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From hotelier to shipbuilder to baker

By MONIQUE TODA, The Philippine STAR Published Aug 05, 2021 6:00 am

“I’ve traded my laptop for a mixer, and my office is now a kitchen,” says Monique Tancongco.  As I bite into her utterly delicious strawberry shortcake, I am a bit in disbelief. Has this career woman become a domestic goddess?

A working woman through and through, Monique has been in the food and beverage service business for 20-plus years. She has been connected to luxury hotels and cruise lines here and abroad.

From managing restaurants to participating in new shipbuilding, she is now a baker. Monique jokes that “from the front of the house, I am now at the back of the house." The sleek suits have been replaced by a no-nonsense apron and a dainty bandana.

Bestsellers all: Strawberry Shortcake, Caramel Cake and The Grand Slam

It was a pleasant surprise to discover that Monique (we share the same name but, I’m afraid, not the talent) bakes wonderful cakes. Her passion for good desserts brought about Monique Cakes, a new endeavor.

She says, “I’m perpetually on a diet and can’t muster enough self-control to resist cakes. Baking them on my own allows me to carefully select the ingredients and manage the sweetness.”

More cooking and baking happened with the abundance of free time during this pandemic. Aggravated by the limited social gatherings with loved ones, her cakes then became her ‘language of love’ to family and friends.

Cooking and baking have always been her comfort zone. After a long day at work, she turned to the kitchen (and grocery shopping) to unwind. Monique would always find the time to cook a good meal. More cooking and baking happened with the abundance of free time during this pandemic. Aggravated by the limited social gatherings with loved ones, her cakes then became her “language of love” to family and friends.

Monique Cakes offers a selection of the cakes she bakes best. Her most popular bestseller is the Strawberry Shortcake. What I like most about it is that it is not too sweet and there is no tipid when it comes to fresh, luscious strawberries. It’s like eating strawberries and cream, simple yet delicious.

The bestseller: Strawberry Shortcake

Her Caramel Cake uses an old-fashioned recipe of buttery vanilla chiffon perfectly complemented by a delectable caramel frosting. It has just the right amount of richness and sweetness. It is perfect with a cup of coffee.

  Berries Crepe Cake

For celebrations, most of her clients order The Grand Slam, a decadent dessert made from chocolate cake topped with caramel and wrapped with Belgian chocolate-filled wafers. Personalized celebratory toppers that add a festive touch can be ordered, too.

 Check out those pecans in her Pecan Pie Cheesecake.

Others cakes offered are Pecan Pie Cheesecake and Tiramisu. More mouthwatering confections will be added to her roster as she continues to do product development. Wait for the Berries Crepe Cake and Apple Pie Cake.

  Monique intends to add more offerings to her roster of cakes.

Monique says she is excited to still be in the food and beverage industry,  albeit on the flipside of what she used to do. She only started her business in March of this year, and has since had 500 cakes ordered and baked. Amazing. It pretty much looks like the turn on the road in Monique Tancongco’s career is proving to be a sweet success.

For orders, visit @moniquecakesph on Facebook or Instagram.