Just last week, I savored morsels of gossipy foodie anecdotes, sift through crackpot notions from a baker like myself, and sample a few dollops of opinion, a pinch of quotes and a sprinkle of quips. All enjoyed in an afternoon of good company and "just desserts."
So, there she is, as elegant as she looks now, Ma. E- Gajitos, now known as Mrs. Mae Gajitos-Que. Her classmates at Quartz, would be pretty proud to know that she had gone miles and miles of baking experience, literally, since her family have been in constant tour to New York and many parts of the world, honing her skills in baking, cooking and interior designing. I could not remember what year we had been classmates but I do remember how kind and friendly she was and even now. `I don't know if she still remembers to be the class president of the said section.
I will talk more about their displays as the write-up progresses but will hastily make way first for that sweet-filled afternoon delight me, my husband and a friend, Julie had.
Mae, heads all the baking and all the creativity spurts, while Liza handles marketing and side-kicks as co-crafter and her critic. On every project, Liza would drive all the way from Mandaluyong to her sister's house in Paranaque to assist her from packaging to the actual setting-up. Like usual sisters they tend to have snide remarks at each others work but Liza admits that her sister is the one that really has the eye for beauty and just gives way to her sisters huffs and puffs.
Upon entering the house and in to the living room adjoining the dining area, a whiff of vanilla enticed us, an aroma familiar to a person who lives in the baking world.
Though the house was styled modernly and exquisitely, what drew me more was the inviting table that was set up and waiting for us.
And my eyes had set on this charming round cake that I guessed as Strawberry Cake.
At last, my intrepid search for the ultimate strawberry cake is over. This two-layer butter cake was the best butter cake I have ever had in years. Even as a baker for years I have never met a recipe that I could say my taste buds would love.
The dense, compact yet soft, airy and moist texture, made me remember the Bundt cake my mom used to make when we were children (mind you we didn't own an oven yet in those days, so a special huge cake pan was used). The strawberry jam amply layered in the middle and gloriously smacked right above the cake gives out that strawberry field experience, all worked without making you squimish with over sweetness. If you think the experience stops there, you are wronged! The cake was then thinly laced with marshmallow frosting or boiled icing then the sides covered with toasted coconuts.
So you say a coconut might not work well enough with strawberries, then you are wronged again. It was a perfect symphony of the butter cake, strawberry jam and what seemed like a meringue with toasted aromatic coconut.
Don't be overwhelmed, a bite of everything in one is as light as a touch of simple throwback life on a perfect weather.
In the psychology of colors, red comes out to be very poignant or rather intimidating. However, in a cake, I can't really seem to have the full interest in it, even knowing it has cocoa. For me it doesn't look that natural. But what really captivates a liking to this kind of cake is that the hint of chocolate flavor leaves you wanting to have more, specially if it is made soft and velvety smooth yet a bit moist. In some other cake shops, there is that thing that lacks a red velvet cake that glam which I really could not put my finger on. However, Mae's version has that wow factor, which probably would be another trade secret. According to Mae, she does not skimp on quality ingredients. For over years of practice and trying out different recipes, she was able to perfect this one, again making sure that the ingredients are fresh and clean.
I didn't eat a lot of this at Mae's because there were a lot of samples on their table so I didn't have that total rewinding experience, till I get home, and bite after bite of it sent me to cloud 9. I knew it, I was reunited to Brazo de Mercedez once again, and I've fallen in love with it.
If you think the table was gorgeous enough we were even more surprised. As we were introduced to each other, Mae slipped off in to the kitchen and out she came with a plate of these.
Yet another plate was placed on the table, this time filled with their inviting take on French Macarons in two hues, white and toffee.
Here are what I can tell you about what my perception of an ideal macaron. Shaped like a "ChocoMallow" but billowy, each cookie must have a 'foot,' a crackly ringlet that surrounds the flat side. The crust is thinner than an eggshell but has an eggshell-like quality. A bite through the shell should give way to the soft, almost-meringue texture. But for Mae it is more than the two delicate cookie, the highlight is in the middle.
Here is a sample of a pink Bourbon Vanilla Creme Macaron on a dessert table set up.
So, if I still haven't caught your interest, let me share some of their creative genius in the dessert buffet industry.
Just Desserts, Sweets by Mae is a dessert table and candy buffet that showcase a repertoire of fresh from scratch, home baked cakes and pastries, mixing and matching sweets such as candies, mallows, cookies, etc, according to your dreamed of theme. The sister will create a stunning display while providing a personalized lasting impression on any event you want to make more special.
Make an appointment now and look for Liza Vingno.
Call or text them at
+63 917 8073363 or
+63 917 9839784
E-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Do add them at Facebook with https://www.facebook.com/justdessertsweetsbymae