Michael Karlo Lim gets sweet with cakes and flow­ers

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On the ex­cru­ci­at­ingly con­fus­ing thin line be­tween “don’t buy me flow­ers” and “you never buy me flow­ers” are flo­ral items from Zara. Thank­fully, just Zara. The fairer sex would agree that the fairer sex tends to be un­fair in their pro­nounce­ments on pas­sion and prac­ti­cal­ity. I be­lieve in love and food and love in food. I’ve stood the mid­dle ground with a bou­quet of my in­fa­mous Ba­con Roses in hand two Valen­tine’s Days past.

The PussyKat’s birth­day was com­ing up, and I was com­ing up empty-handed on sur­prises. “Don’t get me any­thing” only seemed to mount pres­sure. A bou­quet of squash blos­soms, per­haps? I could later stuff those with herbed goat cheese or maybe ground pork for din­ner. Or maybe ar­ti­chokes to then roast or turn into a gratin. Then there are th­ese very Pin­ter­est­ing Bou­quet Cakes with hand-piped but­ter­cream flow­ers from Cake Cou­ture by Trina.

Prac­ti­cally grow­ing up in the kitchen, Trina Kok­seng re­ceived early culi­nary education from her mom. She be­gan cook­ing and bak­ing on her own at a young age. “With six other sib­lings, I had a lot of guinea pigs on whom I’d ex­per­i­ment, and they were very will­ing test sub­jects, to say the least.“

Culi­nary arts had to give way to the usual parental pre­req­ui­site of a de­gree in some

four year- course. Grad­u­at­ing from ac­count­ing led to a stint in the bank­ing in­dus­try be­fore the call of her pas­sion landed her a culi­nary de­gree at the Cen­ter for Asian Culi­nary Stud­ies in Manila. Grav­i­tat­ing nat­u­rally towards pas­try, she took up some more cour­ses in Chicago and Lon­don and was for­tu­nate enough to ap­pren­tice un­der Co­lette Peters in Man­hat­tan.

Want­ing to al­ways be the first to bring in new tech­niques to the lo­cal mar­ket, she’s al­ways on the look­out for the new­est in­dus­try trends. Dis­cov­er­ing the pret­tier and more re­al­is­tic Ko­rean but­ter­cream flow­ers, she re­cently took a course in Korea to learn its tech­niques.

The base cake op­tions are frosted and piped for ap­prox­i­mately two hours. “Not too thick or sweet, but­ter­cream com­ple­ments a cake with count­less op­tions for de­signs.”, she says. The frost­ing is also easy to color which re­sults in at­trac­tive col­ors that pop out. Even color gra­di­ents are pos­si­ble mak­ing very re­al­is­tic look­ing flow­ers. As the but­ter­cream flow­ers are very del­i­cate and melt quickly in the lo­cal weather, ex­tra care and cooler tem­per­a­ture are needed to make sure the flow­ers stay in the best con­di­tion. Ver­sus the thick, chewy and of­ten very sweet fon­dant ic­ing which peo­ple usu­ally peel off the cake, but­ter­cream eas­ily goes with each fork­ful of the base cake and melts for a lux­u­ri­ous mouth­feel.

‘Got her flow­ers al­right. Ed­i­ble, too.

Cake Cou­ture by Trina is lo­cated at Bani­lad Town Cen­ter, Gov. M. Cuenco Ave., Cebu City, Cebu

Phone: (032) 316 2181

1 Piped but­ter­cream roses and pe­onies in a bou­quet ar­range­ment. 2 Calla lilies, Dahlias and freesias in a cres­cent shaped ar­range­ment. 3 Piped but­ter­cream roses and pe­onies in a wreath ar­range­ment. 4 Austin roses and pe­onies in a wreath...

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