At Dessert Comes First, it’s about making sweet wishes come true.
My feature on John Sta. Cruz’s Cake Planet is one of this year’s most popular and commented-on posts. Even now, I have people telling me that “… I’m from the south and I didn’t know until I read your blog that there was a great bakeshop in the neighborhood!”
I’m glad to have made them happy but I’m even happier to have made one of John’s wishes come true: to be part of a Dessert Comes First event. It’s an honor to have him as one of my purveyors, a talented baker who somehow manages to also hold down an office day job.
At the Dessert Comes First Christmas Gift List, John will offer a stunning quartet of sweets. The Santa Cruz is what I consider the star: a flourless chocolate cake with a top note of lemon cream so cool and creamy, the lot steeped in chocolate mousse. Excellent execution on this dessert, and the favorite of all those I share this cake with. I wonder if it refers to John’s family name but he avers that it stands for Santa Cruz, California. Whatever it is, this cake evokes the elan and carefree nature of that locale.
I prefer my sansrivals crispy (as opposed to chewy) and John is one of the few bakers I know who is spot on with this desired texture. His Chocolate Macadamia Sansrival is a stellar specimen of meringue discs made majestic with layers of buttercream so gently infused with chocolate that it’s but a whisper. And of course those macadamias, the most expensive of all nuts, stud this meringue-chocolate landscape like the jewels that they are.
Cake Planet was built on John’s Turtle Pie, one of the best in Manila. For the event, he’s dubbed them Turtle Bites but they retain the gooey caramel, bittersweet chocolate mousse, walnuts, and a chocolate glaze reposing on a chocolate pâte sablée crust. Equally miniature in size are the Banoffee Pies, yet another star from Cake Planet. Banana slices are captured in the clutches of a milk chocolate ganache and dulce de leche, all prisoners held under cover of whipped cream on which drizzles yet more milk chocolate and caramel.
Now this is a situation where I don’t need a “Get out of jail free” card. I gladly stay in submission to these sweets.
John Sta. Cruz of Cake Planet
91 Doña Soledad Ave., Better Living Subdivision, Parañaque City
02 621.2857 | 0915 449.3119
Open 1:00 PM to 1:00 AM Monday-Saturday; 4pm – 12mn on Sundays.
From SLEX, turn right at SM Bicutan, follow the road until you see PNB-Bicutan branch on your right.