The new cupcakes in town


Just when I thought of giving food blogging a rest, Cefi and Me is hatched. Toni Carag, the young owner of Playa Tropical Resort Hotel in Currimao, gets bitten by the baking bug, or was she born a baker ‘coz her cupcakes have that high tone to it? If you read my recent post on Mallory’s first birthday party, she made the heavenly blue velvet cupcakes. The little cake’s just the right volume, not heavy, and not spongy either, so you never get that tiresome feeling. The cream cheese frosting is another level, says the hubby who is so picky when it comes to cakes. He just made me order a dozen blue velvet cupcakes for Thursday.

Cefi and Me is soon to open at the Paseo de Paoay. Cef is Toni’s angel. And Toni’s dad, Lito, has even joined her in baking — quite a formidable team because I know for a fact that the dad has exacting taste. I had the opportunity to try his banana loaf (in photos below), and it amazes me that you would think he’s been baking forever. In truth, I didn’t know that about Lito that he is so into the kitchen, developing sweet recipes. “It’s just a hobby. Daddy and I love to bake,” Toni says.

Blue Velvet CupcakesBanana LoafBanana Loaf

The banana loaf is more of a cake with moist, marbled texture. It is rich, without getting cloying, and it refrigerates well. If I’m not mistaken, chocolate chips were thrown in for that surprising twist.

Keep posted for the opening of Cefi and Me. In the meantime, Toni accepts orders through her FB account (here).

Banana Loaf
Top photo by Martine
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Kit and Ace Mandac: Cake artists and party stylists par excellence

Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 10

A match made in heaven. I’m referring to husband and wife team Ace and Kit Mandac’s mutual artistry and propensity for fine taste. Both native Laoagueños, Ace, a licensed architect from the Northwestern University, and Kit, a BS Food Technology graduate of the University of the Philippines, set up Ava’s Cakes and Partyshop in 2006, introduced rolled fondant cakes which became a big hit in Ilocos and continue to turn dream cakes and parties into reality.

Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 16Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 4Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 11

Kit’s excessive scrupulousness fits consummately Ace’s technical competence. A standard ingredient, their classic little squabbles make better cakes. They’ve won several prestigious baking contests — their latest, 2nd place in the cupcake decorating competition of the Filipino-Chinese Bakery Association, Inc. at the World Trade Center.

Ava’s popularity in the biz has rolled in to as far as Manila, Baguio, Tagaytay, Hawaii and San Francisco, where their intricately decorated cakes graced fabulous events.

Not to mention, Kit’s expertise in floral design complements Ace’s architectural grounding effectively. This coming August, the tandem is all set to primp an event in the US, their first international event styling within their 2 year experience in party styling.

Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 12

– Their little boy “Ava”.

Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 17Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 13Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 2Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 8Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 7Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 15Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 5Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 3Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 6Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 9Ava's Cakes and PartyshopAva's Cakes and Partyshop 14

Cakes and parties in Ilocos have never been this pretty.

Ava's Cakes and Partyshop 18

Ava’s Cakes and Partyshop is located along Gen Segundo Avenue, Laoag City, Philippines. Check out their Facebook page, and for inquiries, here’s their CP number: 09175928955.

All photos courtesy of Kit Valera Mandac and Ava’s Cakes and Partyshop
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

Nikko’s OMG! Cakes


I don’t know what’s more porn than these?

Black and White Irish Cream CupcakesTriple Chocolate Pound CakeCherry Macaroon BarsChocolate Whiskey Pecan PieCherry Topped Chocolate TassiesRed Velvet Crinkle CookiesChocolate Macadamia Cheesecake BarsCaramel Apple CheesecakeCherry Swirl BrowniesCarrot Cake with Coconut Cream FrostingSalted Almond Brownies

Every single cake was baked by my younger sister, Veronica aka Nikko.

Mickey Mouse, 1988

Me and her during younger years.

Cotton Candy

My little sister was and is still the best navigator/tour guide/host/shopping-eating buddy in the whole of SoCal. While studying to be a nurse at USC, she brought me to a Green Day concert and some ska gigs and got me hooked on Fatburgers and slush from a Chinese restaurant in Monterey. On my last visit in LA, in between shifts as a nurse supervisor at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, she’d pick me up for a classy dinner at some chichi resto in the Beverly Hills area. I guess she’s mellowed with age. I haven’t seen her in her most creative such as now.  I’m dying to dip my fingers into her dangerous cakes.

Nikko, my other food genius sister,  now. Of course the other one is my older sister Veronica aka Fanny.


Cake photos grabbed from Nikko
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013