Here’s my edible love list for Valentine’s Day that will delight people you hold dear.
Heart-shaped Napoleon cake
Chef Sunshine Puey Pengson’s heart-shaped Napoleon cake has a shortbread cookie base and a chocolate or vanilla bean custard cream filling. It is beautifully decorated with flowers, fruits, candies and chocolates.
For a more personal touch, you may opt to have initials of the person you will give the cake to. The cookie, Napoleon cake, can also be made into a number cake, a novelty birthday cake.
Made in Candy
I’m a fan of Made in Candy that has elevated candy making to an art form. Imagine the skill required to craft your personal messages and pictures on the center of each candy.
Not only do their candies look good, they taste good, too. Few confections are made to taste as close to its natural source. The cocktail of flavors in a piece of candy that is approximately a fourth of an inch in size is amazingly intense.
For February, customers can design their own candy for P350.
Made in Candy has branches at Rockwell Center, SM Megamall, Alabang Town Center, Glorietta 4, SM Mall of Asia.
Gluten-free chocolate genoise
Chef Rebecca Disini offers Luxurious Mon Valentin (My Valentine) gluten-free chocolate genoise, camarosa and senga sengana strawberry crémeux, Belgian milk chocolate mousse, dark Belgian chocolate glaze and fresh strawberries.
Her mirror cakes are to die for, I was hooked on first bite. Must-try: Le Matcha Flourless Chocolate Genoise—matcha pana cotta, white chocolate mousse, matcha glaze and edible flowers; Le Mimosa—chocolate genoise with demi sec style sparkling wine, bergamot orange crémeux, Belgian milk chocolate mousse, spider glaze.
Valentine chocolate box
Chef Buddy Trinidad’s Valentine Box is the ultimate way of “saying it with chocolate.” His selection includes: chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate-dipped dried mangoes, chocolate pralines, chocolate bark with fruit, chocolate-dipped fortune cookies, chocolate almond kisses, love chocolate pralines.
Roshan Samtani calls her specialty Millionaire’s cake because it’s expensive and laborious to make. It has high-quality chocolate, lots of macadamia (slow-roasted at low temperature to bring out its oils and deepen the flavor), caramel custard and a deep golden caramel made with French cream.
Red Ginger’s chocolate fondue brims with seasonal fruits, marshmallows, brownies and pandan cakes slathered in trio of dips: white chocolate, strawberry and black pepper; salted caramel and Don Papa Rum; and dark chocolate and mint.
Red Ginger, City of Dreams Manila; call 6917783.
Buttery red velvet cookie
Something different from Mrs. Fields: buttery red velvet cookie filled with white chocolate ganache. Available at all Mrs. Field’s outlets.
Caramel butter cake bars
Mara de la Rama’s caramel butter cake bars are made of hand-churned caramel butter, chocolate almond cake, caramel cake. It’s topped with caramel mousse, milk chocolate whipped cream and encased in a hard, nut and milk chocolate glaze.
Estrel’s caramel cake
Estrel’s much-loved caramel cake for February is decked with buttercream sampaguita. But, of course, you can still opt for the traditional rose buttercream cakes as well.
Call 3767317, 3722965.
Intense Vanilla Pistachio Mousse Cake
Spanish chef Francisco Coque of Diamond Hotel presents the Intense Vanilla Pistachio Mousse Cake—nutty pistachio sponge cake filled with luscious strawberry gel and intensely flavored vanilla mousse with a subtle lychee kick.
Ruby Port with chocolate truffles
To pair with chocolates, my top picks are Ruby Port with chocolate truffles and dark chocolate cake. My favorite Ports are supplied by Joao Branquiho.
‘Chicharon bulaklak’ bouquet
Lapid’s chicharon bulaklak bouquet is an unusual find, but definitely a favorite! To maintain its quality, it is cooked, arranged and wrapped on the spot.
Available at S&R and other R. Lapid outlets.
Moët & Chandon Rose NV Brut
Last but not the least, my celebratory drink of choice for the month is Moët & Chandon Rose NV Brut with milk chocolate!
Unlimited bulgogi, kimchi, yakitori, even beer–starting at P399