I have been put on the spot and asked so many times what are my top or best desserts in Manila. Admittedly, it’s really hard for a dessert lover like me to pinpoint just one or two out of my many favorites! And almost every single day, I hear about a new baker coming up with wonderful things to try or a favorite dessert place creating something different to tempt me again! My favorites list can go on and on (with many categories and sub categories in between – mind you!), but one thing’s for sure : I appreciate desserts that don’t scrimp on the QUALITY of the ingredients! So here’s my tip to all bakers out there : Use the freshest and the best ingredients you can ever find because your customers will surely know!
With desserts, I believe that packaging is important and so is the total look and presentation. Actually, most cakes, cupcakes, and all the pastries and desserts now look very pretty, don’t you think? Almost all of them look sooo delicious in pictures! But do they all taste good? Now, that’s the question. 🙂 In my case, with one bite, I can tell if the ingredients used are not fresh or of inferior quality. I guess it’s the picky side of my taste buds that go into overdrive when it senses that the dessert I’m about to indulge in, is really not worth all the prettiness and the calories!
But then again…taste is subjective. What is good to me, may not be good to you. What is delicious to some, may not be to others. And I totally respect that. But let me just reiterate the need to use only the freshest ingredients whenever possible, as I think that is the most important thing in cooking or baking.
This post is really more about my latest dessert finds. Let me tell you that the ones I’ve listed down here, I’ve tried at least once, maximum twice. I wouldn’t say that they are now part of my favorites list, but they are surely up there! I believe that for something to be labeled as a “favorite”, I must have tried it at least more than two times. 🙂
However, you will notice that the desserts lined up here are all made up of my favorite ingredients : Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Strawberries! (and I’ve written about my undying love for them here, here and here!)
This is a cake made for serious Peanut Butter lovers out there! The whole thing is huge and covered with Dark Chocolate ganache. Inside is a whole lot of Peanut Butter filling layered in between (what I think is) Butter or Pound cake. I taste 3 different textures here : fluffy, smooth and crunchy. The cake itself is fluffy, the Peanut Butter is smooth, and the layers in between plus the ones surrounding the cake are made up of crunchy Chocolate Meringue.
The Noodle Bakes – 0920 9207268 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clockwise (from left to right to bottom) : Peanut Butter S’mores, Tiramisu and Cheesecake.
The Peanut Butter S’mores is made up of Peanut Butter Reese’s cupcake with Dark Chocolate Fudge, and then is topped with Marshmallow frosting and Graham crackers.
The Tiramisu is made up of Kahlua Coffee cake, and then topped with creamy Mascarpone Cheese frosting.
The Cheesecake cupcake although small in size has actually 2 kinds of cheese inside : Cream Cheese and Cottage Cheese with Almond and Biscuit crust.
Now it is quite rare for me to looove all the cupcake flavors that I try in one go, but with Cupcake Lab’s cupcakes – I can tell you, the ones I’ve tried were really good. I can also tell you another thing, the baker did not scrimp on the quality of her ingredients at all!
But even though almost all her cupcake flavors are considered “best-sellers”, still the most popular one amongst them all is the Red Velvet. This cupcake is made up of ultra moist Chocolate Cake with real Cream Cheese frosting richly swirled on top of it!
With this cupcake shop, I think it’s hard to pinpoint which is my best! The 4 kinds I tried (and shared with my kids :)) went beyond my usual cupcake experience and expectations. I’ve seen a lot of pretty cupcakes with pretty packaging out there, but when I take my first bite, that’s when I find out how dry the cake is and how its cuteness is merely a mask for its cloying buttercream frosting…and that is just plain disappointing! 🙁
Just like Sebastian’s Ice Cream, Cupcake Lab’s branch is in Podium Mall but if you can’t go there, they can deliver for an additional cost. Call : 0918 – 4451749 or 0920-9616143.
I seriously can’t wait to go back and try their other flavors! (Next on my list will be their : Ferrero with Nutella, Green Tea with Red Bean and Vanilla with Oreo!)
JAPANESE SWEETS DELI MOCHI CREAM
This is a newly opened stall inside Rustan’s Fresh Supermarket in Rockwell, Makati…and admittedly, I was attracted to the cute colors of these fat Mochi balls on display!
I have always been intrigued with Mochi Ice cream and this is in fact, the first time I’ve ever tried it. And boy, did I enjoy it! 🙂 It was cool, light and refreshing.
The one on the left is Green Tea flavor and the one on the right is Dark Chocolate. This is a unique kind of ice cream because it is covered with that sweet Japanese ingredient called Mochi – which has a similar taste and consistency to our native rice cakes. It’s small in size so one ball is good for one person…but if you are like me, then I think you can easily devour 2 pieces in one go! 🙂 Thanks to this new place inside Rustan’s Supermarket (it’s located on the right side/behind the counters), I can now look forward to having a different kind of cold treat after I do my weekly grocery shopping!
YAMATO BAKERY’S STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
This came as a wonderful surprise to me. This bakery is located in Jupiter Street, Makati and is right beside one of my favorite Ramen places, Mitsuyado Sei-Men (which I wrote about here). I am always on the lookout for good Japanese – quality type of Shortcakes, and this didn’t disappoint! This comes in small, individual slices, which is perfect for those who don’t really want to order one whole giant cake.
The base is made of chiffon cake that is soft and fluffy while the cream used in between and on top is perfectly light and not too sweet. The fresh strawberries are really the only ones which give this cake that nice hint of sweetness. My only wish is that they make the one serving size slightly bigger – especially for Strawberry cake lovers like me!! 🙂
FRESH KOREAN STRAWBERRIES
Last but definitely not the least, are these fresh Strawberries from Korea! Amongst the many kinds of fresh Strawberries I’ve tried, these ones from Korea are really the best! They are plump, juicy and VERY, VERY SWEET! If you think that the California ones labelled as Driscoll’s are sweet enough, wait till you try this one! This is guaranteed to change your mind — and once you try them, I don’t think you will go back to the other ones!
But because I really have a sweet tooth…sometimes, I still add a small drizzle of honey on top of it! See that jar beside the plate of Strawberries labeled as Miele Di Erica? That’s my favorite honey that I bought in Tuscany a few months back, and which I add to almost all my cheeses and fresh fruits! 🙂
One drawback just like with most fresh fruits — this kind of Strawberry is seasonal and is purely dependent on the delivery of the shipment. I get mine from the fresh fruit stall located in the Basement of Powerplant Mall, Rockwell.
There you go, my dear readers! These are just some of the new desserts I’ve tried recently…Share with me your old and new favorites!