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Catherine's Cakes & Pies: The Ultimate Blueberry Cheesecake

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I can't remember the last time I made a blog post. I kind of picked up on the dust that was gathering in my blog and realized that I've been away for quite a while. I had set features aside almost 6 months ago, swore that I would put a halt to blogging and decided to focus on school. But as I was reading through my Facebook feed, I couldn't ignore the updates posted by Catherine's Cakes & Pies - photos of their  blueberry cheesecake did nothing but lure me into getting back to the blogging scene. After featuring their apple pie in January 2013, which is the best apple pie I have tasted, I had a gut feeling their blueberry cheesecake was just as exquisite.  How could I not feature one of the top homebakers in Manila once more? Catherine's Cakes & Pies deserved an encore and I had to make an exception.


As soon as Chito "King of Pies" Benito (Don't mind me, I coined that nickname on my own. What can I say? I'm a fan.) delivered his Blueberry Cheesecake to my house, I literally hopped my way towards it as it waited for me on the table. One thing I noticed about Catherine's Cakes & Pies is the way they package their products - each round treat is placed neatly inside a box with an apple green top and then wrapped with a shiny brown ribbon and a card making it perfect for gifts. 



The anatomy of the usual blueberry cheesecake consists of a graham crust as the base, thick cream cheese filling in the middle then topped with a generous spread of blueberry compote. Chito however manages to make this dessert even more sinful than it already is by adding a lavish amount of queso de bola shavings! "I made sure that it's not too sweet so that one will be able to taste the cream cheese. Then I put queso de bola shavings on top to add a subtle but sharp cheese taste and improve how it looks as well," says Chito. This truly is a luxurious dessert on its own. Imagine topping it with vanilla ice cream, although I think I would just be bringing myself a step closer to a heart complication...don't try this at home kids. Ignore that fantasy of mine.


To be honest, I never really enjoyed queso de bola nor did I even dream of seeing it cover the surface of one of my favorite desserts. But after finishing a hefty slice of this, I was convinced otherwise. I started with cream cheese filling which was light, delicate and silky as satin; the blueberry topping had such a smooth texture, almost like velvet which made its way down my throat like a rippled blue wave on the sea; as for the queso de bola, it sharpness is exactly what tied everything together. Just when I thought Blueberry Cheesecake couldn't get any better, Chito conjures up a clever and modern twist to leave us wanting more. I loved how each bite had a kick of saltiness to it - all the flavors had reached an equilibrium, the perfect balance. If Yin & Yang tasted like something, this would be it. 


Looking at the cheesecake, it was almost as though its appearance reflected its taste - sophisticated and fine. No tricks or circus acts here, just different textures and wonderful flavors that blend in so well together and unifying to turn this dessert into its purest form.


Would you look at that knife slide across the cake? Mmmm. 


   

Since my post about Chito's Apple Pie, Catherine's Cakes & Pies has been a part of Rockwell's 3rd Ultimate Taste Test in September (hosted by Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet), SM MOA Mother's Day in May and SM MOA Father's Day in June. All of which helped add to Chito's already growing following of food enthusiasts and dessert lovers. Not to be ignored are the numerous features in print in some of the country's well known magazines such as Appetite Magazine, wherein Nina Puyat had chosen Catherine's Cakes & Pies as team pick for the June 2013 issue, as well Southern Living Magazine and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, with a special mention by Sandy Daza written in May 2013. Food bloggers Lori Baltazar (Dessert Comes First), Leslie Cheng (Shoot First Eat Later) and Berylle Kaye Hong (It's Beryllicious) praised Chito's version of Apple Pie.


To add to the success that Catherine's Cakes & Pies has had in the past months, customers haven't been able to curb their cravings for one of the freshest homebaked pastries out there, "We're really beefing up production to keep up with the increased demand." Chito personally delivers his products for just P45  every Friday and Saturday to Las Pinas, Paranaque, Taguig, Pasig, Quezon City, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Makati and Pasay. Luckily for those living in Alabang, delivery is free of charge. Woot, woot. 


Blueberry Cheesecake can sometimes be too overwhelming since cream cheese is very rich in flavor. Sometimes one slice would leave an unpleasant aftertaste (or as we Filipinos like to term it, "umay") which ruins the whole point of indulging in such a mouthwatering treat. But, going for round number 2 wasn't even something I thought twice about, I just went for it! In fact, I didn't even notice I had already eaten a whole slice. 


The Blueberry Cheesecake comes in two sizes: 9 inch for P795.00 and 6 inch for P445.00. Check out this link for a complete list of products and their prices. 


Chito Benito has done it once again, putting his Blueberry Cheesecake on my list of top desserts to try. The fact that he is driven to make sure everything he puts on his product list is perfected before it makes waves in the food scene is enough proof that he will conquer the baking industry in no time. To him, it'll be easy as pie.


Catherine's Cakes & Pies 
0917-840-9598 / 659-2591
catherines@hotmail.ph

Le Petit Cheri: Modern French Cuisine Down South!

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Le Petit Cheri has given people who live down South a chance to experience bits and pieces of what French cuisine. I'm pretty sure we've all dreamt of visiting Paris at least once in our lives, not just because people claim it's "the city of love" but because only Paris can create dishes wish such oomph. I also can't help but admire how the French manage to eat in such a, should I say "luxurious" fashion without gaining a ton of weight. Their secret, as some of you know, is "moderation". Anyway, enough of the rambling. Let's talk about the South's very own mini France in the form of a cozy eating place called Le Petit Cheri

Everyone wants to feel at home when they eat out making restaurant's cozy ambiance the least of your worries. They even set-up a small library on the second floor where families and friends can sit down and take time to eat an croissant or two with a nice warm cup of coffee or hot chocolate. 






Pastries on display for your picking. There's a variety of breads, cookies, danish pastries and cakes.






This giant-sized tub of Nutella goodness has been held in amusement by a thousand (okay, maybe a hundred) hands. 





I've always loved Chicken Cordon Bleu, so I wanted to see how Le Petit Cheri's version fared. Once I pressed my knife onto the chicken, cheese began oozing out of its dairy-filled center. I can never say no to a cheese and meat pairing, really. 


I enjoyed how soft the meat was plus its crunchy outer layer was made the dish more pleasant to eat! You would think that with all the flavor going on with the chicken, having it with rice pilaf would be too overwhelming. However, the rice was light and quite subtle in taste but still delicious.

Chicken Cordon Bleu (P285)







Le Petit Cheri
Molito, Alabang
0917-511-0138
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A Southern belle's treasure: Adabelle's Bakery

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We've all been witnesses to the cupcake craze and until now, people can't help but get their hands on these petite delights covered in frosting. Who can blame them? Cupcakes come in all sorts of flavors and they're pretty easy (and fun) to eat! I've tried a lot of cupcakes, some out of curiosity and some to satisfy my craving. But I haven't really found one that quite hit the spot - until my aunt started baking what heaven would taste like in the shape of a cupcake. Now you might be thinking that the reason behind my drive to make this post is my relation to the baker and owner. Yes and no. The main purpose of my blog after all is to write about the products I truly believe in and feel are worthy of letting food enthusiasts such as myself know what's out there for them to try. I won't mince words - these ARE the best cupcakes in Manila. There's no bias here, they just taste REALLY REALLY GOOD. I'm pretty sure you'd be saying the same thing once you try them out for yourself. :) 

Red Velvet Cupcakes (P60)
All the cupcakes are baked fresh since they're made to order. And I don't know about you, but there's something different about how homemade baked goods taste - they're richer in flavor, fresher and safer to eat. Before I even bit into my first Adabelle Cupcake, I couldn't help but stare at its frosting. I've never seen anything piped so pretty and dainty. These cupcakes appear to be fit for a queen and a princess. So, yes. They're aesthetically pleasing, but what about the taste?


One important factor most people consider when tasting food is the balance of flavors. The red velvet cake base is moist and fluffy, so don't expect it to crumble. The frosting is like the crown on this royal dessert - extremely creamy, velvety and sweet, which makes the perfect partner for the cake. All cupcakes are frosted with Adabelle's very own homemade cream cheese frosting.


Adabelle's Bakery also customizes cakes. The photo above is that of a Pineapple Carrot Walnut Clown Cake made especially for a birthday party. No fancy fondant here, just pure playful edible art. Looking at the menu, you'll notice that Adabelle's Bakery focuses on only a few flavors, that's because all of these have been perfected down to a t. 

Customized Carrot Walnut Sunflower Cupcakes

Carrot Walnut Cupcakes (P70)
Adabelle's Carrot Walnut Cupcakes are a healthier alternative to other cupcakes out there. It's packed with walnuts, a healthy serving of carrots and a pretty finish.



Ultramoist Chocolate Cake
I've tasted many chocolate cakes in the past few years - some homemade and some commercialized. I'm pretty selective when it comes to this dessert since I've always pictured my ideal chocolate cake as moist, fudgy, soft, pleasant to the palate and of course, it had to ooze with chocolate. I was fortunate to to find all of these in Adabelle's Ultramoist Chocolate Cake, which is the latest addition to the menu. Imagine 10 inches worth of super moist chocolate cake drowning in a pool of homemade chocolate fudge sauce. Absolutely delectable and a must try. 

Each creation by Adabelle's Bakery will be the best you've ever tasted, be it in the form of a cupcake or a chocolate cake. Pick-up points are in Alabang and B.F. Homes, Paranaque, please allow one day lead time for orders since all cakes and cupcakes are made to order. :)

Tiny reminder: Adabelle's Bakery will only be operating until June 24 so you only have a limited amount of time to try the best cupcakes! :)



Adabelle's Bakery
0906-346-8913
Facebook: http://facebook.com/adabellesbakery
instagram: adabellesbakery

Chelsea Market & Cafe

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I can say that my blog has officially lost 20 pounds after almost 4 months of not feeding it with food photos and reviews. Now that I'm back (but only for a short while), I'm gonna be catching up on backlogs and features that were supposed to be in this food blog of mine months ago. So, first on the list of my "should have been posted eons ago" blog entries is my trip to Chelsea Market & Cafe

I have been to Serendra a couple of times, tried Sonja's Cupcakes, dined at Abe and crossed the streets of Taguig to get from point A to point B. But I honestly never knew the cafe I had passed by many times was going to be one of my top 5 favorite places to eat at. This restaurant did a wonderful job at marrying the concept of a "market" and "cafe" and creating a homey yet elegant set-up.







I love it when restaurants provide appetizers that are enough to keep you full until your food arrives. Chelsea offers free focaccia bread with roasted garlic, which you dub (or press) your bread onto, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Granny Smith Apple Shreds and Gorgonzola (P350)

Southern Style Cornflake (P495)
A fresh alternative to the usual "chicken n' gravy", this delicious cornflake encrusted chicken was nicely paired with Rosemary wild mushroom gravy. 

Slow-Cooked Herbed Norwegian Salmon (P495)
Crisp Citrus-Rosemary Roasted Pork Belly (P495)
I can't go to a restaurant, spot the words "pork belly" on the menu and ignore it completely. This was apparently too big for me to handle, and I mean that in the best way possible. The pork was succulent and tucked underneath was a bed of mashed potatoes swimming in gravy. Definitely something worth trying when you first dine here.


Carrot Cake
Cookie Cheesecake

You'll have to excuse me, I forgot what these cakes are called although you can tell by the looks of it that they were divine.


Cookie Cheesecake

Chelsea Market & Cafe
Serendra,
Bonifacio Global City
Taguig
909-7012