LOVE everything guava like my friend, travel buddy and colleague over at Daily Tribune, Roel Hoang Manipon? My husband Raff also loved guava stuff before his second stroke confined him to the bed even now, his favorites being guava juice and guava jam. I myself am always intrigued by unique local flavors, such as guava, rendered unconventionally in delightful food products.
So, how about a guava cake?
Oh, yes, definitely! I recently got to taste Helen’s Guava Cake, baked by shipbuilding executive and F&B hotelier turned home baker Monique Tangcongco for her own Moniquecakesph, and instantly fell in love with it. It is quite new, having been launched only in August this year, and is probably the only guava cake in the market. It is two layers of pillowy soft, moist chiffon cake, with homemade organic red guava jam filling, iced on top and on the sides with whipped cream frosting, and garnished with generous slices of red guava fruit on top. The cake simulates the look of a real guava fruit, with the chiffon cakes in the exact pink shade of the guava fruit and the icing in light pale green.
Aside from the look, however, Helen’s Guava Cake has a very pronounced guava flavor. It is real. It is not a pretender. That is what I like about it. And if you are wondering who Helen is, she is Monique’s mom, and guavas have always played an important role in the lives of the Tancongcos.
“Inspiration for Helen’s Guava Cake stemmed from the desire to bake delectable cakes and pastries for my family, my mom particularly, using the finest and most wholesome ingredients as much as possible. Guavas bring about the fondest childhood memories. Growing up, we had guava trees at my grandma’s house and relatives’ houses. My aunties, uncles and elder cousins built swings and playhouses on and around them. My late grandma, late dad and my mom taught us the nutritional value of eating natural and unprocessed food as much as possible. Guava fruits are amazingly rich in antioxidants, potassium, fiber and Vitamin C. My late dad, Crispino Tancongco, used to work for Del Monte Philippine Packing in Davao City. The Del Monte Guava Juice was his brainchild. The jam recipe I used for this particular cake was my grandma’s pamana to my mom, Helen. It was my mom who inspired me to create a cake out of it. Hence, the cake’s name,” Monique relates.
She adds: “Modesty aside, the guava cake was the one cake I seem to have executed rather seamlessly. It all happened one late night in the kitchen during this pandemic. I stayed up all night with an insane amount of guilt for not being able to see my family, friends and colleagues who are battling all sorts of anxiety, depression and longing for togetherness. Fueled by the desire to cheer them up, I thought I’d bake them something unique and special. Not trying to sound goody-goody, I have to admit the cake was a product of an answered prayer. So I give all the credit and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ for giving me the courage and wisdom to make it happen.”
That cake is now available in the market at P1,500 per 9-inch round cake, and it is making waves, as it is like no other. To order, send direct messages to FB/IG page Moniquecakesph and Viber 0917-8417415.