Words by Marielle Balmores
Photos by Joshua Go
At some point in our lives, we’ve tasted and indulged in delicious pastries and desserts. Some of the French variety! I’m talking croissants, macarons (no extra ‘o’, guys), crêpes, and even French toast! As yummy as they are, another brand of French desserts has swept our tastebuds! If you’re a chocolate lover, this one is for you! Another thing that makes this product so special is that the man behind it is Filipino, who intently studied the recipe from French cookbooks and in culinary school.
Meet Chef Echo, the mastermind behind the chocolate truffles from his brand Sweet Dream by Chef Echo. Truffles were his favorite dessert taught in culinary school in Global Academy in Timog Avenue, Quezon City. His love for culinary arts sparked in high school, where he used to watch his mom cook every day and where he would even butt in to experiment with the fire. He thanked her for not stopping him, leading him to study HRM in UST, then Global Academy.
He shared how most Filipinos were fans of chocolates (facts!), so his choice of product was easy to choose. He mentioned that he looked up to the creator of the Ferrero Rocher, Michele Ferrero, and said he wanted to be the Filipino version of him. With that, his main goal is to conquer the world with one product. What product again? His truffles.
How did the name of Sweet Dream by Chef Echo come about?
He started first on Instagram as “Chef Echo” as a seller of bags, then had one of his neighbors endorse his items. The followers started coming in and he decided that he’d make his personal account into an online shop. Again, like the Ferrero Rocher, he wants to be known for one product and get his branding of Chef Echo really out there.
Chef Echo also used to be a former culinary teacher in FEU for 4 years before he resigned to focus more on his business. By September 2018, he relaunched it after selling it in secret through his close friends for special events back in 2014.
So what is the breakdown of this product?
It’s at an affordable 280 pesos! There is only has one size to this product, which consists of a dozen pieces.
As he followed the French recipe, he put a twist in the procedure. What he did instead was he already included the nuts in the batter of the chocolate ganache and chose almonds because it’s the most neutral taste that won’t overpower the chocolate, which he then dipped in milk chocolate and cocoa powder. These truffles are handmade by him–and he’s the only one who knows the full recipe. Though he has staff who help out, they only dip them in chocolate then package after.
Speaking of packaging, Chef Echo kept it very “simple yet elegant.” It’s also resealable so truffles stay intact regardless of movement. He also made his own logo around 5 years ago and didn’t state there that he’s selling truffles. He wants an automatic response from people who see the logo and be like “Oh those are chocolate truffles!”.
As much as possible, it’s best to keep it refrigerated to prolong its shelf life.
Keep this in mind: From his testing, these truffles can last 48 hours in room temperature, refrigerated in 1 month, and 2 months frozen. Also, no preservatives are used!
Something that caught my interest as we spoke was that anyone can make truffles, but his edge would be that he really studied his target market, which is Filipinos. From there, he figured out the sizes and proportions of the ganache that would fit the Philippine palette and price.
I really enjoyed munching on them! I even managed to bring home a bag of this and let it stay for a week in the refrigerator. I even had to restrain myself from eating too much because there were only a dozen pieces! It still felt really refreshing and scrumptious, the nuts and chocolate melting together in your mouth so fast.
Chocolate enthusiasts, what are you waiting for? Better get a taste of these truffles soon!
Sweet Dream by Chef Echo
0915 756 9005 for inquiries