“Best Desserts: Inquirer Lifestyle’s Most Read Ultimate List.” This is the bible for the sweet tooth; it provides valuable information on where to get the best-tasting cakes, pastries, and everything in between. The pages and photos alone are mouthwatering.
The book honors bakers whose desserts are the best expression of themselves. And it is also a timely guide for those who want to give the best desserts this Christmas.
The book will be available in all leading bookstores by mid-December.
Dutch cheese. Why not raise your cheese platter up a notch with an assortment of Dutch Edams in the hues of Christmas?
Gardeli Dutch Cheese Pesto Red. Tomato, garlic and herbs give this red-orange cheese an intense flavor.
Gardeli Dutch Cheese Pesto Green. My favorite: The cheese tastes of fresh pesto so green, so addicting, that once you start, you can’t stop (S&L Fine Foods; tel. 02-8432996 or 8367713).
Tres Leches. Ever since I tried Estela Lomeli Blanco’s food, I haven’t stopped looking for occasions to ask her to come over to my house and cook Mexican food.
During a surprise party for a dear friend, Vivian Go, I had her prepare a birthday cake, particularly a Tarta de Tres Leches: sponge cake soaked in evaporated milk, condensed milk and cream. It is then generously iced with fresh whipped cream. It tastes like heaven! (For orders, call tel. 2819683.)
No, says chef Anthony Kouroutsavouris, there is nothing Greek about the ensaimada. However, the butter and the cheese are all Greek, which is why they’re unique.
Everyone who has tasted it fell in love with it, and rightfully so. The richness of Epirus butter from goat and sheep milk lends it a gamey taste not found in other ensaimada. The Greek kefalotyri cheese from cow’s milk lends a sharp taste. (For orders, call tel. 6618240 or 0906-4328630 .)
French butter. Nothing is more comforting than real good bread with excellent butter. Since this is the season to indulge, why not treat yourself to a tub of Échiré—French butter made
from pure milk, 100-percent natural, one of the best butters in the world?
Imagine a hot baguette (I get mine from Lartizan); slice and spritz it with water before popping it in the oven. Slather a generous portion of creamy, nutty, slightly salted, tasty butter. So simple, yet so good (tel. +632-8405119).
Iya’s Pastillas. Bite-size treats at first—until Iya decided to make them jumbo!
Ever since she started making them, she has come up with a multitude of flavors. Of her last tweaking, I love the ones filled with ube and yema.
For Christmas, she came up with Oreo: The bitterness of the chocolate tones down the sweetness of the pastillas (call tel. 7290325).
Cocoa Monster Tin. Inside the tin, you’ll find chocolate-dipped polvoron and chocolate peanut crunch. Perfectly toasted flour and quality butter make this good polvoron. Theirs is
perfectly nutty, buttery with a delicate crunch that comes from rice crispies.
According to Carla Lim, the chocolates are “proudly, wholly produced within the Philippines, from bean to bar.”
“Our company has more than 35 years of experience in the cocoa industry,” she added. “And through this, we are able to make our own unique blend of chocolates and flavors.”
They also have dried mangoes dipped in chocolate. (Contact +63922-8736638.)
Christmas, they say, is all about packaging. Fat Paper is a family-owned company that specializes in all sorts of packaging—food and non-food.
The materials and fabrics have excellent quality. They work within your budget and try their best to give you exactly what you want.
The craftsmanship is exemplary. The jam and bread box, the albums, press kits and invitations are very impressive.
(For all your specialized food and non-food packaging needs, call tel. 5023974.)
Orocan. In a bazaar at Xavier for the benefit of ERDA Tech, I saw many Christmas gift possibilities, such as very colorful large pitchers, beverage sets, water jugs and coolers in all sizes.
My current favorite Orocan product is its shopping basket that sells for P99.75. If you want to see its catalogue, go to its Facebook page. (For bulk orders, call tel. 2470143.)
Melaware. Starter sets of 12 pieces—four plates, bowls and tumblers—range in price from P119 to P239. It also has storage bowl sets of three pieces (P119) and five pieces (P149); casseroles (P99); and rice bowls (P164). (For a copy of its gift catalogue, call tel. 5864944 or 09175283196 .)