    Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback! I feel fulfilled to have brought joy to other people's lives through this blog.
    Indeed you are a super mom to be able to juggle all those things! And you are very lucky also to be surrounded by appreciative family and friends. That is a blessing!
    I am sure, after this crema de fruta, many recipes here are a breeze to you! I do encourage short cuts whenever you can apply them to maximize your time.

  27. hello po,
    yung flour po ba 1cup after sifting or 1cup before sifting. Thank you po.

  28. HI Anonymous,
    measure muna then sift with baking powder and salt :)

  29. Hi Manang,
    I would like to try your recipe, however, I'm a bit confused sa direction na "using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture in two additions. Pour the milk mixture down the side of the mixing bowl". Pwede po paki-step by step yung part na ito.
    Thanks po!

  30. Hello Manang,
    nagbeat po ba kayo ng egg white?
    gumamit po ba kayo nito? ilan po?

    Thank you!

  31. Hi gabb, gumamit ako ng whole egg plus 1 egg yolk. Hindi ako nag-beat separately ng eggwhites. :)

  32. Hi anonymous. Yung flour mixture, hatiin mo. Kalahati muna halo mo sa egg mixture by folding. Tapos yung natirang kalahati din halo mo. Pagka-fold, yung milk mixture naman ang ilagay mo. Sana ay nalinaw ko.

  33. hi, how what can i substitute sa dark rum? i don't have rum in my cupboards.

    1. Kristine, you can just use vanilla. (Do you, by any chance, have any "spirits" kind of flavoring? For example, I have in my kitchen amaretto, Kahlua hazelnut, Torino chocolate syrup that is alcoholic. All these I use for baking. If you do, try any of them.)

    2. i have kahlua or baileys. cge i will try kahlua :) maraming salamat manang!

    3. You are welcome! BTW, you and your husband are a lovely couple!


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