Ready, Set, Bake!

Published July 6, 2020, 10:21 AM

by Paola Navarette

School’s out, but these three girls have turned to baking to earn and keep themselves occupied 

LADIES IN THE KITCHEN Amid school closures, canceled trips, and uncertainty, these sisters head to the kitchen and bake

The spare time from home quarantine can be used in different ways. Some people clean, learn a new skill, or bake—activities that can help ease loneliness and boredom. 

For Jewell Cobankiat, a 20-year-old advertising management student, the lockdown was an opportunity for her to do something she had been wanting to do for a while—opening a food business.

“I started it because I wanted to have the experience of running my own business before I graduate college,” she says. “Besides, many people were selling different pastries on social media but I couldn’t find one selling lava cakes when I was craving for one, so that gave me the idea.”

Thus, with the help of her younger sisters Nicole and Adrienne, they were able to launch their shop, called The Molten Drive, last June. 

From left: Adrienne, Jewell, and Nicole Cobankiat

“I came up with different logo designs and color schemes. Nicole and Addy then voted on several of my mockup designs,” Jewell says. “I have also consulted my aunt Bia in computing for our cost as she has experience in baking.”

Nicole, meanwhile, spent some time developing and tweaking their incredibly moist, buttery cake. Simple cakes like this must use the best ingredients and techniques because only flavor will carry them through. Theirs is made with free-range eggs, butter, and imported pure chocolates. 

“My mom has a Bouchon by Thomas Keller cookbook at home, which has the recipe for the popular chocolate bouchons. But after baking it, it was not exactly what I wanted,” the 16-year-old budding baker says. “So from there, I started developing it, trying out different recipes from the Internet, cookbooks, until I found one that the three of us liked.” 

Four weeks on, the trio was able to sell around 1,500 cakes. Reasonably priced at P330 for four pieces, it’s no wonder that there is a long waiting list to taste their dessert. The cake is subtle and sweet, chocolatey but not excessively. It will also keep for two days if stored in the refrigerator, perfect to take out after a long day of work. 

LET IT FLOW As appealing at teatime as it is with morning coffee, this firm and moist cake is best eaten with a scoop of vanilla ice cream

While Nicole and Adrienne work in the kitchen, Jewell handles the social media account of The Molten Drive to accept orders and expand the reach of their business.

Mornings are often the busiest for the sisters as they have to work on all the preparations needed. 

“We start as early as 6 a.m. because everything is baked fresh. But by noon, stress is building up because of operations issues, baking issues, logistics issues, and anything that can possibly go wrong,” Jewell says. “But we want to fulfill our commitment to our clients so we always try to do our best.” 

One lesson that they learned, Jewell says, is to take people’s negative feedback in a good way. “There was a time when the senior and Gen X clients commented that the cake was too sweet, while Nicole’s age group says the sweetness level is just right,” she says. “So she had to adjust the sweetness to fit all age groups. It’s things like this that make you grow as a person and, at the same time, help you improve your business.”

Through their venture, she also hopes to encourage young people to pursue their dreams no matter how hard it gets. “Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from starting your own business,” Jewell ends. 

For orders and inquiries, send a message on their Instagram or contact 0917-513-2339.