Its true when they say every pregnancy is different. This time around I have an enormous craving for sweets- something I do not usually look for. The last month has been a search for the perfect chocolate cake, the moistest brownie, the fudgiest cupcake and the richest chocolates. Unfortunately that search was reflected in my sugar levels at the check up with my doctor. I’ve been quite good lately replacing delectable bites of chocolate with delicious plums I found at Market Market, crispy apples and pears and seriously overpriced imported berries- but so worth it.
That was until yesterday. I was invited to the opening of Sinfully by Makati Shangri-La, the hotel’s satellite patisserie. A half dozen waiters carrying trays of chocolate pralines and chocolate cocktails greeted me as I entered the cocktail area. I was in sweet heaven. Feeling sorry for myself that I could not partake of the vodka-chocolate and crème brule-vodka cocktails, I indulged in the chocolates being served. I lost count of how many pieces I munched on happily, savoring every bite, as I knew this was my cheat day for the entire month- 2 weeks before my next visit to the doctor!
I took a look inside the shop which is located on the second floor of Greenbelt 5, its store front is a ‘chocolate room’ a temperature controlled room where passers by can watch the pastry chef make chocolates. This sight alone was enough to draw me in. Inside, I found that aside from an array of pralines, the shop also makes one of my favorite treats- Parisian Macaroons. Not many places in Manila do these-or do them well. I was looking for the combination of flavor with the right amount of sweetness and just that hint of ‘kunat’ that makes a macaroon perfect. Anything too flaky or sweet isn’t good. I bit into a blue raspberry flavored one and found perfection in one bite. What’s more is that if you are looking for a gift to take to a dinner party or as a present, the macaroons come in beautiful silk boxes, pretty enough to use as costume jewelry boxes after they are used. The praline tower is a gift box filled with a guest’s own selection of chocolates in a beautiful box. The packaging of the cookies come in pastel colored boxes are beautiful additions to any table setting or as give-aways for parties. The shop also makes breads and muffins that are enjoyed in the hotel, which can be taken home and served for a hotel-like breakfast.
Sinfully’s array of cakes is extensive. There are mini designer cakes, enough to satisfy a craving, or for two people on a diet to share. The shop features Emoticakes, a special dessert inspired by emoticons. On an interactive touch screen, the cakes can be customized according to the emotion a guest wants the cake to portray. Guests can also choose from cheese cake or chocolate covered fondant cakes. After the selection is made, a slip is printed out and handed to the staff. The cake is then crafted and can be picked up in a few hours. The sculptural cakes that can be customized to any shape you want looked beautiful as well as delicious. The shop ladies told me that I could bring in any bag I want and they could copy it into a cake…hmmm could this be the perfect way to hint to my husband about a new bag? I felt the instant mother’s instinct when I told the lady. “ Yes the bags are beautiful but can you do an Elmo? Playing his piano, with Dorothy in her bowl? ” Without hesitation she replied yes, they could do absolutely anything I wanted.
As far as being good with my eating habits, I will do my absolute best to stay healthy for myself as well as for the health of my baby. I’ve found another great patisserie where I can get delicious and beautifully packaged gifts. And should the craving for delicate sweets arise, I’m glad to know there’s a place where I can indulge.
September 17, 2011 by Juana Manahan-Yupangco