She wakes up before the crack of dawn, first to spend an hour in meditation and prayer, then charges to the kitchen to single-handedly bake batches upon batches of Nutella Rocks, an award-winning sweet treat, delivered fresh to doorsteps upon special orders in and around Metro Manila.
The mixing, molding, baking and packaging of the rich, round goodies take between three to four hours, after which celebrity Bettina Carlos sends off her single motorcycle rider for deliveries, rouses and tends to her beautiful three year old daughter Gummy, and finally heads out to tape her shows for GMA Network, calling it a day often past midnight.
“I’m good to go with just three to four hours of sleep every day,” the lovely mestiza told The Manila Times over a light lunch with lots and lots of dessert. “I actually feel irritated if I wake up and the sun’s up. I guess I just have this compulsion to always be productive.”
Besides her delivery guy, Bettina is practically the one-woman show behind her growing business ABC’s Baked Bites. A very small enterprise, which she started in 2008 when she began selling brownies to her grandmother’s majhong buddies, the very able supporting actress confessed she is a late-bloomer of a baker, though a very passionate one.
“Baking started out as a hobby for me after a friend of mine—a chef—gifted me with a recipe book of breads and other baked goods,” she recalled. “I first fell in love with making honey walnut bread, and just baked it for family and friends. Back then, my goal was just to learn how to bake pan de sal.”
As her confidence with the mixer and the oven grew over time, Bettina tried her hand at more complicated desserts, including cheesecakes, tarts and the like, and even found the inspiration to whip up her very own concoction.
“I wanted to incorporate the taste of Ferrero Rocher chocolates with the texture of Mrs. Field’s cookies,” she related. “It was a very long process of trial and error until one day, I found the combination I was looking for and called in Nutella Rocks.”
Pricier than regular cookies, what with such premium ingredients as Nutella spread and cashew nuts, Bettina, who then parted ways with her husband, thought about turning her hobby into an enterprise.
“Actually, it was my mom who woke me up and told me na masyadong mahal yung hobby ko, and I will say it was by God’s grace that I was able to turn it around, and found the means and the courage to make some money out of my passion for my daughter’s needs,” she continued.
Graduating from selling brownies to her grandmother’s amigas, Bettina bravely joined the “8th Ultimate Taste Test” conducted by popular food and travel blog Our Awesome Planet in 2011, and emerged among the Top 10 winners, which the panel of judges soon raved about online.
“And that was that,” the accidental baker summed up. “I’m one of those entrepreneurs you can also call an ‘inter-preneur’ because this business really started out on the Internet. I built my client base from posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and I can say that my whole week’s profit from Baked Bites is equivalent to one taping day for TV shows. Makakabuhay na din sa amin ng daughter ko,” she humbly added.
Three years into her successful enterprise, Bettina still does everything herself, save for washing her mixing bowls and pans, which her beloved lola does for her at the end of every baking day.
“Wala akong assistant,” she amazingly revealed. “I tried having one before but it just didn’t work out. I guess I’m just so careful to keep the quality of my products the same all throughout to keep my clients happy that I’ve ended up having trust issues!” she jokingly added.
Her recipes for success, according to Bettina are based on just two things: “Prayer and passion.”
“Your passion will push you to get things done, and prayer will guide you on how to best carry your goals out, especially when it involves your future,” she explained.
True enough, the actress, who is most remembered for her role as Vicky—the aggressive best friend of Carla Abellana’s Lally in the phenomenal series My Husband’s Lover—has even gone on to land her own segment in celebrity chef Boy Logoro’s ongoing Sunday cooking show Idol sa Kusina on GMA News TV.
“It was a dream come true, and I really prayed about it,” Bettina happily shared.
For the sweet superwoman, her latest achievement is simply proof of the power of passion and prayer together.
Nutella Rocks and other sweet treats from Baked Bites by ABC are available by order via 0917-861BITE (2483).