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Taho ice cream and kakanin donuts: Our favorite fusion food discoveries from 2020

Taho ice cream and kakanin donuts: Our favorite fusion food discoveries from 2020

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  • 2020 was a good year for mixing and matching different dishes and flavors into one, and you can’t change our mind
taho ice cream

With many people finding solace in cooking and baking while staying at home, it’s no wonder many food trends emerged over the past few months. Some of these were revivals of past favorites like mug cakes, while others were regional finds like Basque burnt cheesecake that caught worldwide attention. As the kitchen also became a place to unleash one’s creativity, a lot of unique ideas came to life (and spruced up our Instagram feeds) during quarantine. Much to our delight, a lot of these are fusion food. Here are some of our favorite discoveries this year.

Kakanin donuts

It was hard to pick which kakanin reinvention won the year because of how equally good and creative they all are. Still, kakanin donuts managed to take the throne—with cheesecake just a little bit behind—due to the recognition it received both at home and abroad this year. Maja blanca was among the flavors from Eleven Madison Park alumna Kimberly Camara’s donut creations that drew an 800-person waitlist in New York. Meanwhile, G and C Café in Baguio makes trips worthwhile with the bibingka, pinipig and ube halaya donuts in its menu.

[READ: In Baguio, ‘kakanin donuts’ made with rice flour in bibingka, pinipig, ube and leche flan flavors]

Taho ice cream

Taho is often best enjoyed warm, but it’s also very delectable when served frozen. Case in point: Taho ice cream. Diet plan delivery service The Sexy Chef transformed the classic Filipino comfort food into ice cream made with protein-rich silken tofu and organic coconut sugar syrup—plus small tapioca pearls, of course. Just like taho itself, this dessert is a sweet treat for vegans as well.

[READ: Ready your mugs—or cones, if you will—taho ice cream exists]

Yakult cheesecake

2020 proved that there is more to Yakult than simply being a probiotic drink. People fawned over how great a pair it actually makes with soju, and some even dared to reinvent the drink into a dessert flavor. Even Yakult Australia rode on the trend, teaming up with Hilton Sydney’s executive chef Miko Aspiras on several Yakult-infused dessert recipes. Our favorite? The no-bake cheesecake made with a Yakult-cream cheese base and a white chocolate-corn cereal crust.

[READ: Yes, you can make panna cotta, mousse and cheesecake with Yakult even without an oven]

Croissant pizza

To be honest, we’re still not very sure how we feel about ramen pizza—but here’s a pizza fusion that we can get behind. Local bakery Butterboy introduced a mix of the French pastry and Italian dish in its menu this year, and it’s an interesting take that somehow blends well together. This fusion food has a flaky and buttery crust a la croissant, which is topped with spinach, specialty cheese sauce and parmesan with garlic to complete a look that resembles typical pizza.

[READ: Behold, the quarantine food hybrid to end all hybrids—croissant pizza]

Espasol ice cream

auro espasol
Photo from The Lost Bread

Earlier this year, local food businesses Hapag, The Lost Bread and Auro went for a mega collaboration where they introduced three locally-grounded ice cream flavors—and one of them was the well-loved kakanin. We never knew how much we needed a toasted rice-flavored ice cream with soft espasol bits and 32 percent Auro roasted white chocolate with cashew until we got wind of this team-up, and since then, it has become one of the staples in our freezer.

[READ: Ever had espasol in a tub? Hapag, The Lost Bread and Auro have new ice cream flavors for you]

Halo-halo cheesecake

One of our favorite fusion food discoveries for the year is this halo-halo cheesecake with an ube halaya base. Just like the classic Filipino dessert, the cake brings a sweet medley of flavors and colors as it recreates the halo-halo look with toppings like banana, nata de coco, macapuno and sweet beans.

[READ: This halo-halo comes in a cheesecake, not a cup. Cool, right?]

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