An open letter to all the CARBS I’ve loved in 2014

To all the CARBS I’ve loved in 2014,

I’m writing to you because as much as I loved you (you obviously loved me more since you stayed in my perfectly rounded huge belly and refused to leave) we must part ways in 2015. Let me give you a final tribute and let me relive the happy days filled with cookies and cakes. 

Home bakers/Small Bakeshops

Home bakers were in top form in 2014 and I was happy to have tried quite a few remarkable ones.

I’m so happy more and more home bakers are now concentrating on cookies rather than the usual cupcakes. Last year the one’s that stood out were YuMna’s Salted Caramel Cookies with Nutella Caramel fillingSweets by Bianca’s Peanut Butter Brookie, GourmetFinds’s ginormous Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Cookie,   Flour Jar’s assortment of cookies of which the Reese’s Chocolate Chewies was my favorite. Recently Beatriz of Flour Jar branched out to cakes just like this Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake which was very moist, dense and had a rich chocolate flavor from the imported Callebaut chocolate used. 

Flour Jar's Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

Flour Jar’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake


On the pies front there was  Pie’s by Aileen’s Peach-Mango Cream Pie which was good but it was her savory pies that I ordered again and again. Her pie crusts are really flaky and the fillings were generous. My favorites were her Chicken Pot Pie, Beef & Mushroom in Cream Sauce and the Pulled Pork in Mango BBQ Sauce. I order the 4″ pies and eat one as a meal. 

Another discovery for savory pies is The Sweet Studio in Santolan. They specialize in cakes but it was their pies that caught my attention. I bought 10 pies and kept half of it in the freezer and ate it slowly. They kept very well in the freezer and a quick reheating in the oven and it was a good as new. I loved their Chicken pie and Spinach and Mushroom pie. Their crust is spectacular and both pies were stuffed to the edge. I need to replenish my stocks soon! 

The Sweet Studio Chicken Pie

The Sweet Studio Chicken Pie-001

The Sweet Studio Chicken Pie

 The Sweet Studio Chicken Pie-002

Sans Rival is a Filipino favorite and I tried two kinds last year. The first is from Carla, who wanted me to try her mom’s sans rival which was hearty, chewy, fluffy and filled with lots and lots of chopped cashew and a creamy, not too sweet buttercream. It’s different and quite satisfying. If you want to order this homemade sans rival you can call Lou Declaro at 09272808124. Prices are 300, 500 & 900.  

Lou Declares' Sans Rival

Lou Declaro’s Sans Rival

The other one was the exact opposite and it was light and super crunchy and we had it several times through out the year whenever there was a birthday party. The sans rival close to my heart and belly was the Pistachio Sans Rival by Jill Sandique of Dèlize.

One of the most underated, un-Instagrammed cakes I’ve eaten last year was from Sugar Babies Desserts Unlimited  who sent me a box of small cakes which didn’t have a note or any description of the cakes. They knew the cakes would speak for themselves and I was very impressed with the  uniqueness of the creations and the use of high quality ingredients which you can taste with every bite. They each have fancy names and I can guarantee all are fabulous. From the perfectly fudgy brownie filled with salted caramel to the crinkles filled with strawberry mousse and most of all the surprising chocolate cheesecake topped with mango mousse.

Sugar Babies Desserts Unlimited

Sugar Babies Desserts Unlimited


If there’s one baker who broke out of the mold from the usual cupcakes & red velvet whatever then it’s Brown Butter, a home bakery based in Parañaque. Just take a look at her desserts!!! Top left to right clockwise are: Napoleon, Chocolate Banana, Popcorn Surprise and Chocolate Five Textures. 

All are good and very unique but my hands down favorite is chef Cathy Choi’s signature Chocolate Five Textures cake made with chocolate sponge, chocolate crumble, chocolate crisps, chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache. It’s the ultimate in flavor and textures for the true chocoholic. 

brown butter

Brown Butter’s Desserts

Brown Butter Desserts Price List

Last but not the least was a gift from my cousin. As soon as I bit into the bite sized brookie I was hooked. I love brownies but really good ones are very, very, very hard to find. I like my brownie dense and fudgy with a touch of cakey and the flavor has to be really deep, dark chocolate. Well I found it in Batter’s brookies. The crunchy cookie topping I could do without. I hope Michelle develops more flavors with her base brownie. I’m dreaming of mint, peanut butter and orange brownies.  You can find these brookies in CO/OP too. 


Batter's Brookies

Batter’s Brookies


Hope I didn’t forget any dessert. Whew what a list and I carry all those calories with me to this day. So carbs I bid you adieu as I TRY  ATTEMPT  to eliminate  lessen my carbs intake this year to once a day week. God help me!!! 

telephone: 0917-8569867
Instagram: theainaproject

Flour Jar
Instagram: flourjarmanila

Pies Inc. by Aileen
telephone: 0917-5258521 or 0922-8258521
Instagram: piesincbyaileen

Sweet Bite by Bianca
telephone: 0917-8292833
Instagram: sweetbitebybianca

telephone: 0921-7622240

The Sweet Studio
Instagram: thesweetstudioph

Delize by Jill Sandique 
No. 33 Sunrise Drive, Cubao Q.C.
telephone: 721-7022, 497-8811, 0922-8262673 

Sugar Babies Desserts Unlimited
telephone: 0917-533-9189
Instagram: sugarbabiesdesserts

Brown Butter
telephone: 0917-8622625, 975-7085
Instagram: brownbutterph

Batter Home Bakery
telephone: 0917-8081380, 0917-8402647

Hong Kong: La Vache

I didn’t have any plans of going to Hong Kong until December but my friend asked me if I was going since we had a long weekend from August 21-25 (absent on the 22nd :D). I said no and she said why not? So I made a snap decision and bought a ticket two days before the trip.

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Paul SM Aura Manila

When Rochelle and I went to Paris a couple of years ago one of the simple meals we enjoyed was from Paul in the basement of the Louvre. We shared a long baguette filled with tuna salad, a flan normand and an Orangina soda. It wasn’t fancy but it left an impression on us and a longing for good baguette in Manila. 

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