Dessert Comes First

An obsession with dessert and other unabashed opinions of a food writer

Magnum White King

Sugar Series December 2008: Ann Puno’s Choc-Nut Cake
(An ongoing series)

posted by in Alabang, Home Bakers

My Sugar Series (December 2008) is made up of desserts that I’ve enjoyed recently. Because the holidays spell sweet excess, impress the people you love with any of the following desserts. They’re guaranteed to make an impression on them as they did on me.

Other desserts in this series:
“Nutter” About Peanut Butter
A “Fruitcake” To Fall In Love With
Pleasure for Plaisir
San Lo’s Famous…
My 2 Favorite Cakes This Christmas
Hazelnuts and Lemons
Delicious as Only Dèlize Does It

NOTE: This series ends on Friday, Dec. 19, 2008.

Ayala Alabang is a treasure trove of home bakers waiting to be discovered. To denizens of the north, Alabang is a cloistered space; a “… glorified province,” as one person describes it – to which only the brave venture to. Of course to the residents of this far-flung, gated community, their home bakers are already household names, and I, the dessert-seeker, wish to be let in on those names. Distance is no hindrance when it comes to dessert. (If you know of more home bakers in the Ayala Alabang area, please stick them in the Comments section below.)

choc-nut cake

Ann Puno or Mrs. Puno, as she’s more commonly known, is a favorite among the sweet-toothed in Ayala Alabang. Though she sells food specialties such as dulong in olive oil, quesong puti in herbs and spices as well as tubs of frozen cookie dough, it’s her cake list that sends people like me into a tizzy. Though we’ve never met, she talks to me like an old friend, guiding me through the seven cakes that are her specialty. “The Bailey’s Choco Walnut is ordered a lot,” she says, “and also the Kahlua Toffee Cake.” There’s an intriguing Almond Coffee Cake on her list that she’s faxed to me and her Pistachio Cake is calling my name. But it’s the Chocnut Cake that I finally choose. “Good choice!” I can hear Mrs. Puno’s smile through the telephone.

When I finally make it to Alabang to pay for and pick up the cake, my car is practically engulfed with the heady scent of butter and rum on the way home. Similar to those rum cakes that were the Christmas gifts du jour in the late 90s, Mrs. Puno’s cake is a butter cake tinged with delicate waves of rum that imbue the cake’s golden crumb. Chunks of Choc-Nut, that popular local candy made from cheap peanuts and even cheaper chocolate take on new life. As a filling, they’re burrowed deep into the crumb, injecting a frisson of delightful surprise at two things – cake and Choc-Nut — merging to form something entirely new and delicious without losing their respective individuality. As a topping, the candy is a gleaming crown that hints broadly at the treasure that lies waiting within. And the toffee-like, sticky sauce that dribbles lazily down the cake’s fluted sides is as velvety as the creation it embraces.

choc-nut cake

Mrs. Puno

168 San Enrique St.

Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa

807.6431 / 807.2757 – look for Ann or Helen

Call for Christmas packages

10 Responses to “Sugar Series December 2008: Ann Puno’s Choc-Nut Cake
(An ongoing series)”

  • hi Lori. there’s a saturday market (kinda like the Salcedo market) in Ayala Alabang, in NAra St. Youl find a lot of home bakers there.
    Anyway, also in the south, i discovered someone selling the best apple pie. Her name is Tricia, a homebaker in BF Homes. its the only thing she sells thats why its so special. Its the best i’ve tasted and i’m not exagerrating. it has a very nice crumbly crust and that yummy struessel topping with queso de Bola! it was a gift given to me by a friend and i finally got her number (0917-8452022). i’m planning to give out a few to my friends.


  • hi i have been a long time fan of your blogsite and i live in alabang. i have a young friend who lives here also named Patricia Erika Fortunado who makes wonderful cakes and pastries. i have for years ordered pastry giveaways from her to give on Xmas and lots of cakes on special occasions. She is very creative in designing cakes. look her name up in facebook and she has photos of her cakes. you can email her at (09178430915}


  • Hi! I’m a classmate of Erika Fortunado during our La Salle Zobel days. Even in high school, she would already bring pastries for all of us to try while waiting for our next teacher. We’ve lost touch since then but late last year, we saw each other and apparently she continued her passion for baking and opened up a home business, Bohemia Cakes and Pastries. She lives in Ayala Alabang, you can contact her at 0917-8430915 / 807-1266 and you can also email her at


  • I WANT THAT!!!!!! OMG, Lori, I was excited enough the moment I saw Ann Puno’s name in this post’s title, then to see the word “Choc-nut” in the same line made me gasp! I’ve never ordered from her (and unlike you, I really can’t see myself driving to Alabang just to pick up a cake; I adore dessert, but I detest long, traffic-ridden drives), but my family was once gifted with her rum cake. It was so good that I made sure to take down her name and number. Some find rum cake cliche already, but I still love it and can eat half a bundt cake in one sitting, if I’m not careful. And now, she mixes Choc-nut with it! I want to try her other cakes, too, as they all sound delish. I wish she’d join a bazaar in Makati, or better yet, Power Plant’s Baker’s Dozen, so that her creations can be more accessible.


  • Thanks for this post! I live in Alabang and my dad has a HUGE sweet tooth! Now I know just what to get for our Xmas dinner dessert. :)


  • im really a big purple oven fan and they have recently introduced new products!!ive tried their chocnut pie it was great!my kids all loved it!


  • Hi Lori!
    A friend, Elaine Ignacio-Dalusong sells this moist, fudgy, not so sweet yet chocolatey chocolate cake along with chocolate ganache, sans rival and other cakes. She has a cafe/cake shop at the back of Robinson’s Pioneer. I’ve tasted a lot of chocolate cakes and hers are right up there on the top of my list, among Manila’s best. This is her number, 09178561072.
    Oh, yeah… btw… she knows your Dad.


  • Hi Lori, do you still have a list of her products? :) can you email it to me? I love choc nut.. this is so interesting! :)


  • Another fabulous pastry chef is Carlo Estagle! He studied at La Roche and is based in BF Homes. He makes the most fabulous pastries! +63 9209552253


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