A room for dessert

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Friday, December 27, 2013

THERE'S always room for dessert. Regardless of how many slices of lechon or cups of rice had, when the moment calls for dessert, it would require a lot of willpower to resist and say no. Even more so in Country Basket, a pastry shop where sweetness isn’t an experience solely for the taste buds.

Call it a “room of dessert.” A cozy two-storey establishment with bright interiors and playful decor, Country Basket offers a wide assortment of baked goodies like customized whole cakes, cookies, brownies, pastry bars and cupcakes. It is owned and managed by pastry chef, Ellen Lee, who has been in the practice for 10 years.

Ellen said this is her first physical shop, the newest chapter of her career. As a child she used to take short courses in Caro & Marie, and later on pursued her passion by studying baking and pastry at the Center for Culinary Arts in Manila, most notably, at a time when culinary studies was almost unheard of in Cebu. Ellen had her on-the-job training at the prestigious Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

For almost a decade, Ellen has been supplying pastries to restaurants and coffee shops around the metro. But with her own shop now, she said that she has more room to be creative and indulging in her products.

Country Basket’s specialties include the kahlua-fused walnut cake, the white chocolate almond sans rival, and cupcakes, which vary from time to time because Ellen enjoys creating special flavors based on the fruits in season. Also available are cookies, meringue, and bread sticks in packs that are perfect for handy snacks or as gifts.

Country Basket also offers pastas and sandwiches to munch on. The must-tries are the mouthwatering Spanish sardine pasta, and the pesto and chicken sandwich—a richly-filled snack that pesto lovers will surely enjoy.

Lastly, on the beverage side, Country Basket has house-brewed cold teas and freshly made fruit juices like strawberry and grape—a perfect match to its selection of treats, and a colorful addition to the equally delectable and good-enough-to-eat eye candy interiors of the shop.

Country Basket is in Prestigo Arcade along Gorordo Ave., Lahug, Cebu City. It is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekends.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 28, 2013.


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