To save you from the hassle of back reading, this is the article in which I first wrote about lollicakes:
In the above-pasted Hapadog feature, I described the Green Tea lolli as “the best thing you can get on a bleary day. It's so moist, good, and properly sweet, it could cure a broken heart.”
I chuckle now at how cheesily I described that little ball of happiness; I must have been high on sugar at that time! It must also be that same sugar-high that prompted me to like (and, er, stalk) The Lollicake Factory, a home-based business, on Facebook. Pictures upon pictures, my feed was ever-updated on all the customized lollicakes ordered and delivered. The colorful photos of Angry Birds, Transformers, Plants vs. Zombies, and pig-shaped cake pops made me say “ooh!” and “awww!” a number of times. How I prayed then for an occasion or at least a valid reason to go out of my way and order one big batch for myself. A storefront, open for walk-ins, that is not too far north or too far south is welcome as well.
And as if I'm luckiest foodie alive, my prayers were answered! I woke up to an update that The Lollicake Factory has just opened a tiny cafe tucked in the heart of Pasig. While it's not exactly a short drive from Makati, I was ecstatic at the thought of an actual store that houses readily-available lollies in all forms and flavors. If I were to describe how I felt that morning, “giddy” would be an understatement.
After a breezing through a surprisingly light traffic, I easily spotted The Lollicake Factory in a commercial strip along East Capitol Drive. In the tiny store that looks like a seven-year old girl's bedroom that smells of cake batter, I met LJ Moreno-Alapag, hands-on owner and lollicake-maker.
“Thank you!” she warmly told me after my long gushing about that one Green Tea lolli that is to blame for my acute lollicake addiction. “This business was actually started by a craving as well! I was in the States, planning for my wedding. My wedding planner and I used to meet in this cafe in Laguna Beach. Their Red Velvet cake pop was amazing! I left the States and craved badly for it,” LJ related. Passionate in baking since her early years, she researched and experimented until she perfected her own recipe. The rest, so she says, is history.
I peered through the glass counter that encases the lollies and immediately spotted the familiar green-speckled brown pop. “Ah! Green Tea!” I exclaimed. It was like meeting a dear, old friend. Although my purpose for visiting The Lollicake Factory's to sample the other flavors, it didn't prevent me from ordering my first love.
I took one slow, purposeful bite. It reminded me of the first time I've tasted the balanced and beautiful mix of chocolate and light green tea. Moist and armed with just the right amount of sweetness, the Green Tea lolli is one dessert I'd probably never ever forget. “One box of this please,” I told LJ.
After my happy reunion with Green Tea lolli, the cake pop sampling ensued. There are currently eight flavors (Green Tea, Chocolate, Butter Cream, Mocha, Dulce de Leche, Carrot, Peanut Butter, Red Velvet) available in store, sold at P40 apiece. Among the eight, the Red Velvet, Butter Cream, and Carrot flavors stood out.
I can totally guess why the Red Velvet hit LJ. It's, well, Red Velvet, that's why! When done properly (read: a little extra moist), red velvets are easily divine! Her red velvet cake pop is and there's no reason one wouldn't want it.
The Red Velvet is great-- extra moist and extra sweet, but a piece can be a little too much for someone who's not sweet toothed. If you're not a fan of desserts that make one's sugar levels spike, the Butter Cream and Carrot lollies are your next best bet. Just like the Green Tea, these lollies are tame enough to make you order one piece after another.
Aside from the lollies, other sweet options are available at The Lollicake Factory. Whoopie pies (P25), Cookies (price varies depending on the flavor available), and cupcake versions of the Red Velvet and Green Tea lollies (P65) are available for those seeking for dessert alternatives.
Savory options such as the hearty Alodianara (her spin on the usual Carbonara) and tummy-filling LJ's Pasta Sardine are available at P100 and P120, respectively.
The bulk of the orders that LJ receives still come from those who call ahead and order big batches of customized lollicakes for parties. Price per piece varies from P55 to P70 depending on the design. According to her, the most interesting request she got was one that asks for lollicakes that look like Manny Pacquiao! “I have a problem with saying no-- no matter how difficult the requests are! So watch out for the Manny Pacquiao lollies!” she told me before giving out a hearty laugh.
Stuffed to the brim with enough lollies to last me for a month, I bid LJ and her little Lollicake Factory goodbye. Before leaving, I left LJ a suggestion-slash-challenge to make a Cookie Dough flavored lollicake as I love anything that concerns cookie dough.
Now let's see if the universe once again conspires to give me what I want. Should LJ succeed in doing one, I'm deeming my luck in food-related wishing official!