Legacy pastry from Bacolod and other sweets and drinks for holiday gifting

Felicia’s items via The Commissariat Manila

Can’t think of gifts to give? Food and drinks are always welcome because everyone loves pasalubong! Here are gift suggestions for loved ones this Christmas season, including new discoveries and holiday items from Inquirer Best Desserts brands you must be missing.

Felicia’s Ensaimada and Cheese Roll

Felicia’s Pastry Shop from Negros Occidental is a legacy pastry brand that can now be ordered in Metro Manila Manila and Cebu through The Commissariat Manila, a company managed by siblings Gino Asensio Lopez and Monique Lopez Ong from Iloilo and Bacolod. They are sharing treats made from family recipes from the ’70s, such as Felicia’s Ensaimadas and Cheese Rolls. Other items are Almond Crisps, Lemon Thins, Almondettes, Pili Crumble, Turron de Pili—all air-flown and available until Dec. 15 for preoder.  

Pickup: Manila. Tel. 0917-5294466; facebook.com/thecommissariatmanila; @thecommissariat on Instagram

Edward’s Dessert Studio boxed cakes

Edward’s Dessert Studio boxed cakes

They may look small, but the boxed cakes from Edward’s Dessert Studio are premium and decadent. The bestseller is the Fraisier, a French-butter sponge cake with real strawberries and a vanilla mousseline, and layers of chocolate and hazelnut crunch. Other cakes are Jaune with fresh mangoes and chocolate ganache, Fromage Japanese cheesecake, and the Café with Kahlua chocolate fudge and vanilla cream. Seasonal specials are the Fruitcake Bundle, Cookie Bundle and Boxed Cake Bundle. Available only for preorder since chef Julius Edward Conde makes them fresh.

Pickup: Pacific Residences, Taguig City; Edward’s Dessert Studio on Facebook, @edwardsdessertstudio on Instagram

Crack.ph New York pie —PHOTO BY IRENE PEREZ

Crack.ph New York pie

When the pandemic put travel on hold, pilot Gabriel Mendoza explored being a home cook and created his version of the popular crack pie from New York. Crack.ph is an 8-inch dense pie with buttery filling on an oatmeal crust. A sweet and gooey treat, it is best served chilled with your choice of tea or black coffee.

Pickup: Rhapsody Residences, Muntinlupa City; Tel. 0918-8101202; @crack.ph on Facebook and Instagram

Richmonde Chocolate and Rum Cake

Richmonde Hotel Ortigas baked goodies

Inquirer Best Dessert Richmonde Ensaymada now comes in four variants—plain, ube and the limited-edition salted egg and quezo de bola flavors. Other baked goodies are Red Velvet Brownies, Rum Cake with Zabana Rum, Sans Rival Cake, Cruffin, Cream Cheese & Chives Bun and Floss Roll, Pistachio Cream Cheese Bread, Banana Walnut Bread, Cranberry Babka and Salted Swirl. For hassle-free gifting are the Richmonde Chocolate Cake, Santa’s Box of Cheer and Holly Jolly Bundle.

Richmonde Hotel Ortigas, Pasig City. Tel. 86387777, 0917-5344352; @RichmondeHotelOrtigas on Facebook and Instagram.

Cravings Devil’s Food Cake

Cravings Bibingka Soufflé Cake

Aside from the Inquirer Best Dessert awardee Cherry Walnut Cheesecake with walnuts and cherry swirls, Cravings’ classics Chocolate Caramel and Devil’s Food Cake are sure crowd pleasers. Cravings is serving for the holidays the Bibingka Soufflé Cake, a light coconut cake with salted egg custard and slices, and queso de bola shavings. Cravings Mango Cashew Torte has a cashew cookie crust and meringue cake, whipped cream, and fresh mangoes. Chocolate lovers would like the Toasted Marshmallow Devil’s Food Cake. Frozen dessert choices include the Banoffee Cheesecake and Chocolate Caramel. The Chocolate Gift Box has four types of s’mores—White Chocolate Fruit and Nut Clusters, S’mores Trio (dark, white, and milk), Matcha Oreo and Rocky Road Clusters.

Pickup: Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City; tel. 0908-1693422, 82772436; @cravings.philippines on Facebook; @cravingsphils on Instagram.

M Bakery pastel yule log cake

M Bakery Banana Pudding Party Bowl

Aside from its famous cupcakes, M Bakery is rolling out a Christmas party spread—the World-Famous Banana Pudding Party Bowl with layers of vanilla wafers, fresh bananas and creamy pudding. It is available in classic, chocolate, chocolate hazelnut and red velvet flavors. Christmas cakes can be ordered, too: Bottle Brush Tree Cake, Christmas Cake (Lights & Gifts), Snowman Cake, plus M Bakery Holiday Gift Packages.

Pickup: One Bonifacio High Street Mall, , tel. 8479829, 0917-6331718; Power Plant Mall, 0917-8221262; or order via GrabFood, Foodpanda and Pick.A.Roo; M Bakery on Facebook and  Instagram.

Sheraton Manila Corn Custard Cake

Manila Marriott and Sheraton Manila specials

Marriott Café Bakery’s Gingerbread Chalet is an impressive take on the traditional gingerbread house with snow-covered roof peaks, arched doors and candy icing decorations. Sheraton Manila’s Corn Custard Cake is a moist cake with custard powder, coconut milk and ground corn.

Pickup: Pasay City. Sheratonmanila.com, Manilamarriott.com

Pocofino coffee tasting set

Pocofino premium coffee

For coffee lovers, check out the Pocofino Pop-up “Chiosco” (kiosk) Coffee Bar at Greenhills

Promenade this December. Available are premium coffee beans and grounds coffee pods from Italian heritage brands such as Danesi, Lucaffe and Caffe Borbone. Easy Serve Espresso Pod coffee machines that deliver a compact but quality café experience to homes are also on display. The Didi and La Piccola machine can be ordered online at pocofino.com.

@pocofino on Instagram; pocofino.com 

Welch’s Sparkling Rosé with strawberry crostini

Welch’s sparkling juices

Great for family celebrations are the Welch’s sparkling juices with no artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Chef Trisha Ocampo of Center for Culinary Arts, Manila gave pairing suggestions. The Red Grape variant can be matched with pork tenderloin roast with romesco sauce, while the White Grape variant is good with pastas such as the picatta cream fettuccini. Welch’s Sparkling Rosé is fruity and can go with a Strawberry and Tarragon Mousse Crostini.

Available in supermarkets, and on metromart.com, Lazmart, waltermartdelivery.com.ph;  Welch’s PH on Facebook and Instagram; Welchs.com, acefoodservice.com. 

Heineken keg via Drinkies.ph

Drinkies.ph beverage for toasts

Want to stay in? Drinkies.Ph e-commerce website delivers alcoholic beverages and distilled

spirits at your doorstep. Choices are beer, wine, rum, bourbon, scotch, brandy, cognac, vodka, soju and mixers, and Drinkies promises to bring them to you cold.  Good for parties are the Heineken 5-liter kegs and draught kit that lets you be a bartender for the holiday. Promo: Buy two kegs until Dec. 19 and get a Heineken Premium Bag, or buy P5,000 worth of Heineken products from Dec. 20-31 and get a bomber jacket.

Drinkies.ph; @Drinkies.PH on Facebook and Instagram