Desserts by Roshan Samtani and Dulcelin

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I rarely buy our desserts for a dinner party. The one exception in the past has been the Vargas butter cake that I bury in fresh strawberries and cream. I have also ordered the Yulo chocolate cake for weekends at the beach. But I do like to make my own desserts and I typically lean towards a simple fruit concoction, a creme brulee or leche flan or a souffle if I am feeling ambitious. Guests often bring cakes when they come to dinner, and frankly, I don’t make great cakes, so I rarely try to whip one up for dessert. Especially not if I am slaving over the stove to get the main part of the dinner out. For the Filipino Christmas Dinner in the previous post, I was running a little harried the day before so rather than making dessert, I decided to order it instead. I had been meaning to try two “home bakers” for the past few months and now I finally had a good excuse…

Roshan Samtani’s baked goods have been mentioned in several other food blogs with rave reviews. She was mentioned in the comments section in my, by now, famous infamous post on Cupcakes by Sonja. I called Roshan the day before our Filipino dinner and discussed several options with her. At that point, I had no clue she was about to be featured prominently in the food section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer the next morning… I ordered the mango crepes dessert (upper left photo, P975) as I love mangoes and a jamocha fudge cake (upper right photo, P1,050) on her advice. Both were delicious. And the guests nearly wiped out the pyrex with the crepes…an unusual situation since I do NOT like running out of food. I thought the desserts were special in that they had soul… you still felt like real people in real kitchens made them… not high brow chefs in toques at some airconditioned five star hotel pastry kitchen. And for the price, combined with my mess-free kitchen, brilliant… Roshan Samtani for pick-up from Bel-Air Village, Makati, telephone 631-7786 or 09178336286. For a much more intelligent, review, read Lori’s raves here…

More than just the two desserts above, I wanted to try Dulcelin’s offerings and with others saying they have simply the best Mango Torte in the city, how could I resist? I have to admit I was worried that I was ordering way too late for next day pick-up so I mentioned on the phone the order was for Market Manila, hoping they would accommodate me…I rarely do that. And to my surprise, they actually knew of the blog… Thankfully, they agreed to take the order and I added a Callebaut Chocolate Cake to the list as well. The Mango Torte (lower right photo, PHP750) was indeed very good. The Callebaut Chocolate Cake (lower left photo, P1,200) was good and far more intense than many of the cakes on the market and was better if served warm or at room temperature rather than cooler, but I find Callebaut as a brand of chocolate in general to be less desirable than say Valrhona (more on this soon as I have a 11 pound block of Callebaut in our pantry)… I would however, order all of these desserts again if I didn’t want to make my own sweet ending to a dinner. Dulcelin, 36 Times Street, West Triangle Q.C., Tel 374-2165 or 0917-535-2592.

It bears mentioning that many of the desserts that are available on a made-to-order basis do tend to be seriously sweet. I also find that bakers are finding more and more ways to use egg whites, hence the frequency with which you come des1across meringues or relatives of it in these cakes. I should also mention that Roshan sent over some Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies as well as Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookies and they were amongst the best I have tasted. I make a pretty mean chocolate chip cookie but I don’t think it is as yummy as Roshan’s. Dulcelin also sent some ensaimadas that were good, the lighter and airier version which seems to be the preference of most consumers these days, though I have a penchant for the old-fashioned heavier doughed versions. I was stunned to read somewhere that Dulcelin sells several THOUSAND Mango tortes a year! Many thanks to both Roshan and Dulcelin for these wonderful desserts, the guests at our dinner part that evening were thrilled with the choices! They were the perfect way to end a heavy meal of Pinoy fiesta favorites…


19 Responses

  1. Thanks for the reviews! I always like to have these sources for potluck dinner with friends and family :)

    Cooks Exchange has blocks of Valrhona in 66% and 70% (and milk chocolate too)…

  2. When you’re already cooking an entire dinner it makes good sense to buy the desserts (otherwise you’ll end cooking for more than 3 DAYS). I’ve heard of Roshan (and tried her fantastic choco chip cookies in Lori’s Dessert Party) but didn’t know she had a whole suite of other party-worthy desserts, thanks for the tip. =)

  3. Those desserts look divine! If I was lucky enough to be at your party, I would definitely dive into the mango crepes and Callebaut chocolate cake!;P May I ask how big is an order of that fine tray of mango crepes? The Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies and Ghirardelli Chocolate Chip Cookies are such great bonus treats from Ms. Roshan…I’ve read a review by Ms. Lucy Torres about it and she declares them scrumptous.

    Heavenly desserts make for a very merry Christmas celebration indeed! =)

  4. there are two camps of mango torte lovers in manila. the cuervo followers camp (cuervo of sanlo makati) and the dulcelin faction (Times Street). I belong to the Dulcelin Faction!

  5. At Lori’s dessert party/tea party last May, my favorites included Roshan’s lemon cake, and her chocolate chip cookies are amazing. The lemon was tart without being medicinal.

    I’m in the dulcelin mango torte camp :)

  6. Your dessert buffet looks heavenly divine. I heard a couple of times mango crepe and mango torte are good insanely good but never have had a chance to try them. Can you tell me please if the mango crepe is a crepe like “crepe suzette” with a mango filling in it and the mango torte is it like a cake or meringue like sans rival? I really appreciate your input. Thanks.

  7. I agree with Mila, Roshan’s lemon cake is what is quite good. I brought it out during a house warming, and suddenly I was foodie god to everybody. My food cred went way higher just coz of that one cake. :)

    I think I’m one of the few people who had a sad sour rock experience with Dulcelin mango torte. With so many positive raves, I think I should give them another shot one day.

  8. I’ve been wanting to try Roshan’s baked goods for a long time and asked her to e-mail me her product list, she sent it right away…I find this very professional. I think I’ll try her desserts for my birthday…

  9. Valrhona has long been considered as the best baking chocolate out there. However in a blind taste test done by “Cook’s Illustrated” magazine, Callebaut beat out Valrhona both in the bittersweet and white chocolate categories. This is surprising since Valrhona costs about twice as much as Callebaut.

  10. I completely agree about Roshan’s cookies and Lemon Torte! This holiday season, my family’s breaking tradition and ordering nearly all the food for Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve. After narrowing down our choices to several suppliers, we decided to order FOUR different desserts from Roshan (we need 8 in all)! Unfortunately, she’s so busy these days that she only accepted two of the items; the cookies and Lemon Torte had to go (since we’d already tried them). The other two are exactly what you got, MM! What a happy coincidence, as I know now they’ll be delicious! Can’t wait! :-P

  11. Roshan is probably tops on my list too of home bakers. I usually make my own desserts as well but when I need something she is the first place I will call. Her Lemon torte is great but my personal favorite is the Prince Albert cake which is a delicious chocolate cake with a mocha icing and in between layers and on top are coffee crunch bits. YUM! And her banana bread with the praline topping is just brilliant!

    Am a Cuerva loyalist:)

  12. Juls, I am only going on my experience, but every time I have used Valrhona or Valrone, I have been very pleased. Sometimes, I don’t buy the baking blocks but the “eating” ones at 60-75% cacao content. Excellent. I just find the Callebaut not as intense, not as smooth. And I agree I have limited exposure. However, my favorite chocolate of all time is made at La Maison du Chocolat, and Robert Linxe, the genius behind LMduC, was quoted as saying the best chocolate in the world is a Gran Couve from Trinidad, and THAT is a limited production item of Valrhona… I think I would trust Mr. Linxe’s choice for now… But a blind taste test? I wonder if I could pick out the Valrhona…

  13. Was that a discussion on wine or chocolates? Haha. 60-75% cacao content is truly hardcore, something only a purist could probably appreciate due to the bitterness. I suggest you try calling Sonlie International at 831-8882 and inquire about the Cacao Barry (Callebaut) product line. I do believe they have 70% bittersweet chocolates that may be comparable to the Valrhona you favor.

  14. MM and Juls, I’ve read an article saying that Valrhona is something like the top choice by master pastry chefs. Pastry guru Pierre Herme uses and recommends it in his “Desserts” cookbook. Dorie Greenspan, a famous food writer (who happened to write Herme’s cookbook) also has high praises for Valrhona. However, Callebaut in my impression seems to have a large following too among pastry chefs like Jacques Torres. I tried Valrhona (70%) and Callebaut (55%) and I personally prefer Callebaut. That was just one try of Valrhona – maybe I should try a less bitter one i.e. less than 70%. Now, I’ve also read somewhere that there’s a new chocolate brand that’s considered better than Valrhona and it’s called Amedei (from Italy). It’s probably the most expensive bar I’ve seen and I don’t even want to try it since I’m not rich yet (hehe). A story goes that Amedei was created by folks who wanted to work or I guess do business with Valrhona and were turned down. Sounds like vengeance to me. There seems to be a huge selection of chocolates nowadays that it’s hard to discriminate which one’s better. There’s Scharffenberger, Dagoba (organic), El Rey, and even Lindt I think is pretty good. Ghirardelli isn’t bad either. I consider it to be the cheapest quality chocolate. But this is just my unprofessional opinion. Lastly, I have this impression that French pastry chefs use Valrhona because it’s French. Perhaps we should use tablea!

  15. tried the Dulcelin Mango Torte a few months ago. it was actually a gift from my friend in medical school. sobrang sarap, heaven tlaga. i guess i’ll be ordering more of it pra sa xmas / new year parties dito sa house.

  16. Great post on my favorite baker, Roshan. Her treats are quite delicious.

    Her bars and brownies are quite amazing, too!

  17. Corrine, they have Cook’s Exchange branches at Glorietta four 3rd floor, at Megamall 1st floor near Toy Kingdom and at Rockwell basement. There is also Valrhona at Bacchus outlets, including the one at the Shangrila Makati, facing Ayala Avenue…

  18. How about that biscocho that you were raving about a long time ago, will there be any around? :P



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