It’s an odd name for a baking business but it makes one of the best tarts I’ve eaten all year.
I often bemoan Manila’s scarcity of pies and tarts – anything with a crust, really, but my grousing is temporarily alleviated by Dragonfly Desserts’ Walnut Tart. Described on the flyer as “Lemon sugar dough crust. Walnut honey topping,” its appearance immediately enraptures. A short crust kissed golden by a single egg yolk is simultaneously dense and crumbly. It shows off its flawlessly fluted curves, entices with its subtle lemon perfume. In its arms, the crust carries a wealth of walnuts burnished by a honey glaze, the liquid pooling in pockets of nut.
Cheryl Lim’s inspiration for this tart was a similar pastry she encountered while completing her Diploma Course in Baking and Pastry Arts at New York’s Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in 2008. “I came across this Walnut Breton Tart,” she recounts, “a tart [that’s] traditionally done in a round pan and has a top crust. It didn’t do justice to the walnuts as it was covered. So I decided to make my own version, highlighting the walnuts.”
It’s easy enough to nibble on a slice of this walnut tart out of hand, which I do a few times. Somehow, a fork is too wieldy for this edible craggy landscape. Again, there’s that whiff of citrus scent as I draw the tart slice to my lips. I hear a crrrunch! of walnuts, feel the briefest grit of crust, then a surge of sweet that’s subtle, not straightforward: it’s honey, sugar, and certainly a departure from the gooey filling of the more common walnut or pecan pie.
Having baked since college back in 2002, Dragonfly Desserts is now a year-round endeavor. And what of that unconventional name, certainly not a word I’ve ever equated with dessert. Cheryl explains, “I wanted a unique name that stood out. So while my friends and I were brainstorming for a name, we thought of Gilmore Girls. [And] I remember Loralie, Rory’s mom, opened up a Dragonfly Inn. So I thought, why not Dragonfly Desserts? It’s unique and catchy with a play on words.”
Speaking of unique, Cheryl has another product that’s just that. Wicked Bites (good lord, whatever might that be?) are mini brownie cups. They look fairly benign until after that first bite. The expected hit of chocolate gives way to a chili heat that lingers at the back of the throat, a transformation from nice to naughty and just this way of sexy.
Dragonfly Desserts by Cheryl Lim
Walnut Tart – P670 / 8-inch tart
Wicked Bites – box of 18: P270
506-9922 / 415-8003
0909.888.8802 / 0917.878.0001
2010 CHRISTMAS PROMO:
12 + 1 Promo: Box of 10 Cookies, Wicked Bites, 9×9 Bars, Tarts, Loaf and Bundt Cakes
24 + 2 Promo: Pack of 6 Cookies, and Half Box Bars