If you love a good ube cheese pandesal, Baguio's Hatch Coffee serves a successor that does everything better: an ube grilled cheese. Same sweet-salty combination, but with a crisp, perfectly toasted outside; gooey, melty inside; and overall better filling-to-bread ratio. Stripes of purple ube and pale yellow cheese run through the center—an attractive cross-section that demands a photo.
This recipe is less of a hack, and more of a homemade interpretation to tide you over until your next trip to Baguio. This butter-toasted love letter holds a good swipe of ube spread and three kinds of cheese, which melts into an outrageous, lavalike filling.
What brand of ube jam should I use?
Use an ube jam, or ube halaya, that you like—whether store-bought, homemade, or purchased from a convent. You can never go wrong with Good Shepherd's ube jam!
What type of cheese should I use?
Any cheese that melts! We use three kinds:
- Processed cheese. Engineered to melt while delivering that salty, cheesy flavor you love out of ube cheese pandesal.
- Mozzarella cheese. Adds stretch to your filling. Its mild flavor lets ube's sweetness shine.
- Cheddar cheese. A melty cheese with a sharper flavor than mozzarella. The orange variety adds a nice pop of color.
No need to source all three if you only have one or two kinds. A double layer of Eden Singles will already get you a good amount of ooze.
Skip hard cheeses that are more melt-resistant, such as Parmesan or kesong puti. Or if you insist, sneak in a layer as a flavorful add-on. Just don't skip the melty cheese!
Tip: Go low and slow for perfectly golden bread
Toasting your grilled cheese on medium-low sounds like a drag, but patience is key to crusty, evenly browned bread with a perfectly melty center. If your pan is too hot, your risk burning the bread before the heat can properly melt the cheese. And no one wants a grilled cheese with a cold center!
- 2 slices sandwich bread
- ube halaya or ube jam
- 1–2 processed cheese singles, like Eden
- cheddar cheese, sliced or shredded
- mozzarella cheese, sliced or shredded
Make sandwich: Prepare bread on a chopping board. Spread one side of each slice with butter. Flip bread butter side down, then spread ube jam across the other side. Layer processed cheese, mozzarella, and cheddar on top of one bread slice. Top with the other slice of bread, ube side down.
Toast sandwich: Add sandwich to a cold pan, then heat over medium low. Toast sandwich until bottom is a crisp golden brown and cheese has started to melt. Flip sandwich, press gently with a spatula, and toast the other side until crusty and cheese has melted. Remove from heat, slice diagonally to reveal cross-section, and serve immediately.