The Goldilocks story–from childhood bakery to baking institution
I was overjoyed when I received a copy of the Goldilocks cookbook from dear friend Alan German.
Many of the recipes brought me back to the good old days, when my lola baked, mom cooked, and people brought a bag or box of treats from Goldilocks when visiting. Mamon, cathedral gelatin and chiffon cakes easily come to mind.
As I browsed the book, I was convinced it was more than just a cookbook. It chronicles the evolution of the Filipino palate and brings forth long-lost gustatory cravings. The book is a temptation to every sweet tooth, a bible for every baker, and an almanac for every culinary historian. It is also inspiring, as reading it made me want to bring out my mixer and bake simple yet delectable treats.
The next day, I set out to satisfy my urge. I baked using recipes from the cookbook. I figured that if I was to call it a “must-have,” then I should test some of the recipes first.
I chose five basic recipes, picking those that I used to do when I was 6 years old with the help of our cook Manang Emy: polvoron, mamon, doughnuts, meringue and corned beef rolls.
I instructed my assistants Roni and Arnel to prepare the polvoron, mamon and doughnuts based on the recipe. The only instruction I didn’t follow was using a mixer with a dough hook.
I did the meringue because making them makes me happy. Piping the fluffy and colorful sweets on a baking tray is fun. I also made the corned beef rolls. That day, I felt like kneading dough with my hands.
To my surprise, the meringue came out perfect, as did the corned beef rolls. The doughnuts, mamon and polvoron tasted just like they did back when life and the palate were simpler. Truly, many of our favorite treats, as we know and enjoy them today, emanate from these recipes
How did the Goldilocks enterprise start out? I learned that Milagros and Clarita were two of the nine children of Pascual Leelin and Trinidad Tancioco.
“My father taught us to cook and bake. We would wake up early in the morning to cook for him,” Milagros said.
During World War II, Milagros learned to cook while helping her parents run the household. Clarita developed her fondness for baking when she got a portable oven from her parents when she was 10 years old.
“I feel truly blessed that my passion became my profession,” Clarita said.
“My sister and I decided to start a business when we began to receive requests for the cakes,” Milagros recalled. “The name Goldilocks was chosen because of two very important words embedded in the name—gold and luck, which suggest fortune and success.”
As the story goes, on May 15, 1966, the sisters, with their sister-in-law Doris Wilson Leelin, opened a small bakeshop on a 70-sq-m space on the ground floor of a three-story building along Pasong Tamo, Makati.
It had two cake displays and 10 employees. The cakes sold out, with the first-day sales at P574.
From its humble beginnings, Goldilocks has grown to 320 stores all over the Philippines, plus three in Bangkok and 23 in the United States!
Goldilocks, to me, is more than just a bakeshop. It is where Filipino traditions, tastes and flavors are incorporated into the shop’s creations.
Here are the recipes I baked based on the book:
Corned Beef Bun
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/8 c water
- 3 ¾ c all-purpose flour
- ½ c refined sugar
- ½ tsp refined salt
- 3 pcs large egg yolk
- ¼ c evaporated milk
- 1/3 c salted butter
1. Dissolve yeast in 1/3 part of water.
2. In a mixing bowl with dough hook or flat beater attachment, place the sifted all-purpose flour, sugar and salt. Mix for one minute at low speed.
3. Add the remaining water and pre-dissolved yeast. Mix at medium speed for approximately four minutes.
4. Add the butter and continue mixing at medium until gluten is slightly developed.
5. Transfer the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic.
6. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature.
7. Punch down the dough and divide it into pieces weighing 60 g each.
8. Round each piece and let the dough rest for 20 minutes. Cover with plastic to prevent from drying.
9. Flatten the dough, then place the corned beef filling and gather the edges to seal.
10. Lightly sprinkle with water and roll in breadcrumbs.
11. Arrange pieces in 12” x 16” baking pan.
12. Let the dough rise until it doubles in size (approximately one hour at room temperature).
13. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown in color.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 3 tbsp chopped onion
- ¾ c potato (peeled and diced)
- 2 c corned beef
- ¼ c water
- 1 tbsp refined sugar
- ½ tsp refined salt
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1½ tbsp water for cornstarch
1. Dissolve cornstarch in water. Set aside.
2. In a hot wok over medium fire with vegetable oil, sauté garlic and minced onion until amber in color.
3. Add in corned beef and mix. Immediately add diced potato and cook until tender.
4. Once potatoes are tender, add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking for two minutes.
5. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture and continue cooking until filling has thickened.
- 3 large egg whites
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 1 c sugar
- Liquid color (optional)
1. Line a 12” x 16” baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl with wire whisk attachment, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar at low speed for approximately one minute to incorporate ingredients.
3. Switch the mixer to high speed and continue beating the egg white until soft peaks form.
4. Add the liquid color and continue beating the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
5. Immediately transfer meringue into a pastry bag with decorating tip No. 2D (or any tip of your choice).
6. Pipe the meringue into the prepared baking pan.
7. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until dry.
8. Once baked, transfer to another baking sheet and allow meringue to cool.
The Goldilocks cookbook is also perfect for mothers who are looking for activities with their kids this summer! The recipes are easy to do and easy to follow. It’s available at all leading bookstores, or you may order your copies at tel. 5322718.
For a copy of my new cooking class schedule, call tel. 9289296, 4008496, 0908-2372346 and 0917-5543700.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.