Dessert Comes First

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

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Sweets in Calamansi & Cheese

posted by in Home Bakers

Not all of the feature requests I receive are from the home bakers themselves. Sometimes the request comes from a friend or in this case, a family member of the home baker. Jam Padilla is the twenty-something daughter of Jena Padilla, more affectionately known to her grandkids as Mamita. “I proposed to partner [with mom] late last year to help her out with the business,” says Jam of their idea to graduate from fledgling endeavor to full-blown undertaking.

The business is called Sweet Mamita and as Jam explains, “We wanted the name to be very personal and intimate ’cause that’s exactly what baking is to my mom. She’s always filled with so much joy and pride whenever she bakes for anyone and we want to connect to our customers in a way that would make them feel that Mamita baked especially for them.”

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The sweets offered are like old friends, familiar and anchored in nostalgia. There are macaroons, cookies, pound cake, cupcakes, and muffins. The Cheesy Milk Muffin is something I grew up buying from the school canteen and scarfing down for recess. The milk makes for a dense crumb while a bit of butter and egg injects it with a yellow, happy hue. If you bite just right, you’ll hit a nugget of cheese right smack in the middle, a gleeful surprise. As you can see from the photo, scatterings of cheddar in the batter speckle the surface, deep amber descending into lighter gold below. Delicious and just sweet enough, and unlike the cheese muffins I used to buy in school, this one tastes homemade.

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I’m a fan of big flavors, those that announce themselves largely and unabashedly. This includes citrus, specifically lemons – the tarter and more “cheek-puckering,” the better; and of course, calamansi. Manila’s home bakers have done imaginative things with this little local lime, and now, so too has Sweet Mamita with her Calamansi Delight Cupcake.

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First, it’s essential that one knows beforehand what type of cupcake this is, lest you bite into it unawares and get taken aback by the tang. What looks like a benign butter cake is one that’s been imbued with calamansi zest and juice. Sweetness sets the stage at first bite then zing zooms in. This cupcake reminds me very much of the calamansi muffin I enjoy at Real Coffee in Boracay. But Sweet Mamita’s is dressed up with frosting, a fluffy topper made with cream cheese. Quite the surprise this, since the frosting is almost marshmallow-like in consistency but with touches of tart and edge. In a flurry of red velvets and chocolate overloads, this calamansi cupcake is king.

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Sweet Mamita Home Baked Goodies
(02) 788 2708 / (0917) 8885362
sweetmamitagoodies@gmail.com
On Facebook: sweetmamitagoodies

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