From Bacolod City – Bob’s Bakery Café’s Pavlova

9 04 2009


ONE THING I have always been thankful for is being on the receiving end of other people’s kindness.  In mid-March, one of our engineers (John Francis) kept telling me to be on stand by for something he wanted me to try.  I think it took about a week of almost constant reminders from him.  And I have to say, with every mention, my mouth watered and my curiosity got piqued all the more.


And I didn’t even know what I was in for!



On a lunch break from a day-long training, he approached me and handed me a box that finally revealed to me – almost revealed! – what my palate was in for.  The box said, “BOB’S BAKERY CAFE.”  And even before I could tug at the ends of the environmentally sound biodegrable ribbon, the giver told me that it was (lovingly) hand-carried by his girlfriend on a flight back from one of the queen cities of the south – Bacolod City!


Now, how could one not feel thankful about that?!



Opening the box, the object of curiosity finally really revealed itself to be a classic – the Pavlova.  I opined to the giver that beyond being a dessert consisting of a meringue base slathered with whipped cream and filled with some kind of fruit, the Pavlova is actually a dessert named after the famed Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova!  He was kind of surprised that I knew that bit of trivia.  Oh well, I guess it pays to be a voracious reader.  Just some tricks I could pull from my magician’s hat when the moment was right for it.



I learned that Bob’s Bakery Café is an institution in Bacolod City.  I’ve only been to that city once, for a couple of days when I spoke to the ECE graduating class and conducted interviews at the University of St. La Salle.  The only local delicacy stop we made was to a hole-in-the-wall place that specialized on something called “inipit” (layers of sponge with a cream filling).  Clearly not to Bob’s Bakery Café.  So I was so glad I would finally get to try one of their specialties.


Before anything else, I have to say that this Pavlova was quite sturdy, having been able to withstand air travel and come out of it, not only alive, but really “standing tall.”  It was a proud stack of four meringue layers, sandwiching in between a stain of mango puree, thick slather of whipped cream, and really generous layers of sliced ripe mangoes.  The top was beautifully finished with crushed meringue and slivers of almonds.  It looked so much more like a work of art that I couldn’t get to slice through it.  But then again, the flesh was weak – and Spider-man was waiting too!  Hahaha!


Spider-man beams at the sight of Bob's Bakery Café's Pavlova!


The one best thing about Bob’s Pavlova was that it wasn’t sweet at all.  I mean, in an annoying way it wasn’t.  The sweetness was actually playfully shy – teasing even – that I found myself just taking forkfuls.  The mangoes were really fresh, bursting with the actual sweet component that blended well with the “creaminess” of the whipped cream.  The texture of the meringue was at first a little fluffy, then it became more chewy.  But it was never like taffy at all.  That would’ve been disaster to me.  Bob’s Pavlova was unlike that.  The texture of the meringue allowed for the four layers to stand firm without crushing the one at the bottom.  A part of me was actually half-expecting to open the box and see a dessert or a cake that suffered from all the handling.


The slice standing went to Stave Michael.


But Bob’s Pavlova was a testament to pastry skills that give forth a dessert that was truly an achievement in form and in substance.  How I wish I could easily get it from here on a whim!  I would’ve wanted to keep the pavlova to myself.  But I guess, I’d rather earn brownie points (from Spider-man!) for sharing.  Hahaha!