The chocolate cake I almost kept from my kids | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

MAI Ote’s chocolate cake
MAI Ote’s chocolate cake
MAI Ote’s chocolate cake

The Cookie Monster used to be one of the best-tasting chocolate cakes in the metropolis. It was light, chocolaty, bittersweet and fluffy. It became the foundation of what a good chocolate cake should taste like.

Today, as hotels employ internationally educated Filipino pastry chefs and foreign pastry chefs themselves, and because of easy access to the Internet and the wealth of recipes available, the standard of cakes—particularly chocolate cakes—has gone haywire. Many still consider Cookie Monster cake their comfort food, and there are bakeshops that make a close approximation of this 1970s icon.

Shoppersville along Katipunan and Polly’s are two examples.

I have tried a few others that will make any chocoholic faint in satisfaction and suspend any dieting: Valrhona Chocolate Cake of Dolcelatte; Ginny Roces de Guzman’s Gustare Chocolate Cake; Sylvia Cancio’s Chocolate Velvet (not sure if she still makes it); Divine Desserts’ Double Fudge Cake; and, just recently, a brand-new one that also made me dance.

It was so good I immediately thought of my family and just had to share this discovery with readers who, like me, always talk about dieting but almost always break it.

I do cooking demos for Nestle. In these demonstrations, I go with a bunch of chefs. We all run our own stations during the demonstrations. Some handle main dishes while others handle desserts.

One of the newest products of Nestle is what we call Dochello. One of those doing the Dochello demos is a woman chef. Curious about the culinary journeys of other chefs, I chatted with pastry chef Mai Ote.

I learned she went to culinary school in the United States and had extensive experience making great pastries abroad.

Something clicked in my mind. These are the people I look for—simple, unassuming, but have delicious pastries in their repertoire.

Out of this planet

I asked Mai what she considered her best sellers. Two weeks later, I had a box of Sticky Toffee Pudding, an Apple Cheesecake and one of the most delicious chocolate cakes I have tried.

According to the instructions for the Sticky Toffee Pudding, I should place toffee sauce in the hole of the pudding, microwave for 20 seconds and serve with vanilla ice cream. Patay! Fantastic!

The apple pie with crust and all was on top of a light cheesecake that was a bit salty and deliciously creamy. Brilliant idea!

Being the chocoholic that I am, I found this chocolate cake was out of this planet. It was rich, fattening, dark with a nice crunchy crust. It was so good I almost kept it from my kids. Sarap talaga!

This automatically becomes part of my suggested list of Christmas gifts.
I noticed the chocolate cakes I’ve been craving are mostly bittersweet, fluffy and the rich kind. It has come a long way since the Cookie Monster days.

Check out chef Mai Ote’s Deep Rich Chocolate Cake, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Apple Cheesecake.

Happy eating!

Mai Ote’s Cakes, tel. 0917-5330443
Follow the columnist:; Twitter @sandydaza

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