Vanilla Bean is one of those very few commercial establishments whose desserts are at par with those of my favorite home bakers. To my mind, it’s because this little neighborhood bakery in Salcedo Village owned and run by Trina Tiaoqui-Imperial is run like a home business. A compact glass pastry case displays the day’s sweet offerings that I often pair with one of their over-sized cups of cappuccino which I particularly love because I can smell the coffee with every sip.
It was in that display case that I first set eyes on a chocolate behemoth. Massive in appearance and weight, there it sat ”“ a hunk of a block of what looked to me like chocolate fudge with an oozing caramel sauce and what looked to be an eruption of sorts of nuts and chocolate chunks. It had a simple name tag, “turtle cake.”
Like a girl who couldn’t read to understand, I ask Trina who happens to be behind the counter at the time. “What is that??” I ask, my voice echoing with incredulity, my eyes open wide, my finger pointed at the mysterious cake.
“It’s a turtle cake,” Trina replies simply. “A moist chocolate cake with a ripple of cream cheese,” she gestures, her hand mimicking the ripple of a wave. “It’s very rich,” she adds, almost unnecessarily, almost apologetically.
Ah, ”˜rich’ and ‘dessert’ are my two middle names. I like.
The portion you see in the photo is actually misleading because the cake is served as a huge hunk at the bakery. It’s also available at Heaven ”˜n Eggs.
This cake is one of those ooey-gooey-sticky affairs that threaten to glue my teeth shut. There’s plenty of the aforementioned richness in the form of nuts, chocolate, and caramel. While the cream cheese ripple is hardly discernible, the chocolate cake itself is moist, almost wet, adding even more sin to something so beguilingly called “Turtle Cake.”
Vanilla Bean Café
G/F Adamson Center Bldg.
121 Leviste St., Salcedo Village,
812-7974 / 812-7975
Tea Party Baker #1 : Sharlene of Qitchen
Tea Party Baker #2 : Dulcelin’s Mango Torte
Tea Party Baker #3: Roshan’s Lemon Torte
Tea Party Baker #4: Gerald’s Cheesecake
Tea Party Baker #5: Karen’s Xanadu and Mixed Cheesecake
Tea Party Baker #6: Imelda’s White Velvet Symphony and Triple Hazelnut Mousse