Friday, October 31, 2014

It's a Match | The Cravings Group Brews Exciting Partnership with Di Bella Coffee

One of the world’s foremost and prestigious coffee brands – Di Bella Coffee of Queensland, Australia has arrived in the Philippines. And as a forager of good tasting, lovingly made, and perfect to the last sip  cup of  coffee, I didn't hesitated but was very thrilled to attend their launch yesterday. 

We had dessert pairing held at Epicurious, L/G East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza Mall. Together with Cravings Group, they want us, coffee lovers, to taste the perfect partnership of coffee and desserts!

Serving more than just coffee goodness - This exciting collaboration has been set in motion throughout all Cravings Group restaurant chains – Cravings, Epicurious, Lucia Ristorante, Lombardi’s, C2 Classic Cuisine, B&P, The Blackboard by Chef Michel and The Coffee Beanery (TCB) outlets nationwide beginning October 28.

Under the collaboration, Phillip Di Bella will not only bring its sought-after gourmet coffee products, but also its "crop to cup" philosophy in the Philippines. Di Bella’s owner, Phillip Di Bella – dubbed as Australia’s "Coffee King" – is a well-known entrepreneur and philanthropist who has raised the standards followed by coffee farmers and Australia’s coffee industry in general.  His extensive experience, combined with community-building vision, makes him one of the most successful and deeply admired influential personalities in today’s international coffee making industry. 

36 cafes and restaurants with a wholesale supply project to begin in the near future, bringing in the Philippines their ‘crop to cup’ philosophy via a partnership with The Coffee Beanery of the Cravings Group.  “The Cravings Group is proud to partner with Di Bella.  Not only do we raise the bar of café concept by presenting customers with new world-class coffee choices; we are also more than happy to create positive impacts to Filipino coffee farmers,” said Marinela G. Trinidad, CEO of The Cravings Group. 

“With this partnership, the Philippine coffee industry also stands to gain so much. Di Bella is very intent in supporting The Cravings Group educate and train local farmers with ethical, sustainable coffee bean-growing practices. By learning and adapting such renowned leadership, excellence and expertise, Filipino coffee farmers will have the opportunity to learn and eventually harvest the best-quality, locally-grown beans which in turn give Filipinos the best cup experience,” Trinidad noted. 

As for the "cup" part, Maui Mauricio, Brand Manager for The Coffee Beanery (TCB), said it is not only highlighting the elevated customer experience as Di Bella will also impart its training philosophy to make TCB baristas “world-class.”

As the pioneer of brewing coffee and among the first cafés to introduce latte art in the Philippines, The Coffee Beanery’s more than a decade of leadership and craft perfection in the premium coffee segment is fortified anew with TCG’s landmark partnership with Di Bella --- elevating its category as a café destination for top-class, international coffee blends.

“A big part of making consistently excellent coffee is also an excellent and knowledgeable barista,” she enthused.  “With Di Bella standard of training of our baristas, our customers are assured that each cup is flavorful, lovingly made, and perfect to the last sip.”

Be among the first to enjoy premium cups of Di Bella Coffee at all The Coffee Beanery and Cravings outlets including Epicurious, Wicked, Lombardi’s and The Blackboard.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Halloween Creations | Black Bottom Orange Cheesecakes

You want no ghouls, no spiders, no webs but all around deliciously tasty Halloween creations you can make in a snap? These Halloween inspired creations from The Maya Kitchen may just be what you are looking for.

Creamy rich orange and black cheesecakes burst with flavor and color and a butter cake sundae comes layered with whipped cream and meringue plus a playful dusting of purple sprinkles.

For more recipes, other culinary ideas and course schedule, log on to

Fudge Brownie Base:

¼ cup butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 package MAYA Oven Toaster Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix 230 g
1 tablespoon melted butter

Orange Cheesecake Filling:
2 ¼ cups         cream cheese, softened
¾ cup         sugar
3         eggs
1 ½ tablespoons orange zest
1 tablespoon orange-flavored liqueur
        orange food color, as needed

White Chocolate Ganache:
½ cup         all purpose cream
½ cup        chopped white chocolate
            chocolate coins, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.

Prepare fudge brownie base. Grease and line the bottom of a 9x5-inch rectangular pan. Set aside. In a bowl, cream the butter until soft. Add the egg and water and blend together. Add the brownie mix and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Pour on the prepared pan and spread batter until smooth. Bake for 20 minutes or until done. Once cooled, crumble the brownie and add in the melted butter. Set aside.

Prepare orange cheesecake filling. In a mixer bowl, soften cream cheese and add sugar until creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time. Add the orange zest, orange-flavored liqueur and orange food color. Blend until well incorporated.

Prepare white chocolate ganache. Place the all purpose cream in a pan and bring to a boil while stirring continuously. Add the chopped white chocolate and stir until melted and combined. Set aside and cool.

To assemble. Pack 2 tablespoons each of fudge brownie base at the bottom of eight (8) 4-ounce paper cups. Pour orange cheesecake filling until ¾ full. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove cheesecakes from oven. Cool. Pour white chocolate ganache on top and garnish with a chocolate coin. Serve

Yield: 8 individual cheesecakes Note: Omit food color if a white cheesecake is desired.

Press Release: This means that this material is fully and directly from the company issuing the press release. This also means that this website is not the author of the statement being read. The Cuisineuer is simply providing the information for readers who may be interested.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

House of Lasagna, SM Megamall

Okay, this happened more than a month ago and I refuse to blame the pressure brought by my corporate life for blogging late about this scrumptious experience :-)  Let's just say... it’s my gout attack’s fault, ugh! 

I was intrigued - I've been hearing a lot of delicious buzz and wanting to try this restaurant for such a long time and only came to realized when Jho and Kim, my officemates, tried to taste every lasagna on offer and post it on their Instagram accounts. Yep, they were trying every lasagna on the menu! Geez, those lasagna looks so damn good! I can't help but join them in one of their "House of Lasagna" day out. 

I finally had a chance to try the mouthwatering, high-calorie, lasagna at House of Lasagna in SM Megamall!

I arrived early before them, so I made a quick inspection of the place located at the Lower Ground Floor, Building A in SM Mega Mall. At 4 PM, it was an idle time for this quaint restaurant. I took a picture and picked a vacant seat at the center of the tables occupying some space of SM’s corridor. If only they've put cushion to the wooden chair, it would be more lovely and comfortable for their customers to stay longer or in my case, wait for my companion. 

Mixed Green Salad, Php 150

What I noticed at the moment I sat down were the presence of roaming flies, probably attracted to desirable scent of cheese which even myself can’t control but drool when I smell it. Hmmm, the aroma of cheese was undeniably love! I silently prayed for their quick arrival and asked the food attendant to serve me Sola Iced Tea and Mixed Green Salad to munch while waiting. 

Beef Lasagna, Single Php 280

Kim arrived first and Jho came in shortly. We wasted no time and ordered our chosen lasagna. I had Beef Lasagna and the two had Seafood and Chicken Lasagnas - lasagnas they haven't tried before. 

Not long enough of waiting, we let carb and calorie loading begin!

 Seafood Lasagna, Single Php 300

They came with a free basket of garlic bread - generous portions lasagnas bursting with thick sauces and teeming with gooey cheesy melt and savory herbs that looked identical were served but I’m sure doesn’t taste the same. 

Chicken Lasagna, Php 280

The flavors inside my Beef Lasagna was rich with ground beef, cheese, béchamel sauce, and sweet-Filipino-taste tomato sauce concoction - spread between tender layer of lasagna noodles oozing with cheese... oomph, it was in love at first bite!

I never had a chance to taste their Lasagna because I'm also planning to try all of 'em and I was already full. Plus, I was occupied crunching their sinful Southern Fried Chicken Skin - deep fried chicken skin coated with their special seasoning and served with vinegar dip on the side. 

Yes, it's obscene. But it was really good! You gotta try it.

Southern Fried Chicken Skin, Php 180

We had fun-filled and satisfying gastronomical experience. The two foodies recommended Lasagne Frederico when I asked what's the best lasagna to take in my next visit.  Made from 100% Angus Beef baked with cheeses and black truffle shavings. At Php 450 single serving, its kinda expensive but hmmmm, interesting!

All the flavors and comfort of classic lasagna is in here. If you are craving for lasagna, and pulling together a pan of lasagna sounds like a task you simply don't have time for, House of Lasagna got you covered! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Crispy Crepe Cones With Banana-Peach Filling

Have fun in the kitchen as The Maya Kitchen shares recipes of vibrant cookies, sweet fruit crepes and modish waffle squares. Crepes are shaped into funnels and baked crisp then filled with a banana and peach combo. Cookies dress up in pastels, with floral trimmings, studded with dragees and embossed with stars and what have you. Waffles come in petite squares with one edge dipped in dark chocolate and the other in white. 

1 cup                          MAYA All-Purpose Flour
                                    pinch of salt
1                                  egg
1                                  egg yolk
1 ½ cups                     milk
2 tablespoons            butter, melted
                                    oil, as needed

4 pieces                      ripe banana lakatan, sliced
4 pieces                      peach halves, sliced
½ cup                          brown sugar
½ cup                          crushed graham crackers

½ cup                          finely chopped walnuts

                                    semi-sweet chocolate, melted (optional)
                                    white chocolate, melted (optional)

Prepare crepes. Preheat oven to 300°F/149°C. In a bowl, combine all ingredients and beat until mixture forms a smooth batter. Set aside. Brush a non-stick pan with little oil and heat over medium heat. Pour enough batter to thinly coat the bottom of the pan then tilt from side to side. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until crepe is lightly browned. Loosen the edges and transfer crepe to a plate. Repeat until all batter is used. Wrap each crepe around a lightly greased cream horn mould and arrange on a baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove crepe cones from the moulds while still hot. Set aside.

Prepare filling. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, slightly toss until well blended. Set aside.

To assemble.   Spoon enough filling into each cone. Drizzle melted semi-sweet chocolate and melted white chocolate on top, if desired. Serve immediately.

Yield: 12-15 crepe cones

Fun to do, great to look at and super ‘delish!’ Who says baking is such a drag? For more recipes, other culinary ideas and course schedule, log on to      

September Recipes

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