When did cakes get so pretty that people have trouble slicing them?
There’s no better way to make someone feel special than with a piece of cake. The mere image of it brings joy and immediately uplifts one’s spirit. For years, cakes have been one of the big factors that take any celebration to the next level. It also marks exceptional milestones in life, from first birthdays and anniversaries to Mother’s and Father’s Days and graduation celebrations, and more. There’s always a good reason to have a piece of cake. And over the years, cake making has reached new heights, transforming simple baked goods into one-of-a-kind edible pieces of art.
That’s what happens in a humble kitchen in Manila. Since the pandemic, baker and owner Geraldine Santiago has been serving up cakes that not only taste good but also look amazing with her Bbakery brand. Initially a designer of children’s clothing, she for the moment abandoned the sewing machine and clothing patterns and satisfied her passion for baking and decorating cakes.
“My first cakes were made entirely by me, with my cook and housekeeper,” she told the Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “We were a team of three. I studied various information materials on Youtube and improvised. Later, I signed up for several online courses to refine my cakes both in terms of taste and aesthetics.
While Geraldine and her husband previously found success in making children’s clothing, she developed the concept of BBakery to honor her late mom, Betty Chu. Hence the B added to the brand name. With her mother as the guiding element of the bakery and her artistic skills, Geraldine has been able to create and produce cakes that are true masterpieces, sparking pleasure and beauty amidst the chaos brought by the pandemic. After the brand launched in March 2021, its customer base expanded beyond family and friends.
“Operating during the pandemic was a challenge as I had to source ingredients, including imported fruits. I had to make sure that those delivering the cakes knew how to handle them, especially the delicate ones. I had to invest in coolers, the right pans and other equipment,” reflects Géraldine. “I had to collect feedback from the first customers to see if the cakes were too sweet or, in terms of shape, if the cakes melted easily and wouldn’t last a few hours.”
The success of the brand lies in the best choice of ingredients from Géraldine. She knows that to create something special, you need great components. For this, it sources its ingredients internationally. It uses King Arthur flour from the United States for its pastries, French butter for its buttercream cakes, and food pigments from Australia, among others.
Among her customers’ favorite cakes are those that she paints by hand. The cakes become her canvas as she picks up her brush and makes delicate strokes across its surface. The result is something truly stunning, like a watercolor that deserves a place in one of Manila’s top galleries. His imagination also extended to personalized and sculpted cakes. In the past, Géraldine and her team have turned cakes into art as a tribute to golfers, computer game addicts, and basketball and football fanatics. She even designed cakes for a legal fixture with design elements like scales, law books, and more.
“Our floral cakes and themed cakes are known for their artistry,” she says. “I have received feedback from some customers that they find it difficult to slice our floral and hand painted cakes as the artwork can pass for museum pieces. So our cakes are indeed different and are become a conversation starter at parties, which also makes them ideal gifts.”
Besides painted and themed cakes, Geraldine is also proud of the brand’s signature creation, the Celebrate Cake. Imagine a light sponge cake garnished with tropical fruits and velvety cream, all covered with melt-in-the-mouth gelatin. To call it gorgeous is an understatement.
“I am fortunate to now have a steady stream of regular customers, some of whom buy cakes monthly. I believe the reason for this is that I try to maintain the quality of all my cakes, the production of which is very controlled in terms of quality and aesthetics”, explains Géraldine. “I like to believe that what sets Bbakery apart in this growing industry is above all our commitment to quality, never skimping on our customers and selling our cakes at a fair price.”
While Bbakery has been hailed for its glass cakes and creative cakes, the brand also produces a variety of desserts that people shouldn’t miss trying. Their range of regular cakes includes delicious coffee jelly and flavors from Ferrero Rocher, a mango and strawberry cake, and the classics like chocolate and caramel cakes. She also made less sweet cakes with monk fruit, a sugar substitute, for a healthier creation.
Manila Bulletin Lifestyle had the opportunity to try some of the brand’s best pastries, including the Summer Fruit Tart, which featured a variety of fresh fruits and berries on top of a cloud-shaped cream and a crumbly crust, and ends with a transparent gelatin layer on top. . It’s such a festive creation that you can’t help but take a photo of it for the Gram. Needless to say, he brought the summer-spring spirit to the office on a gloomy rainy day.
“My goal is for my customers to appreciate the art before they savor it and to feel good after that. It gives me immense satisfaction that people see cake making as an art form,” says Geraldine. At the moment we are an online business so we have to rely on online ordering Hopefully in the near future we will have at least one traditional bakery where people can enjoy our products with coffee and snacks. ‘other drinks.
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