Happiness in Every Bite: Mouthwatering Macarons and More at Sam’s Tuileries Confections
When in Manila, there are times when your sweet tooth just acts up and you need to satisfy it, no matter what. Have you ever had a dessert that, no matter how long it’s been, you just can’t forget? That the mere memory of that sweet, sumptuous morsel just causes your tastebuds to tingle and your mouth to water?
A long time ago, in a high school far, far away; there was a girl named Sam Bautista who had a passion for baking that just wouldn’t quit. Such was her love for the craft that she practically smuggled her homemade baked treats (chocolate brownies, in particular) into her school and sold them (albeit quietly) to her grateful classmates – myself included.
Now here we are, almost a decade later, and I was lucky to have been allowed to visit Sam’s kitchen and talk to her about her pastries, her love for baking, and how she turned her passion into a blooming business.
When I stepped into Sam’s kitchen/thinking tank, I was immediately greeted by an explosion of colors, pastries, and baking appliances. It was pretty much what a mad scientist’s lab would look like if he had taken up baking instead. Sam was standing there with a warm smile on her face. It was apparent, even from a distance, how proud she was of her creations.
We immediately got to talking, and she told me all about her experiences and how she really got started in the pastry world. Armed with a degree in business, she went and spent some time in what many foodies would consider the Mecca of baking: France. There, she spent months learning and refining her craft at Lenotre, one of the top culinary schools in the country. After her stay, she came back to the Philippines armed with three things: her newfound knowledge, her hard-earned techniques, and her long-burning passion for baking.
When asked why she chose to go into a niche that’s a bit crowded these days, she replied that she wanted to bring authentic French flavors to the Philippine foodie scene by making authentic French pastries approachable. According to Sam, there’s a “chasm” between the average Filipino and authentic French desserts and she wants to be able to bridge that gap. Her secret? Keeping her flavors authentic and her pastries deceptively simple. One bite into a pastry, though, and you’ll see just how much love and time went into creating it.
During my short stay with Sam, I pretty much became her guinea pig (not that I minded at all), and I was able to sample her French macarons and her choux pastry (pronounced “SHOE” pastry, or for those who want to keep it simple: cream puffs).
Sam gave me a taste of her new offerings. For her macarons, she had milk tea, frommage, and basil. The milk tea one had a delicious fruity layer interlaced with the bitter chocolate, giving it this amazing contrast on the tongue. The frommage was a playful mix of cheese and chocolate. Hey, if it can work for a platter, why not a macaron, right? And yes, you read that right. Basil. Herby basil with bitter chocolate. Surprisingly good.
Little disks of sweet, luscious goodness
One of Sam’s established flavors: chocolate and orange liquer
For her choux pastries (which are these adorable little cream puffs that you can eat in one bite), Sam has four flavors: piña colada (yes, just like the drink), Tart Tatin (which is like a French apple pie), tiramisu (a coffee-infused delight), and, the most awesome of all in my humble opinion, the Paris Brest. There are no words to describe this delicious mix of hazelnut and dark chocolate. I kid you not: I literally had to excuse myself and focus on tasting that particular flavor.
That’s it. The one in the middle. NOMNOMNOMNOMNOM.
While Sam admits that breaking into the Philippine market is a challenge because of the competition and the general difficulty to find a place in this very selective niche, it truly is a labor of love from her part which drives her to continue her business and to make it more accessible to more people. For Sam, desserts should be a celebration of love, of togetherness, and of happiness.
At present, Sam caters to events like birthdays and weddings, as well as as creates dessert buffets for other occasions. She also accepts special orders; so bring what you love to the table and Sam will help you bring it to life.
For those who are eagerly awaiting more from Sam’s kitchen (again, myself included), Sam has told me that she has other things in the pipeline, such as new flavors and new baked offerings. Stay tuned and enjoy her macarons and cream puffs for now!
If you have a sweet tooth, check out my other pick for delicious, homemade sweets for those with a sweet tooth: Desserts in Jars by Delice Patisserie.
The Tuileries Confections
Cell number: 0917-8717123 / 0922-8832908