On October 8, 2016, Hood Famous Bakeshop opened a storefront. To celebrate the 1-year anniversary of the opening, October brought special treats. Each week, I ran down there to grab decadent desserts! The first week unveiled new seasonal cheesecake flavors by Hood Famous Bakeshop; the remaining three weeks highlighted local Pinay bakers Jasmin Bell of Bells Pastries, Yolanda Molina of Lola Yoly’s, and AnnaLiza Valdez Ramos of Caked Goods.
Week 1 brought pumpkin-haupia cheesecake and champorado cheesecake, new seasonal flavors from Hood Famous Bakeshop. Haupia is a traditional coconut milk Hawaiian dessert that has a similar texture to firm jello. Champorado is a Filipino chocolate rice porridge. For those who don’t know me, I’m part Hawaiian, part Filipina, with plenty of other parts in between! What I love about the pumpkin-haupia cheesecake is that the pumpkin is not too overwhelming so it pairs well with the haupia instead of overshadowing it.
I love chocolate. I love rice. I was all in for the champorado cheesecake. I loved the firm texture with rice in every bite. The star of the show was the ball of chewy goodness on the top. I wish I could have a box of those!
Week 2 highlighted Jasmin Bell of Bells Pastries. If you haven’t heard yet, Jasmin recently won Food Network’s Halloween Baking Championship! I’d heard of Jasmin’s macarons but hadn’t tried them yet. For this special occasion, she brought ube (purple yam), biko (sticky rice cake), and mango flavored macarons. They were brightly colored and not too sweet. My favorite was biko because I’m all about that rice!
Week 3 focused on Yolanda Molina of Lola Yoly’s with maruya (banana fritters). I stopped by in the morning and ordered a few fritters and a few cheesecakes. I went home, was forced to share my fritters, and went back to the store for a dozen more (which I barely shared). A crisp, sugary exterior surrounded a soft banana interior. It’s hard to imagine anything better than warm maruya. I’ll be dreaming of these for a long time!
Week 4 showcased AnnaLiza Valdez Ramos of Caked Goods. She offered four mini cupcakes: halo halo, turon, chocolate coconut caramel, and calamansi. I’m a huge fan of turon (banana lumpia) but almost never make it. The mini cupcake had an interesting textural feel with the addition of filo dough baked around the bottom. It provided a satisfying crunch just like the fried dessert. Each cupcake was reminiscent of the inspiration for each.
October was a great month! In addition to regular menu items, Hood Famous Bakeshop runs specials from time to time and always has special items for holiday meals. I’m looking forward to trying new desserts this holiday season and beyond!