I won’t mince any words here: it has been a trying week all around in my neck of the woods. Several colleagues + my boss were all downed with one respiratory infection or another. The wireless connection is slower than a laggardly burning peat fire in a bog and emails end up either unsent or super-delayed. The weather continues erratic: after two days of strong rains and cold winds, the sun is, again, out and mercilessly toasting poor, unfortunate commuters. Deadlines are coming in fast and hard from all directions. It’s enough to make a girl scream, really!
Times like these demand that you take a deep breath, head for someplace considerably calmer, kick off your shoes, and just close your eyes for a little while. However, if none of that is possible at the moment, there is always the soothing influence of cake.
Good thing for me is that we have a stall downstairs in the food court that serves up a rather eye-popping array of baked treats. The Happy Bakery offers just about everything from rustic panaderia [corner bakery] classics like crumby pan de sal, pan de regla with its vivid scarlet filling, ensaimadas, and buttery/sugary Spanish bread to swanky cake-shop treats like chocolate crinkles, pork floss and cream cheese buns, and massive slices – no, slabs – of cake that are big enough to share with a friend.
One such monstrous slab is the chocolate cream cheese cake shown above. It is an enormous beastie of a slab: roughly twice the size – in terms of both height and girth – from a regular cake-shop slice. It consists of two dense layers of chocolate sponge sandwiched and iced all over with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting with drizzles and dollops of dark chocolate ganache on top.
The sponge itself is disappointingly dry when nibbled alone, though the cocoa flavour is strong in this one. But when eaten with the frosting, it is taken to a completely different level, becoming moist and moreish as it soaks in the creamy frosting. The frosting itself is quite nice: more tangy than sweet, smooth and creamy, and goes well with the chocolate drizzled on top. I imagine it must also taste good on Happy Bakery’s red velvet, rainbow, and carrot-walnut cakes.
A slab this big will set you back PhP 75.00 (US$1.73) and would be nifty for a treat shared with friends. But when the chips are down and hell seems to be breaking loose around you, I suggest you grab a hot cup of coffee and dig right in for a bite of bliss amidst the chaos. 😉