Cory Untalan is my friend and the proprietor of CRU Kitchen. I knew her in her past life as a restaurateur, something she excelled at before she plunged headlong into baking. As a home baker, she’s navigated CRU Kitchen to great heights – her Queso De Bola Cheesecake is multi-awarded and the standard I compare other QdB cheesecakes to. Two years ago, her Chocolate Spoons were my objects of desire on Valentine’s Day.
Because I write about so many home bakers, I wonder where they get their ingredients. I, for one, am an ingredient snob – whatever goes into the desserts I bake is of the absolute best quality I can afford. No amount of hoo-hah or hocus-pocus can hide shoddy ingredients.
So when Cory tells me about her new business endeavor, a baking supply store aptly called Sweet Escape, I visit immediately and feel that I’ve found my heaven. I formerly stocked up on supplies at only three places: SweetCraft, Säntis, and Bacchus; but it’s bye for now to those, as I immerse myself in a Sweet Escape. Really, a store of this level for bakers could have only been conceived by a baker. This is truly my one-stop, one and only baking shop.
Space is designed intelligently to maximize stacking potential. All kinds of flour mingle with all kinds of chocolate – my mind swirls with pleasurable possibilities.
For the bread bakers. And on the right, sugar in all its forms.
Nuts, dried fruit, edible confetti, and garnishes: a baker’s bling.
Leaveners for rise and spices to kick things up a bit. Packaging too, to present pastries prettily.
“I wanted to make quality products available to home bakers who needed them, and in the amounts they were looking for,” Cory tells me. Thanks to her, I don’t have to break the bank with 5-kilo slabs of Valrhona; now I can have a little of a lot of various brands (Callebaut, Belcolade, Bensdorp, etc.) and in various forms (nibs, callets, cocoa powders, and in batons for making pain au chocolat).
Yes it’s true: cupcakes are forever, and you can never have enough paper liners. The store also has a treasure trove of nifty cupcake gadgets like cupcake towers and cupcake batter separators.
A baker’s rainbow of delights. Pitter patter goes my heart.
Sugar dust, nonpareils, gumpaste, dragées: fanciful terms for cake and cupcake toppers.
Sweet Escape has the largest selection of flavorings available locally, and LorAnn Flavorings is a reputable brand. There’s no excuse now for artificial extracts.
Two items that I I’m thrilled to find here are the brown parchment papers that I use for lining my baking sheets, and below, piping bags that are sturdy enough to resist tearing.
Sweet Escape Baking & Confectionery Store
250 Pablo Ocampo Avenue, Vito Cruz Extension/Kamagong Area, Makati.
From Jupiter Street, go down Metropolitan Avenue past ShopWise. Store will be on your left.
02 546 6892 / 624 3579 / 949 3656
On Instagram: sweetescapemanila
Retail and bulk amounts available.