I have known Jenny Silayan for years. Our sons are not just schoolmates, but football buddies as well. But it wasn’t until another friend, Jecelle Tycangco, started to rave about her
cupcakes, did I realize that she baked.
Over the weekend, I sampled her baked goods—distinguished by their homemade character.
Jenny gave up corporate life when she was pregnant with her eldest child. After Coby was born, she started to bake. Her business was first called FUDGies by Jenny S before it became Sugarbee.
“FUDGies was my first product, a chocolate oatmeal bar,” she said. She used then a “home” oven. During Christmas season, she would suffer long sleepless nights, burdened by the oven’s limitations.
Silayan now has over a dozen offerings yet all her products haven’t lost that homemade appeal.
My favorites: Toblerone cupcake (dense and moist, generously frosted with Toblerone buttercream mousse); Dulce de Leche cupcake (chocolate cake with rich dulce de leche frosting); Salted Caramel Cake (old-fashioned chocolate cake with heavy swirl of salted caramel flavored ganache with cracking of sea salt; this, Jenny says, is what sets hers apart).
Other favorites: Toblerone Sans Rival (nice, crisp and light merengue with just the right amount of Toblerone buttercream sandwiched between the layers); Florentines (thin discs of chocolate with crisps and nuts, with bits of dried mango and caramel; best described as thin Almond Rocca with hints of mango).
Most irresistible are Silayan’s sans rival crisps, which I like calling kisses as they resemble such—super crispy, crumbly. You can’t stop once you start. Sweetened just right, it goes with a good cup of coffee or tea.
Jenny Silayan also bakes and conceptualizes cakes for cafés and restaurants.
Call 8520557, 5021150.
Homemade by Roshan
Roshan is another woman who comes to mind when I think of sweet treats. She’s a baker par excellence; obsessive-compulsive about the process, down to the last star piped frosting on her chocolate cupcakes, another of my favorites.
From Roshan, expect perfection, from the cake to packaging.
Her latest creation is Salted Caramel Cake that’s three layers thick, with a pool of luscious caramel and fudge icing, sprinkled with Maldon sea salt.
It’s an indulgence, for treat days when you can justify the calories. Each bite is so sinful that you don’t know how to stop.
Another new product to try that’s very good too is Roshan’s Pistachio with Green Tea Belgian White Chocolate Swirl—fully loaded with roasted pistachios folded into a creamy vanilla ice cream base with swirls of matcha-flavored white chocolate.
The nuts provide texture and the bitter matcha and the rich white chocolate make this ice cream just wonderful.
I am a big fan of Juda Liu’s cakes. Her cakes are not fancy, rather simple but truly delectable. Her sponge, the base of most of her cakes, is consistently soft, yet with a body that
complements her icings.
As she comes up with new cakes, my list of favorites gets longer: pandan, ube, mocha, white fruit cake, engaña de bobo, and, of course, marshmallow cake and cupcakes that have been a hit always at my son Diego’s parties.
This year, she came up with something new, her rendition of rainbow cake. According to Juda, her grandchild pointed the cake out to her in a magazine while they were in the US and asked her to bake it. After a few personal touches here and there, she produced a multicolor cake with fruity essence, iced with marshmallow frosting and finished off with sprinkles.
I watched how all the kids went crazy over it. I don’t know what it is about color that drives them wild but in this case, it was the candy-like taste. Not only did it taste happy, it looked happy—a perfect birthday cake.
I wanted to share this last week when I featured Mother Kanchan Sadhwani, whose Paneer Masala is very good. Here’s her recipe.
½ kilo Paneer, cut in big chunks (Indian curd cheese available at Assad)
5 onions. finely chopped
2-3 tomatoes, blanched, skin removed and puréed
½ c tomato sauce, for flavor and color
1 tsp chili, ginger and garlic paste, ground fresh (make by grinding together 1 green siling pansigang, 1 tsp ginger and 1 tbsp garlic)
1 tsp each of coriander and cumin powder (make by toasting seeds in a pan until fragrant, then grind to a powder)
1/3 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of garam masala
Salt, to taste
¼ c p green peas
Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
In a saucepan heat 5 tbsp oil.
Add 1 tsp chili ginger, garlic paste.
Sauté until aromatic.
Add onions and cook until juices dry out.
Add spices, and a little water, about ¼ c; slow simmer.
As you see the water drying up add the fresh puree of tomatoes, continue cooking on low heat.
Once you see the oil separate from the tomatoes, add the tomato sauce and salt.
At this point taste your sauce.
Season to taste with more garam masala, salt or chili and water to get your desired consistency.
Add the cubed Paneer.
Slow simmer, and let the Paneer absorb the flavors of the gravy.
Add the green peas.
Remove from heat garnish with cilantro, a bit of cumin.
Serve with chapati.
For vegetarian feast, call Kanchan at 7822615.
For a copy of my new cooking class schedule, call 9289296, 4008496, 0908-2372346 and 0917-5543700.