Rhea Castro-Sycip is not new to the kitchen. She has culinary education from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde and Le Cordon Bleu Dusit, and attended baking classes with Heny Sison and Dorothy Ferreria. For ten years, she was also a teacher. “Most of my students tell me that I make such wonderful desserts and a lot of them already have successful businesses because of the recipes I shared with them,” she discloses.
Friends who have tried her creations have been pushing her to get into selling too, but she has always been hesitant. Last Christmas, she finally gave in and decided to go full blast with her baking business. She launched a few products under the brand Flour Pot. A spiced cake made from sun-riped bananas and fresh Tagaytay pineapples in light buttercream frosting which she calls the Hummingbird Cake; a sponge cake topped with Benguet Shoga Strawberries which many can identify as Strawberry Shortcake; a yellow pound cake soaked in rich milk mixture labeled as Tres Leches Cake; asponge roll covered in boiled icing frosting with dark chocolate ganache filling she named Malacañang Roll; and moist, chewy brownies using her chef husband Jayjay’s recipe.
The biggest hit during the Yuletide was her signature product: the Rum Butter Cake. The reception was above and beyond her expectations. She received orders by the dozens, her ovens had to go on overtime. It was no surprise given the amount of recipe testing that went into it. “It took a year before I asked my closest friends to taste it. I am very critical of my work. I want it to be perfect,” she claims.
Soaked in rum sauce using local and premium small batch rum, the round bundt cake is moist but not soggy, rich but not cloying. It is baked with free-range eggs and artisan butter from Bukidnon and packaged in a pine woodcraft box. “I believe that no matter how big or small your business is, all of us have an opportunity to practice inclusive business. I am a start-up and I know how hard it is to bring your products out there,” Rhea explains her support of local craftsmanship.
Last February, she released a modified version of the rum cake, shaped for the season. “We try to adjust to fit the table depending on the occasion. Some people say that our rum cakes are best enjoyed with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream so the idea of throwing strawberries in our heart bundt Valentine’s cake is not only perfect for Valentine’s because of its color, but is also a good match to those who wish to enjoy their cake with cream,” describes Rhea.
The latest addition to Flour Pot’s line-up is the naked Avocado Custard Cake with Cashew Praline and Avocado Buttercream. “We leave the cakes without frosting on the side because I personally am not a fan of desserts that are too sweet and heavy,” she says. “A common feedback from everyone who tried my cakes is that they love it because they can have another slice”. So make sure to leave an extra large space for dessert when something from Flour Pot is on the menu.
At least 2 days lead time is required for single orders and at least a week for bulk orders. Flour Pot’s main bakery is in Laguna but they have satellite kitchens in Mandaluyong and Tagaytay. Orders are delivered using Lalamove and Grab Express. Meet ups in Alabang, Makati, Mandaluyong and Nuvali, Sta. Rosa Laguna may also be arranged. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (0917) 7892352 or visit@flourpotmanilaon Facebook and Instagram.