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:
Ann Puno’s Choc-Nut cake
“Nutter” About Peanut Butter
A “Fruitcake” To Fall In Love With
Pleasure for Plaisir
My 2 Favorite Cakes This Christmas
Hazelnuts and Lemons
Delicious as Only DÃ¨lize Does It
NOTE: This series ends on Friday, Dec. 19, 2008.
Her name is Ana and she owns San Lo’s Famous Empanadas and Tortas and yes, she lives in San Lo (San Lorenzo Village) — now you see the “connect.” I have a post on Ana’s flagship products written three years ago; and I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t tasted them again since then.
Then, while I’m walking through the Rockwell’s Baker’s Dozen fair (where I am every weekend, naturally), I chance upon the San Lo’s Famous stall and impulsively, I stop. I gaze at the large golden empanadas that beckon to me. From where I stand, I’m transfixed by their bulging middles and their pleated edges blistered from the oven’s heat. On the table, large tortas hold court. The golden cakes are sunflowers, and the crimped parchment paper they’re wrapped in, their petals.
The empanadas come in five varieties: pastel de pollo, jamon y queso, callos, carne norte (my favorite), and tuna. (P330/6’s; P660/12’s). Rushing home with a half dozen of these half-moons, I pop some in the oven. Eaten while warm, the filling gushes out, dribbling onto my chin. I hear myself grunt softly. Why did I wait three years to eat one of these again? While the filling itself is exceptional, it’s the crust that makes this savory pastry. Crisp, especially around the edges, it’s one of those foods that remind me why I love lard and butter. They make up the essence of food that comforts, not to mention the gratifying flavor they impart.
The torta (original/queso de bola; P270, P330/each) reminds me of a heavier, perhaps more robust ensaymada. Possessing a closed internal framework and imbued with lots of butter, its tight crumb yields to a fork’s piercing. Minimally sweet, it’s a faithful foil to ham, chicken relleno, fabada, or the classic tsokolate. Ana also makes a toothsome fudge chocolate cake and sansrival, and her pineapple upside-down cake is my dad’s favorite.
Holiday food doesn’t get any better than this.
San Lo’s Famous
Store: Petron Station, DasmariÃ±as Village, Makati
844.2853 / 0915.9042631
Open Monday-Saturday, 9am ”“ 7pm
Also at the Baker’s Dozen Fair in Rockwell all Fridays-Sundays in December.