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Sweet surprises

By MILLIE AND KARLA REYES, The Philippine STAR Published Oct 14, 2021 5:00 am

MILLIE: I find myself craving something sweet at the end of every meal these days, something I never used to feel. My meal ender would often be cheese or a fruit slice and a cup of coffee.

Perhaps the feeling of being deprived of going out due to this prolonged pandemic has made me crave a bit of sweetness in my life!

I am a great cheesecake lover. I am also fond of chocolate cake that’s moist and not crumbly. I also like strawberry shortcake or strawberry tartlets, or even plain, fresh strawberries with whipped Creme Chantilly and a dash of sugar.

My most favorite of all is lemon meringue! But wait, I enjoy mocha cakes, too. Oh, and I love Brazo Mercedes with the filling oozing out. I almost forgot Sans Rival that’s crunchy to the bite.

To satisfy my sweet cravings, Karla surprised me one weekend with a gorgeous key lime pie from Lisa Lorenzo Uy. It was mildly tart, smooth and refreshing.

KARLA: We only order desserts on the weekends and enjoy it the rest of the week. Weekends are supposed to be our “cheat days,” when in fact, every day becomes a cheat day because we end up ordering more than we can eat.

When the key lime pie arrived, mom excitedly carried and posed with it.

Author Milllie Reyes gets a surprise from daughter Karla – a key lime pie by Liza Lorenzo Uy

Growing up in a family of practical jokers, I posted the photo on Instagram, where my friends started greeting my mom “Happy birthday, tita!” not knowing we were just taste testing a cake for her birthday… in November. Haha! The truth is, who needs an occasion for cake?

It arrived with a box of Lorenzo’s yummy food for the gods and all of a sudden, it seemed like Christmas Eve! Lisa’s grandma was my Lola Meldy’s aunt, so every Christmas, she would send us a fresh batch and it became a family tradition at Christmastime.

In celebration of my Tita Dorcie’s birthday, someone gifted her with Sans Rival from Gay Vasquez.

  Classic Sans Rival with lots of cashews by Gay Vasquez

Tita Dorcie kindly shared with us a piece of the cake. It was a thoughtful and much-appreciated gesture; however, we literally had two bites each. It was, in Filipino, kapiranggot, or a very small piece. Mom and I looked at each other and decided to order our own cake. Yes, we ordered a whole cashew nut Sans Rival for ourselves the very next day. Haha! We’ve been hooked since then.

We have given it to friends celebrating their birthdays, one of which was for one of my best friends, Jharvis. He absolutely loves Sans Rival and we gifted him with a whole one, only to find out it was exactly the same cake his family ordered for him and his nephew’s joint birthday celebration. I must say, it’s the best Sans Rival we’ve tried. Nothing fancy at all, just a really good version of a classic.

MILLIE: I also went on an ice cream binge and with one text to Yoli Celdran, fabulous FIC flavors arrived at my doorstep: my favorite is the espresso frozen custard and Karla’s the mantecado frozen custard.

Other flavors that arrived were strawberry, which had bits of strawberries in it; healthy green tea; melt-in-your mouth rich chocolate; creamy cappuccino; Queso with real cheese bits in it; and the latest flavor, Dulce Caramello with actual caramel!

A perfect match were tuiles from Karla’s friend Aldrin, who sent us a canister to try out.

KARLA: Mom had this smart idea of ordering half gallons of FIC ice cream. She ordered and arranged the delivery herself and just asked me to pay via Gcash. When the time came to finally stuff the ice cream in the freezer, she realized it wouldn’t fit and asked me to “make magic” the freezer. Haha!

I, however, was able to live a childhood dream of owning an ice cream shop by role playing and asking my one and only customer what flavor she would like for the day or if she wanted a banana split with all flavors. Haha!

  Unique and colorful: Monique’s fruity guava cake

A recent sweet surprise was the delicious and very, very pretty guava cake of Monique Tancongco. Opening the box was an experience in itself; the sweet aroma of the guava filled the room.

As I cut into it for a quick photo, I literally squealed while pulling out the slice. My idea of a guava cake was something like the Assumption tarts my Lola Meldy used to buy every year. But I was really pleasantly overwhelmed with this one. We shared it with my mom’s siblings and true enough, they all loved it! 

MILLIE: The guava cake was unique and became an instant favorite. My brother Gerry was curious and liked it very much. I loved the luscious strawberry shortcake with huge fresh strawberries from Driscoll’s. The cake was perfect, not crumbly at all, and it was even better the next day. The pecan cheesecake was delightful and indeed a pleasant sweet surprise! Now I can’t decide which cake to order for my birthday.