Celebrating sweet birthdays in quarantine
Today is Pentecost Sunday. Christians consider this day—the seventh Sunday after Easter—the “birthday” of the one holy, Catholic and apostolic Church.
It’s the day of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus after his Ascension. So, happy birthday to the Church!
My sister Goldee celebrated her birthday yesterday (happy birthday, sissypoo!). It’s now my church sister Pia Garovillo-Vergara’s special day today (happy birthday, Pia!).
Since it’s all about birthdays today, I thought I’d write about cakes.
Here are the recommendations that came my way. I have not tried many of these cakes but I trust my friends’ recommendations and in the spirit of supporting local, especially small businesses, I am sharing them here:
Thankfully, you don’t need an occasion to enjoy a good chocolate cake. And it’s just what we need now to get us out of a quarantine funk. Here are some recommendations from north to south:
Cielin’s Cakehouse. This is a popular moist chocolate cake for those who live in the south. They now also offer sans rival and tiramisu. They recommend two days’ notice to make the cake although they are now also open for walk-in customers.
Call landline 8-7721650 for their branch in BF Homes, Parañaque; or 8-4637965 for their branch in BF Resort, Las Piñas. Visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cielinscakehouse/
Kamuning Bakery. For those in the north, specifically the Quezon City/Tomas Morato/New Manila area, journalist Wilson Lee Flores suggests Kamuning Bakery, one of the oldest bakeries in the country.
They are known for “pandesal” and other bread offerings but now also have chocolate cake. Another new offering is their Mocha Dacquoise Cake, which has chocolate meringue discs sandwiched between milk chocolate ganache and coffee buttercream. Check them out on Facebook.com/KamuningBakery1939.
Stoned Chocolate. This Instagram shop offers a chocolate cake with a rich top layer that they call the Ooey Gooey Double Chocolate. The label may be true to its name. Message them on Instagram @stonedchocolates to order.
Dimpy’s. Dimpy Camara is a home baker who comes highly recommended by Makati residents. They love her Decadent Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce as well as her Frozen Brazo dela Mercedes. Contact landline 8843 8086 for orders.
Restaurant 101. This is the practice restaurant of the hospitality students of Enderun Colleges.
A very elegant chocolate cake called Louis XV, which was presented in the form of a slim bar with a beautiful chocolate glaze affording just a light crunch is what I remember from many years ago.
This made such a great impression on me that it continues to be my favorite chocolate to this day. It has since evolved into a bigger, round cake now called Chocolate Delice.
Order via [email protected] or call 0917-8743751. Check out Facebook.com/restaurant101. This is available for pickup or delivery every Wednesday and Saturday. Restaurant 101 also offers Cheese Cake with Berry Compote, Spiced Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, and Opera Cake.
Baba’s Kitchen. Another friend recommended the Milo Dark Chocolate Cake of Baba’s Kitchen, which seems to be getting good reviews for being overly decadent. Check them out on Instagram: @babas.kitchen_.
Sugar Bee. This was recommended by lifestyle guru Anna Sobrepeña. Check out their Salted Caramel Cake. Visit Facebook.com/SugarBeePH.
Chef Jessie’s Place. Everybody knows chef Jessie Sincioco especially for her mango crepe, but she also makes a mean chocolate cake.
Last year she launched Teddy Keng’s Chocolate Gateau, her version of a decadent chocolate cake, named after the Landmark icon. Like him—according to legend—this cake is rich, generous and sweet in a very subtle way. Contact 0917-8330797 for orders.
For vegans who nevertheless continue to love chocolate, here are two vegan chocolate cake options:
NY Blackout Cake by The Sexy Kitchen by B. Check them out on Facebook.com/TheSexyKitchen or call 0917-1891826.
Another vegan chocolate offering is the Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake offered by Miuccia Luxe Cakes using Belgian chocolate ganache. Check them out on Facebook.com/hello.miuccia. They have other vegan cakes, too.
Gelatin At Its Best. A friend of mine, Nikka Hugo-Yap, is based in Bangkok but found a gelatin cake artist in Alabang that she called for an order to be delivered in Manila. The shop is called Gelatin At Its Best and they make customized 3D gelatin cakes with designs that are so intricate, it is truly art.
The designs mostly involve flowers but they can customize it for you. Order at 0917-8333041 and visit their Facebook page to see photos of the cakes: Facebook.com/GelatinAtItsBest.
Fabulous Baker Boboy. I wanted to include this baker just because his chosen brand name cracks me up. But when Marfee Dizon sent a photo of his Cloud Cake, I knew I really had to include him.
The “fabulous baker” makes his chocolate cake stand out with a “cloud” of cream topped with tart fruits like blueberries, kiwi, strawberries and apples (depending on what he has). Check out his creations at @fabulousbakerboboy on Instagram.
OC’s Kitchen. Some cake artists are quick to catch on what is current. Anna Ocampo Sarmiento is one of the very talented ones. She has created Crash Landing on You and front-liner-themed cakes although she is also very good at personalizing cakes.
Check out @littlemissoc on Instagram and #littlemissocskitchen for all her creations.
Marriott Manila. Since my sister’s wedding when chef Chris of Marriott Manila created a 7-foot tall chocolate Eiffel Tower and chef David Socrates made a personalized wedding cake with the themes I suggested (these were my wedding gifts), I have been ordering custom cakes from Marriott Manila.
For my sister’s birthday this year, I asked chef David to design a cake that showed a McDonald’s takeout and Starbucks iced mocha because these were her daily go-to’s prequarantine.
Chef David is so talented he can pretty much create any image you wish. For my mom’s birthday he even hand-painted her image on the cake. He is a true artist. Visit Facebook.com/ManilaMarriott for more details.
Then of course, there are the classics: The chocolate cake of Polly’s at Shell Magallanes never fails to make me smile. For specialized made-to-order chiffon cake, you can never go wrong with Estrel’s (54 Scout Tobias corner Scout Limbaga; call 8-3722965. Pickup of preordered cakes will be exclusively available on Thursday to Sunday). For cheesecake, Quezon City peeps love the Hokkaido Cheesecake of Fleur de Lys by chef Jackie Ang Po. For apple pie, the one by chef Ginny Roces is baked fresh daily at Tilde in Poblacion, Makati (visit Facebook.com/TildeCafe). For caramel cake, Makati residents swear by Costa Brava.
The list goes on. For now, this will have to do.
Have a wonderful, quarantine Pentecost. Happy birthday to the Mother Church and cheers to all those who have had to celebrate their birthday in quarantine. I hope you still had a wonderful birthday!
More from the author at margauxsalcedo.com. Follow @margauxsalcedo on Instagram.
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