Of all the dessert samples that come through my door from home bakers, I am most unrelenting on cheesecake. It is of course because I used to make cheesecakes for a living, and the most downloaded recipe on DCF is one for this dessert. Having made hundreds of cheesecakes in my life, it’s the one sweet that I continue to develop and improve at home. I hold it to lofty ideals because cheesecake is my favorite dessert in the world, as steak is my favorite food.
Still, I like to see how others interpret it and I often wonder why more bakers don’t offer it. It’s a simple dessert with a minimum of ingredients but its success lies in the technique.
Gregory Guy, a twenty-something who strikes me as one who’s in a real rush to learn as much as he can about all things culinary, gets my attention with his cheesecake. A Filipino-Chinese, his unique name is a shortened form of Guycochia. Schooled at Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu and having worked in the kitchens of Joel Robuchon and Jean Georges at The Mark in New York, he’s in Manila en route to Europe to hone his skills some more.
In between private caterings, Gregory makes what he calls his baked cheesecakes. Like a many-faceted pleasure, they come in many persuasions: Classic, Lemon, Coffee, Caramel, Oreo, Green Tea, and Vanilla Bean. He says that he can adjust the cake’s density “… based to your liking.”
Gregory’s creation exudes sophistication, one of those desserts that really requires a cake stand and be eaten with gilded forks. Its color: the finest ivory tinged with gold; its striking countenance: a study in symmetry and smoothness. It stuns the eyes, and stirs yearnings deep inside.
A sharp knife slides in and slices right through, a small tug, and treasure springs forth. It’s not without effort as a slice displays ripples of interruption along its sides, evidence of its inherent creaminess and solid density. Ah, baked throughout!
A forkful of this cheesecake is sharp and mellow, a study in sensation. First, it’s silky, cloaking the tongue, then sweetness gently lingering. Slowly, approaching, then hovering over all is a mantle of citrus, something I can taste but not see – lemon definitely, maybe even orange too. I must taste it again to decide. Then, at the intersection of velvet and cream is crisp, an audible counterpoint and applause as the sweet sensations fade. A cheesecake this powerfully good is a reverie and a revelry.
Cheesecakes by Gregory Guy
Prices begin at P500 for half sizes, P1,000 for whole.
Facebook page for orders and inquiries.