Under ordinary circumstances, pancakes and waffles are dishes usually considered breakfast or brunch. However, a little creativity and a touch of divine decadence can take these mundane munchies to another level as seriously scrumptious desserts.
Take, for instance, the matcha souffle pancake (PhP 180.00) from a new discovery: Le Petit Souffle over at Makati’s Century City Mall. At first glance, compared to the other green tea confections available on LPS’s menu, it looks rather plain: a thick, stodgy cake under a light snowdrift of confectioner’s sugar. But when you take a bite…!
You sink your teeth into a delightfully fluffy bit of cake: somewhere between a very thick breakfast buttermilk flapjack and a light and airy chiffon. Here, the matcha has a very pronounced flavor: somewhat floral though without the grassiness that seems to characterize the taste of more common matcha-infused sweets. There is no bitterness, though the herbaceous character of the matcha used (I’m half-tempted to describe it as la fleur de matcha because it is so headily fragrant) adds a very mild astringent hit.
This will arrive at your table with pots of vanilla bean creme Anglaise and maple syrup. Tip: skip the maple syrup as it adds nothing to this pancake’s charms. Instead, generously splodge on the rich, luxurious-textured vanilla cream on every bite: the lushness works gorgeously with the pillowy texture of the cake.
Now, as for the waffles, southerners should make a beeline for Milkbox at the Alabang Town Center and grab the dark chocolate waffle sundae (PhP 290.00 for a two-scoop serve).
Here, two dark chocolate waffles fresh off the iron are drizzled over with chocolate and strawberry syrups, dusted with confectioner’s sugar, scattered over with bits of brown sugar brittle and edible flowers, then topped with two scoops of the ice cream of your choice and a pair of toasted marshmallows.
The waffles are properly crisp on the edges and fluffy within, their crevices a perfect catch-basin for dollops of syrup. These cakes are more bitter than sweet, by the way: the smoky richness of cocoa evident in each bite as well as the aroma. (I swear: you can smell the waffles cooking several feet away.)
Milkbox denizens recommend dark chocolate, red velvet, and green tea ice creams for topping this bittersweet behemoth. I recommend the latter two: the cream cheese in the red velvet adds a welcome tang that goes nicely with the strawberry syrup while the green tea helps balance the bitterness with a somewhat nutty – almost almond-esque – nuance.
Le Petit Souffle: 3rd Floor – Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati
Milkbox: Lower Ground Level – New Wing, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa