I didn't waste any time sending an email to Lori of Dessert Comes First (DCF) when I saw her post inviting her readers to a baking demo. I reserved two slots for Joey and myself and made sure I had nothing planned for the afternoon of Aug. 26. I had already missed her tea party, I wasn't going to miss this one.
I was so excited. Not only because Lori was kind enough to show us how to make three of her favorite and most popular desserts: Cheesecake, Buttermilk Scones and Coconut Creme Brulee, but because the host was Lori herself! A celebrity in her own right, Lori is the authority on all things sweet or yummy and is, as Carlos affectionately calls her, the "dessert queen". Hmm, Lori...queen of the dessert. Has a nice ring to it. :)
Julius Maggi Kitchen of the Nestle Center in Rockwell, was already abuzz with fellow sugar enthusiasts and DCF groupies. The kitchen studio was impressive, just like those you see on the Food Network. We were thoughtfully provided with sheets of the coveted recipes, which made it very easy for us to follow as the show went on. Mine were filled with scribblings, mostly notes on the science of baking as taught by Lori. Very useful tidbits of information.
There was also a contest for the audience, questions about DCF and the Nestle Food Club. Those who answered the questions correctly took home goodie bags filled with Nestle products. I tried to win one myself, but carelessly mistook the question "Who can name 2 home bakers featured on the blog" to mean "Who can name 2 home bakers featured in the top 10 best desserts in Manila". That's what happens when your mind is consumed with thoughts of all the dessert you knew you were going to be stuffing yourself with in a few minutes! :)
Lori was a natural both in the kitchen, and in front of a crowd. She not only impressed us with her baking skills (she handled that creme brulee torch like a pro!), and enlightened us with kitchen wisdom, but she also charmed the room with her wit and grace. She was obviously in her element.
The demo could have ended right then and we would have left happy and satisfied. But Lori had kicked it up a notch by inviting her readers to bring their own homemade desserts so we could have a mini tea party after the session. Well, there was nothing mini about it! There was everything from cupcakes and cookies to pies and cakes to crumbles and homemade ice cream. Oh the sheer sinfulness of it all. I gained 10 lbs just by looking at all of it displayed on the counters. (I took the lazy route and brought the Brown Derby of Polly Garilao).
Everything was excellent, and I'm grateful to all those who brought desserts. Tasting each one was like a sweet peek into the warmth and comfort of the baker's home.
Being the sucker that I am for all things crumbly, sweet and cinnamon-y, my knees buckled when I took a bite of the Apple Crisp. I had to steady myself on the counter as I weakly called out for Joey, urging her to try it too. I had to find who made this little piece of heaven. I asked around and when I met her I had to restrain myself from literally pouncing on her, a very sweet lady named Glo.
She said the recipe came from an aunt and I took a chance and asked if I could have the recipe, knowing I would totally understand and respect her wishes if she preferred not to share this well-guarded secret. She caught me off guard when she answered me with "sure!" and started to rattle away the ingredients. I was like "oh wait, wait" and took out a pen and notebook from my purse. She even offered to write it all down for me and! I was overjoyed and I couldn't praise and thank her enough. :) You can expect me to be making this very soon and posting the recipe. This is so good, it needs to be shared.
All in all, it was a most pleasurable and delightful afternoon. We learned baking techniques, made new friends, and sampled lots of homemade desserts. Thank you to Nestle Phils., Inc. for sponsoring the event, and warm congratulations to Lori who was responsible for its success!