Specialties, initially meant for family consumption, are now ready to be savored by all. These products are baked by families, in their home kitchens, with much love.
Amelia D. Manas’ dream some 35 years ago was to own a bakeshop (tel. 0917-8603323; @amelias.ph on Instagram). Instead, she opened a chain of barbershops, known to all as Bruno’s.
Prior to managing it, Amelia had a penchant for Food for the Gods and labored tirelessly to create a recipe that was to her liking. Her daughter Beatriz Isabel Gonzales (now involved in managing Bruno’s Barbers, while baking with her mom) remembers waking up to the smell of butter every morning—a happy memory, diminished by the rigors of having to run a growing business. When quarantine came and life slowed down, Beatriz convinced her mom to bake again.
Amelia has since reignited her passion for baking. Her brood resurrected their much-beloved and sinfully delicious Food for the Gods recipe.
Amelia’s interpretation is exquisite. Individually wrapped in foil, each bite melts in the mouth like sweetened date butter with a generous sprinkling of nuts. Every so often, you’d chance upon edges that are lightly burnt and chewy—those are delicious, too! These Food for the Gods are sublime in every way!
Cheese-capped buttery cake
I received a thin white box with a gold Christmas tree etched on it. Inside was a thin cheese pie, a gift from Quinto and Maiki Oreta. I was so busy that I forgot all about it till my sister Cristy opened it and said, “Wow!”
I gave it a try and, indeed, the cheese pie was a delight: thin, buttery cake, generously capped with cheese. Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. The taste reminded me of the cheese cupcakes of old that were moist, milky and tasty. Sweet and lightly salty.
I learned that it is a revival of the popular cheese pie from the 1980s and ’90s, an original creation by Annie Olegario.
Then, the cheese pies were packed in paper plates, wrapped in ordinary plastic and distributed in different establishments around Metro Manila.
The much-beloved cheese pie was given a facelift by Marivic Olegario as a tribute to her mother-in-law. She worked to improve on the original recipe, enhance the packaging, and find new ways of marketing it.
The Cheese Pie (tel. 0935-3932213, 0955-4808913) is a blast from the past that continues to bring pleasure.
For those with kids, this is a fun way of sprucing up a cup of warm milk.
Heat up a glass of milk and throw in a chocolate bomb. Watch how it melts away, revealing marshmallows, cocoa powder, cookie bits and even crushed peppermint candy canes, depending on the flavor choice.
The bombs were created by Anne and Daryl Padilla (@Silakbo.chocolates on Instagram) as a treat for their children Ishana and Donald, who enjoy a cup of hot chocolate during storytelling time. The kids encouraged their parents to sell the bombs, wanting others to experience the thrill of it. The children have since taken an active role in the making and packaging of their chocolate treats, even expanding their offerings to include chocolate bars. It thrills Ishana and Donald to hear positive feedback from their clients.
Thanks to University of the Philippines president Danny Concepcion and his lawyer wife Gaby for this fun discovery.
Bombs and bars come in classic, cookies and cream, peppermint and spicy flavors.
Follow @iamreggieaspiras on Facebook and Instagram; reggieaspiras.com.