12 Desserts Helping Me Get Through This Fucking Quarantine

Let’s skip the long intro for now! If you live in the Philippines, you can probably totally relate to the title, and so …. here are 12 sweet quarantine discoveries that have been giving me so much life and orgasms for the past 6 months.

(This list will be continuously updated.)


Cakes:

1 | Renee’s Basque Burnt Cheesecake


When two people who have traveled the world eating great food start to create their own thing, YOU WOULD WANT TO TRY IT. Well, I had the privilege of doing so when my friends JB and Renee from Will Fly for Food sent me their version of Basque Burnt Cheesecake. Suffice it to say that glasses were broken, wooden planks were hurled away, and people nearby were slapped because I fucking love this cheesecake. It has pops of umm, surprises, that gives each bite an oomph that most desserts just lack. Renee can cook anything and I would willingly throw it into my mouth. Whatever it is. The sad thing? They don’t sell their food. LOL. We would have to beg, I guess.

Instagram: @_willflyforfood_


2 | Etxeko Manila's Basque Burnt Cheesecake

This quarantine might become a little too depressing sometimes, but then a really good dessert comes and brings you out of your stupor—for me, it was Etxeko Manila’s Basque Burnt Cheesecake. It’s perfect, quite put plainly. There’s a black, cracked, burnt top that reveals a crustless cheesecake: soft, creamy, rich, melty. The burnt top lends the cake a subtle caramel flavor. And although I have tried other versions that have more melted insides (I love), I still find the flavor of Etxeko’s to be superior. I kid you not, it's something you will crave for repeatedly once you taste it yourself.


Instagram: @etxeko.manila


3 | Gourmei's Olive Oil Cakes

I can’t even begin to tell you how obsessed I am with Gourmei’s olive oil cakes. Yes, that’s right—olive oil. You might be put off at first, but I swear, when I first had a taste of this kind of cake from a chef friend, I couldn’t ever forget it. Thanks to Gourmei it is now easier to get some! They currently offer 3 flavors: Classic, made with a variety of citrus fruits; Love, a delicate creation using rose water and strawberry; and Les Xocolat, which lovers of dark chocolate would truly appreciate! My personal favorite is the Classic, as each bite gives you an explosion of citrus flavors punctuated by a nice sweetness from powdered sugar, but the Love Cake is a close second—I’m a sucker for floral notes!

Instagram: @_gourmei_


4 | Grand Hyatt Manila's Strawberry Cheesecake

For my birthday this year, I got a cake from Grand Hyatt Manila—and it did not disappoint. If you love strawberries like me, you’ve got to try this cheesecake. The topping is a hefty, boastful cluster of fresh, plump, and sweet strawberries. The cheesecake itself? So addicting! Together with the crust, it has just the perfect sweetness. Birthday or not, you’ve got to treat yourself or a loved one to this cake!

Instagram: @grandhyattmanilaph


5 | Wisteria 7242's Fig and Queso de Bola Cheesecake

Queso de Bola and figs? Hell yeah!!! In fact, please throw all cakes using this flavor combination to my direction. Wisteria 7242 masterfully combines the sweetness of fresh figs and the saltiness of queso de bola in this solid dessert. I almost squeal with joy every time I bite into a piece of fig, LOL! I love how the fruit is incorporated into the cake, instead of simply being on the toppings. However it’s a rather heavy cake—luckily, a small slice would be enough to satiate your sweet cravings.

Instagram: @wisteria7242


Cookies:

6 | The Tummy Train

My favorite cookies are not for sale anywhere, and they are made by my friend and blogging idol, Clarisse of The Tummy Train. Unfortunately for you, I don’t know how you could relate to what I’m about to tell you. She once baked Levain-style cookies for me because I was being such a whiny, needy bitch—they were incredible, and caused a family feud in our household. I requested again, this time to recreate Doubletree’s famous cookies; the result was something better (like 10 times) than the original. She made some espresso and cream cheese cookies another time because she was “experimenting”—and I told her not to publish the recipes because THEY WERE SO FUCKING GOOD THEY SHOULD BE TOP SECRET. If you watch her baking videos, you would know that this woman can make absolutely anything.

Instagram: @thetummytrain


7 | Sweetsmith MNL

You know you truly love a cookie when you think about it every time you crave for some. In my case, it’s Sweetsmith’s Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie. I tend to gravitate towards dark chocolate things most of the time, but this one is just so irresistible. There’s a perfect balance of crunch and softness, of batter and chocolate chips—perhaps the use of four different kinds of chocolate contributed to that perfect experience of just wanting to bite endlessly! The Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel, and Nutella are super good too, as well as the Cereal Milk which, although a bit too sweet for me, was definitely intriguing.

Instagram: @sweetsmithmnl


8 | A2 Manila

If you’re a fan of dark chocolate cookies, you’ve got to try A2 Manila’s Double C cookies. I love how irregularly shaped, chunky, and huge their cookies are—as if the baker just went ahead and slapped in as much chocolate as she wanted. For something less sweet, get the Triple C which provides more texture, making it a cookie that’s easier to finish. However, the biggest surprise for me was the Oreo Blast! I fucking hate Oreo desserts—but this one had me finishing half the cookie in one sitting! Great mix of textures and flavors!

Instagram: @a2manila


9 | Almost Cookies


If you follow me on social media, you would know that I love cheese—and so, Almost Cookies’ White Choco Chunk and Blue Cheese Cookies were something I couldn’t NOT try. They were wonderful! The cookies are small and thin, which makes it perfect for swallowing whole. LOL! I just low how the blue cheese and white chocolate explodes and melts in your mouth together when you bite the cookie. Heavenly! I wish this seller was much nearer my house.

Instagram: @almost.ph


Others:

10 | 15 and Madison's Tiramisu

I love it when a product aims to stay true to its roots—or if not this, to be an ode to a delicious experience obtained somewhere. Such is the case of 15 and Madison’s tiramisu, a luscious creation that sings love songs for Italy. Hell, it sang love songs for me! The light and delicate dessert has just the right touch of coffee, a deluge of Italian mascarpone, and a heap of chocolate shavings on top. Keeping it in the fridge longer (if you can resist eating it in one sitting) results in a stronger coffee profile, I noticed—LOVE!! Tiramisu literally means “pick me up” and this version certainly does that. It is 100% happy food.

Instagram: @15andmadison


11 | Fill's Alchee Pudding

I’d like to talk about Fill other than their pretty packaging. Everyone raves about that aspect, and it definitely can’t be denied—but I just want to highlight that their creations are delicious. I mean, taste should be more important than looks, right?!? Along with their lineup of drinks (I’m obsessed with their Masala Chai Latte), they offer puddings that are perfect for ending any meal. My personal favorite is the Alchee (almond and lychee), which has chunks of almond jelly and a “magic” sprinkle. It's so good I've never been able to take a photo of it, hahaha! The Vanana (vanilla banana, photo above) and Milo Nananut (Milo, banana, and Chocnut) are pretty amazing too.

Instagram: @fill.phil


12 | Salta To-Go's Strawberry Sticky Pan Roll

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I love strawberries. And also, I’m a fan of Salta—from their signature Crabonara to their ECQ-born mini-panaderya brand. But while I’m hooked on their Pesto Pan Rolls (and also because this is a dessert listicle, LOL), their latest product, the Strawberry Sticky Pan Roll, is just so fucking good! Their breads are always on point, so imagine those topped with fresh berries, honey caramel, and toasted almonds—the result takes you back and forth to crunch and sweetness to some tartness and pillowy softness. It’s the bomb (dot com).

Instagram: @saltatogo


Are your favorites in the list? Got any more desserts to recommend?

If you like my posts and would love regular updates on travel photos, food finds, restaurant reviews, dance articles, and drunken tales, follow Pepe Samson on Facebook!

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