Getting ready to welcome the new year? No, not with a big bang this year. Firecrackers are not allowed. Mass gatherings are not allowed, either, because of the coronavirus pandemic, so big, grand celebrations or parties take a backseat, as well. But you can certainly enjoy an intimate family get-together in the comforts of your own home over good food and great conversation. So lay the Media Noche table with a spread of delicious food, both savory and sweet, and share your first meal of 2021 after doing the traditional countdown. Here are some options:
LE DELICIEUX’S CHOCOLATE WALNUT BABKA
A babka is a traditional braided coffee cake usually made of a rich brioche dough with cinnamon or chocolate filling, although sometimes a croissant dough is used in place of the brioche dough. Developed in the Jewish communities of Eastern Europe in the early 19th century, it originated from Poland and Ukraine and is also very popular in Israel. The yeast-risen dough is rolled out,
spread with a layer of chocolate or cinnamon (sometimes fruit or raisins or cheese), then rolled up, braided, fit into a loaf pan and baked. It comes out of the oven like a beautiful work of art, and each slice is a canvas of swirls and lines. The word babka means ‘grandmother’ in Polish.
Quite a few serious patisseries and bakeshops in Manila are now making babka, and one of the best comes from Le Delicieux Patisserie & Café in Paco, Manila. It is called Chocolate Walnut Babka, priced at P200 per loaf, available daily this Christmas season but will be on a pre-order basis after the holidays. Soft, chewy and not too sweet, each 450-gram loaf is loaded with roughly chopped walnuts and dark chocolate filling.
Le Delicieux is located at 1763-G Paz Guazon St., Paco, Manila. For inquiries and orders, call 8561-9601. Delivery via Lalamove or Grab is on the customer.
CHEF DINO DATU’S FOOD TRAYS
Chef Dino Datu offers four food trays this holiday season—Turkey Feast, Ox Tongue with Bone Marrow Sauce, Salmon Wellington, and Roasted U.S. Angus Beef Shortplate.
Priced at P7,500, Turkey Feast consists of one whole brined and roasted turkey with sausage and sage potato stuffing (weighing five to six kilograms), which comes with brown butter French beans, cinnamon candied carrots, giblet gravy, cranberry jelly, and bibingka cheesecake.
Ox Tongue with Bone Marrow Sauce, priced at P2,500, is 1.5 kilograms of tender braised ox tongue with mushrooms, olives and bone marrow gravy, good for eight to 12 persons.
Salmon Wellington, at P2,200 per tray, is for the health- and weight-conscious. It is one kilogram of salmon fillet smothered with dill and spinach cream cheese, and wrapped in flaky puff pastry, good for eight persons.
Roasted U.S. Angus Beef Shortplate, priced at P1,800, consists of tender beef roasted with herbs and served with rosemary baby potatoes and mushroom gravy; good for eight persons.
For orders, call or text Chef Dino Datu at 0917-3116965.
SOURDOUGH CAFÉ’S PANETTONE
Panettone is a traditional Milan fruitcake. A rich type of cake or bread similar to brioche that makes use of loads of butter and egg yolks, it, however, has a higher hydration content. Making panettone, particularly Sourdough Café + Deli’s Sourdough Panettone, is a whole tedious process of using a stiff starter that takes about three days to complete.
The process, says Sourdough Café’s Chef Alvin Ong, does not end with the baking of the dough, as the panettones have to be individually hung upside down to prevent the bubbles or air pockets from deflating.
Each piece of Sourdough Panettone weighs 360 grams and sells for P335. Since it is a bread that’s associated with Christmas, it is available daily at Sourdough Café + Deli (JSB Bldg., Tomas Morato Ave., Quezon City; with telephone number 0917-1859463) only for the whole Christmas season. Orders can be coursed through Sourdough Café’s Facebook or Instagram accounts. Delivery is via third-party apps.
JU.D LAO’S GOLDEN FRUITCAKE
Christmas is not complete without a taste of Ju.D Lao’s famous fruitcake. A tradition for more than 40 years now, the hobby baker turned fruitcake queen created four fruitcake variants that are perfect for the Filipino palate — Classic Fruitcake, Coffee Prune Cake, Ju.D Blue, and Golden Fruitcake.
The one that started it all, Classic Fruitcake is studded with glazed cherries, orange peel, dates, raisins and walnuts, and is aged to perfection using the finest brandy.
Coffee Prune Cake is a dark fruitcake that banks on the flavors of only three ingredients: prunes, walnuts, and Kahlua coffee liquor.
Ju.D Blue is a rich, dark fruitcake with an exquisite coffee flavor that comes from Blue Mountain Coffee, combined with fruit glacé and walnuts, and is aged with Kahlua coffee liquor.
Golden Fruitcake is a light honey fruitcake with juicy golden apricots, red cranberries, and walnuts, plus a hint of candied ginger.
Also available during the holiday season are her ginger cookies, Chewy Chewkies, and French Nougat Selection.
To order, call +632 8633-1188 or +632 8633-0808.
MARTIN MARKUS’ SMOKED BANGUS SPREAD
Gina Young started her Martin Markus Gourmet Treats line with cakes in cans, but now she also offers a delicious savory treat, Smoked Bangus with Salted Egg Spread served with crisp tostada.
The lovely gourmet spread comes in a can, accompanied by crisp tostada chips in a plastic bag, packaged together in a box with a fresh tomato.
It comes in two sizes—Personal (good for one to two persons) and Family (good for four to six persons) at P350 and P899, respectively. Perfect as appetizer or for merienda. To order, message the Facebook page of Martin Markus Gourmet Treats or Instagram (@martinmarkusph), or through text messaging or Viber at 0917-8550600 and 0922-8436600.