Sweet Engagements
Master cake designer Penk Ching. (Inset) Peach almond cake from Pastry Bin.

Sweet Engagements

NEW BEGINNINGS - Büm D. Tenorio Jr. (The Philippine Star) - August 7, 2020 - 12:00am

The pandemic has created bakers and ice cream makers in many a neighborhood. The established ones, on the other hand, have reinvented or reconfigured recipes during the lockdown. In the time of uncertainty, there is also a frenzy of flavors to choose from as every sugary creation flies from one’s oven to another’s doorstep — either via Lalamove or the trusted pedicab driver. Whether in gated villages or communities in the middle of rice fields, the food business is alive, flourishing, buzzing.

From six-tier cakes to six-inch sweets

If necessity is the mother of invention, the lockdown is the mother of reinvention for master cake designer Penk Ching. From designing six-tier cakes for who’s-who weddings, Penk, for variety, has joyfully included making six-inch confectionery delights (with peach almond, banana walnut, apple walnut and carrot walnut flavors) that are a hit among her clients in Metro Manila. The orders for her small cakes are plenty and Penk (with her sister Shen Chen Ratilla who is her partner in Pastry Bin) is not complaining.

“Orders for decorated cakes are very much affected because there are no events. Almost 99.9 percent postponed or cancelled their wedding. Nothing happens. And I cannot remain still,” Penk says.

Her six-inch peach almond cake is not only cute; it is packed with mouthwatering goodness. Moist and heavenly.

(Call 0917-8122676.)

Mouthwatering donuts from Milky Dust Donuts.

Korean-style donuts in Manila

During the ECQ, and even after it was eased down, hotelier Twinkle Lacsamana discovered her kitchen magic. Her wand sprinkled sugary dust to her donut creations and surely she stumbled upon a business endeavor that is making many people, including actress Sharon Cuneta, gaga over her Korean-style donuts. Milky Dust Donuts has different flavors: ube cheese, vanilla milk, dark mocha, pure chocolate, berries and cream and strawberry milkshake. The peanut butter lover in me is of course partial to the peanut butter cup. Fluffy and milky. I thought I was eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups — or something better than that.

(Call 0908-8221958 or visit @milkydustdonuts on Instagram.)

Yummy cookies and ice cream from Cream Cartel.

Cream Cartel

For siblings Samantha and Matthew Dayrit, their kitchen at home is their Disneyland where happiness is created and magic is performed every moment. Samantha weathered the lockdown experimenting on breads, donuts, cookies, cakes, tarts, pies and croissants in the kitchen. Matthew, who has been making ice cream since he was 10, stayed busy and occupied concocting different ice cream flavors.

“There are many little things to appreciate and magic moments that you experience while baking. I particularly love when you see your batter come together, feel the dough as you shape your cookies and smell the mouthwatering aroma that fills the air as your cookies are baking.” says Samantha.

“When I make ice cream, I become very focused. Given my ADHD, focus is a very rare thing for me. It is satisfying to be able to focus completely on a single task and to remain productive for hours at a time. (Making ice cream) is a culmination of a two-day process. Knowing I’ve made good ice cream gives me great joy,” says Matthew.

Their family loved their creations and soon word got around that the siblings turned more happiness and magic in their kitchen working together for their online dessert shop called Cream Cartel selling delectable ice cream, cookies and cakes.

(Call 0917-8456138 or visit @creamcartel_ph on Instagram.)

Yummy cookies
Nikki Tenorio’s cheese puto is a hit in Laguna.

An empirethat puto might build

From a simple rice cake recipe “an empire will rise.” That’s how my niece Nikki Tenorio, a newly minted chemical engineer with specialization in petrol, sees her puto business, an endeavor she discovered while in a lockdown, while waiting in Gulod for a petroleum company to call her to start a job. The need to earn her own keep pushed her to the kitchen to experiment. She made her own rice cake recipe and it was a hit among her family and friends. Soft, moist, velvety are her rice cakes. The toss between sweet and salty is a tug-o-war that is deliciously settled in the stomach. In just one month of her operations, Nikki was able to buy a high-grade mini-oven for her other experimentations in the kitchen. That’s the start of her lofty dream. *

(Call 0928-3585773.)

(E-mail me at bumbaki@yahoo.com. I’m also on Twitter

@bum_tenorio and IG @bumtenorio. Have a blessed weekend!)

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