A long time ago, at a time when we were staying at an uncle’s house, pianono was a common mid-afternoon merienda (snack). If it wasn’t pianono, it was something called rainbow bread. There was a bakery across the street and the house helpers’ idea of merienda was buying what was available in the bakery.
We were very young at the time and my cousins and I were not allowed to cross the street on our own. In other words, we only had the word of the house helpers that there was nothing there except pianono and rainbow bread. After a while, we were so sick of both that skipping merienda was much preferable.
I didn’t touch pianono for years. Even when I was much older, I would balk at the mention of pianono and refuse to eat it. My real mistake was in thinking that pianono was just some poor excuse of a cake, the kind sold in the bakery across the street a long time ago. Little did I know that, with the right ingredients, a good recipe and better baking skills, pianono could be nothing less than dreamy.
Pianono is a miniature chiffon cake roll with custard filling. The pianono I knew from childhood… well, the custard was more like a thin spread of fat with butter rather than real custard. Well, that was long ago and far away and I have been to a lot of other bakeries and cake shops since grade school. Now I know that good pianono exists in the world and the good can even be surpassed by better ones.
The pianono in the photo is from Shoppersville Bakeshop along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City right aross Ateneo University. The chiffon cake is about half an inch thick and the custard is substantial enough to actually threaten to drip if one bites too fast.
A close relative of the pianono is the inipit, another miniature cake made with thin layers of chiffon cake with custard in between. They are sold and served as small rectangles or squares sprinkled with sugar on top. Probably the most famous inipit in the country is sold by Eurobake in Bulacan.
If I remember correctly, Eurobake has an outlet somewhere in the Banawe area in Quezon City. I’ll have to cajole my husband into buying a box or two (or three) so I can sink my teeth into them between sips of coffee. That’ll give me a chance to write an entry about it too and share the location of the city outlet, if it is still there. :)