Manila, Philippines — Want to know the sought after secret ingredient Filipino celebrity chefs and foodies use to make their creations naturally sweet? 

Chef Miko Aspiras, the renowned pastry chef known for his dessert artistry and innovation, Chef Sau del Rosario, the award-winning Kapampangan chef and restaurateur known for his creative takes on Philippine cuisine, and Jenni Epperson, a food stylist, entrepreneur, and mom, recently shared how they use California Raisins to make mouth-watering dishes that Filipino families would enjoy. 

California Raisins are a versatile ingredient that chefs and home cooks alike use when they want to add a unique flavor and natural sweetness to their dishes. From desserts that dance on your taste buds to savory viands that leave you craving for more, California Raisins bring a burst of natural sweetness to every culinary creation. 

“Because California Raisins are sweet by nature, they lend a natural sweetness to a wide variety of dishes, from hearty meals, delectable baked goods, and refreshing beverages, that will surely excite the Filipino sweet tooth,” said Mr. Thomas Wee of the Raisin Administrative Committee. “Besides adding natural sweetness to different dishes, the highly versatile ingredient also has various benefits that make them must-have kitchen staples. For example, they help absorb moisture to lengthen baked goods’ shelf life and can be used as a starter in making bread.” 

California Raisins A must-have naturally sweet ingredient and kitchen staple for flavorful recipes
[L-R] Chef Sau del Rosario, Jenni Epperson, Chef Miko Aspiras

To demonstrate California Raisins’ versatility and natural sweetness, Chef Miko Aspiras, Chef Sau del Rosario, and Jenni Epperson shared the following recipes: 

California Raisin Madeleines by Chef Miko Aspiras 

Raisin Madeleines 

  • Yield: 1500 grams 
  • Yield per piece: 45 grams 


  • 300 g California Raisins, soaked and chopped into small pieces 
  • 270 g Unsalted butter, melted 
  • 300 g Whole Eggs 
  • 280 g White Sugar 
  • 4 g Salt
  • 32 g Honey 
  • 24 g Oil 
  • 250 g Plain flour (All purpose) 
  • 20 g Baking Powder 
  • 100 g Whole Milk, room temperature 
  • 600 g Hot water 


  1. In a sauce pot, melt the unsalted butter. Set aside. 
  2. In a mixing bowl, soak the raisins for 30 minutes in hot water. 
  3. While soaking the raisins, mix all together the ingredients. Lastly, add the melted butter. 
  4. Fold in the drained chopped raisins onto the madeleine mixture. Let it rest overnight in the chiller. 
  5. Bake the mixture at 190°C for 12 minutes. 

White Chocolate Whipped Ganache 

  • Yield: 625 grams 
  • Yield per piece: 20 grams 


  • 200 g Whipping Cream 
  • 20 g Corn Syrup 
  • 20 g Glucose, liquid 
  • 190 g Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate 
  • 200 g Whipping Cream 


  1. In a sauce pot, over medium-low heat, heat 300g of whipping cream, corn syrup, and glucose until it boils. 
  2. Pour onto the chocolate and sit for 5 minutes until melted. 
  3. Stir using a rubber spatula and emulsify using a stick blender until smooth. Cool it down to 35° C. 
  4. Add 200 grams of Dairy Whipping Cream. Keep it in the chiller overnight.

Milk Chocolate Gourmand Glaze 

  • Yield: 720 grams 
  • Yield per piece: 15 grams


  • 680 g Valrhona Jivara Milk Chocolate 
  • 68 g Cocoa Butter 


  1. In a mixing bowl, add the chocolate and cocoa butter. 
  2. Melt over double boil. Cool it down and use it at 28° C-30° C. 

To assemble: 

  1. Whip the white chocolate whipped ganache to medium peaks. Transfer into a piping bag fitted with a small round piping nozzle. 
  2. Take each piece of cooled California Raisin Madeleines and pipe a small amount of whipped ganache. Stick 3 to 4 pieces of California raisins into it. 
  3. Pipe more whipped ganache on top of it to cover, and flatten each side with a small metal spatula to resemble a mountain peak. 
  4. Let the madeleine freeze and the cream set for 3 hours. 
  5. Melt the chocolate gourmand glaze to 28-30° C. 
  6. Dip the creamy part of each madeleine. Stick 3 pieces of whole California raisins before the glaze sets. Finish each piece with some gold leaves. 

Salmon en Croute with California Raisin-Caper Jam by Chef Sau del Rosario

  • Yield: 4 pax 

Marinated Salmon 


  • 1 pc Salmon Fillet (1 kg) 
  • 100 g salt 
  • 100 g sugar 
  • Orange Zest 
  • Dill 
  • Pepper 


  1. Mix all the seasoning together. 
  2. Cover salmon with spice rub and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. 
  3. Wash the marinate on the salmon and pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside in the refrigerator.



  • 100 g California Raisins 
  • 100 g capers
  • 50 g onions 
  • 100 ml olive oil 
  • 50 ml white wine 
  • 200 g puff pastry 
  • 1 pc egg (egg wash) 


  1. Saute onions in olive oil then add California Raisins and capers. Deglaze white wine and reduce the liquid for 2 minutes. 
  2. Blend the mixture and allow to cool completely before assembling the pie.
  3. Line the puff pastry into the mold. Fill with the filling. Close the pie with another piece of the puff pastry. Chill well before baking. 
  4. Brush the prepared pie with egg wash. 
  5. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes at 175 degrees. 
  6. Serve with petite salade drizzled with lemon vinaigrette. 

California Raisins Wild Rice with Duck Confit by Chef Sau del Rosario

  • Yield: 4-6 persons 


  • 1 cup California Raisins 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 4 pcs spring onions, chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 1 pcs red onions, sliced 
  • 2 pcs red chilies, chopped 
  • 1 cup wild rice, cooked 
  • 1 cup Japanese rice, cooked 
  • 1 cup red rice, cooked 
  • 2 pcs carrots, shredded 
  • 1 cup edamame 
  • 1 cup yellow bell peppers 
  • 1 cup sweet potatoes 
  • 1 cup beetroot, roasted 
  • 2 pcs eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 2 tbsp ponzu 
  • 200 ml chicken broth 
  • 2 tbsps butter 
  • 800 g duck confit, cooked 


  1. In a medium-hot frying pan, add olive oil, the garlic, chilies, and the spring onions.
  2. Stir fry for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the wild and Japanese rice, carrots, edamame, California Raisins, and the red rice and continue to stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock. Add boiled sweet potatoes, yellow bell peppers, and roasted beetroot. Push everything to one side of the wok and pour in the beaten eggs. 
  4. Once the egg starts to cook, add ponzu. Then mix well. 
  5. Add butter right before serving. Serve warm with duck confit. 

California Raisins & Beef Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers by Jenni Epperson 


  • ½ cup California Raisins 
  • 3 large bell peppers, cut in halves (red, green, & yellow) 
  • 500 g ground beef 
  • 1 cup onions, finely chopped 
  • ½ cup carrots, finely chopped 
  • 2 tsp cumin 
  • 3 tsp chili powder 
  • ½ tsp chili flakes 
  • ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded 
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

For garnishing: 

  • 1 cilantro, freshly chopped 

For side: 

  • Salsa 
  • Guacamole 
  • Sour cream 


  • Step 1: Prepare the filling 
    • In a skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat. 
    • Add chopped onions and cook until they are translucent. 
    • Incorporate cumin, chili powder, chili flakes, salt, pepper, chopped carrots, and California Raisins. Mix well and cook until the beef is fully cooked and the flavors meld.
  • Step 2: Prepare the Bell Peppers 
    • Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise, removing seeds and membranes. ● Preheat your oven or your air fryer to 375°F. 
  • Step 3: Stuff the Bell Peppers 
    • Fill each bell pepper half with the prepared beef and California Raisin mixture. ● Top each stuffed pepper with shredded cheese.
  • Step 4a: Cook in the Oven 
    • Preheat the oven temperature to 350°F. 
    • Place the stuffed bell peppers on a baking sheet or a cast iron pan. 
    • Bake in the preheated oven or air fryer for 10-15 minutes or until the peppers are tender, and the cheese is melted and bubbly. 
  • Step 4b: Cook in the Air Fryer 
    • Arrange the stuffed bell peppers in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded. 
    • Air fry for 15-20 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is golden and melted. 
  • Step 5: Serve and Enjoy 
    • Once cooked, remove from the oven or air fryer. 
    • Garnish with fresh herbs or additional cheese if desired. 
    • Serve these delicious California Raisins & Beef Taco Stuffed Bell Peppers with sides such as salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and freshly chopped cilantro. 

California Raisins are available nationwide in all major supermarkets and convenience stores.

Liked this post? Follow SwirlingOverCoffee on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.