For My Valentine, Foods To Fall In Love With: A rose for me? And it’s edible too! (part of an ongoing Valentine series)

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It’s a flower in three-dimensional full bloom sheltering a sweet secret.

Note: I aim to finish off this list by Friday, Feb 12, 2010 because I also intend to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my Valentine. (Yes, I’m a huge proponent of Feb 14). So, 12 posts / 5 days = 2.4 posts/day. Okay, so I was out of my mind when I attempted to do 12 posts in 5 days. (whacking forehead) I’ve whittled it down to what I call “an ongoing series.” We’ll see how long I can keep it up. The rest will follow next week.

I can count, on one hand, the times I’ve been given flowers. Apparently, I’ve never struck men (my Bin included) as a “flowers” type of girl. I’ve always been quite forthcoming with those men about my feelings (or lack thereof) for flowers: “Don’t give me flowers, such useless things they are. They’ll just sit there and die; give me chocolate instead.”

But an edible rose cradled on a cake? Now we’re talking!

Designed by designer du jour Kate Torralba, the stunning petals fashioned to depict this flower in its grandeur are made from sugar and colored using the ombré method. From the French ombrer (“to shade”), it’s a dip-dye effect in which the color graduates from light to dark. Think: a more ethereal tie-dye similar to a sunset-glow.

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Truly a tour de force for the pastry artisans at the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila, the flower can be lifted en masse to facilitate slicing. The cake itself is a vanilla sponge creation, its layers filled with white chocolate mousse. The white chocolate theme is carried further with – I call them shards, they’re too big to be called bits – of Felchlin white chocolate peeking out from the delicate crumb; how they don’t melt during baking is a miracle to me. The pink to red ombré color scheme is also echoed in the cake with a bottom berry layer, its crimson-ness stark against the pristine white. It’s this hue that also tints the cake’s exterior crumb coating. I’m impressed with how well this cake has been thought out from concept to execution.

This is a good cake: tender like first love, white chocolate for idealism, and like all loves, light scarlet for pain. (Hey, love hurts don’t cha know?) A caveat: if you don’t like white chocolate, this cake isn’t for you. Also, this cake doesn’t keep well; store it for two days at most. Thankfully, most love affairs make it to at least three.

Valentine Couture Cake
Available at The Pastry Boutique of the Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila
P1,800 / P300
1588 Pedro Gil corner M.H. del Pilar St.
Malate, Manila
245.1234 for reservations and inquiries.

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