A fiesta of flavors just in time for Independence Day.
In a city where many home bakers seek to satiate every sweet whim, I admire this one for sticking to his ideas and ideals. Cheesecake is Gregory Guy’s center: he’s named it, claimed it, and bakes it to the best of his abilities. Now that’s dedication.
I’ve written previously about Greg’s cheesecakes and I’m very grateful when recently, he lets me know that he’s got something new for me. Oh, how I love it when bakers I’ve featured keep me updated on their latest bursts of creativity!
This time, it’s five cheesecakes, five flavors, all utilizing Filipino ingredients. “Someone came up to me and requested for Filipino-themed cheesecakes for her café, so I came up with this line,” Greg explains. “I was quite pleased with the results and decided to be the first to offer [something like this].”
Cheesecake is the perfect canvas for interpreting inspiration, it need only to be tweaked to reflect through the prisms of one’s taste. With Greg’s homemade graham cracker crust as the foundation for each cake, the feast of fiesta flavors unfolds.
“Queso de bola is pretty common but the cheese doesn’t melt well so I make sure mine is grated super fine so the cheesecake stays rich and creamy,” says Greg of his Queso de Bola Cheesecake. The cheese is truly so fine it’s almost fleeting on the tongue. But it’s its saltiness and characteristic tangy end note coupled with a creamier cheese that reminds me that yes, queso de bola this is. And those tufts of cheese crowning the top are a charming touch.
Cream cheese manages to tame barako’s swagger but not its swarthiness in the Barako Coffee Cheesecake. The coffee bean tints a light taupe the white of cream and wields a sophistication of smoke and earth in every forkful. Naturally, I enjoy a slice of this cheesecake chased with sips of a black barako brew and decide that it’s like drinking the most exquisite of lattes.
“All these [cheesecakes] are classics with flavors, but I adjust the sugar to make sure they are not too sweet,” says Greg.The ChocNut Cheesecake is quite the eyeful. A paint-like splatter of the candy seems enmeshed in a honeyed glow. Its inherent grittiness is muffled by the velvetiness it’s cloaked in. A few bites and ooh! I bite into a candy and its peanutty flavor soars and spreads albeit with restraint against a landscape of vanilla and cream.
In my life, I’ve only met a few people who like purple, and each one of them is decisive and unyielding in their ardor for this color. Truly riveting and also because there are so few foods possessing this hue, the Ube Cheesecake stands as a worthy representative. Made with ube jam from the very famous Good Shepherd in Baguio, its distinctive flavor is very evident, elements of earth and starch made elegant. Unceasingly smooth, the cheesecake is gilded with an ube frosting that seamlessly flows with the overall flavor but is separate in layer.
Though I’m a purist when it comes to cheesecake, I will allow for deviations. My favorite of the fiesta flavors is the Dulce de Leche Cheesecake. It’s sticky but not overly so with overtones of deep caramel and an echo of egg yolk somewhere there. It’s a pleasurable immersion that reminds me of eating yema, but better.
Fiesta Cheesecakes by Gregory Guy
Mini (5-inch; P600 each); Regular (8-inch; P1,200)
(0917) 898 8396
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