I know it’s a few days after Halloween and everybody is still probably trying to cope with the sugar high from all that candy that’s been gathered trick or treating, but I thought I would continue the sweet streak since it’s that time of the year after all.
Today I wanted to talk about yet another home-based dessert shop in Manila called The Cucciolo Baker. Its cute as a button owner Camille contacted me a few weeks ago and as you all know I am always happy to discover new “sweet shops” like this especially when they are started by people who are around my age group, I guess you could say.
The Cucciolo Baker was born out of Camille’s passion for baking, and just like myself she learned baking through experimenting at home! To be able to come up with a whole saleable product line for even a home-based bakeshop takes a lot of time, patience, and a lot of real love for baking, so I have to give her props for that. 🙂
Right now The Cucciolo Baker specializes on Cheesecake Cupcakes– literally cheesecakes in cupcake form. They also have another product which are the Dough Popsies, which are cookie dough pops dipped in chocolate. (Cookie dough = win about 99% of the time, you guys.) Although I am only going to talk about the Cheesecake Cupcakes since it’s what I got to sample, just thought I’d throw it out there!
So cheesecake. I don’t eat it often because I find it quite heavy, but whenever I do I prefer eating it plain and topped with berries only because I do prefer the taste of cheesecake on its own. When I crave for cheesecake I’m really actually craving for the tang of it. However there are days I would feel a little more indulgent and would go for stuff like this Bailey’s-Infused Cheesecake I made before (a favourite!), and of course I also get in the mood for some jazzed-up cheesecakes just like what The Cucciolo Baker offers.
A little background on how the cheesecake cupcakes came about: It all started when Camille was in high school and she thought about creating her own cheesecake recipe. She drew inspiration from a lot of recipes until she created one that satisfied her, but then she thought maybe she could try fusing it with another baked good. How would that result to?
Sometimes baking is just like alchemy.
As the story goes, one time Camille was making Snickers Brownies and the idea suddenly came to her. Maybe these brownies would go well with a cheesecake? And surely enough, when she tried out the idea the results were great! She had her family and boyfriend take a taste-test, then had her friends have a bite as well. Their very positive response was what encouraged her to come up with more flavours, and the rest, as they always seem to say, is history.
Now Camille has six flavours in her line-up, and honestly, just by looking at them I love how she took the effort to make each of them individually recognizable. I can tell you right now that each of these flavours have their own identifying factors, meaning they do not taste the same even if they have similar elements in them. That’s actually quite a good sign that Camille really paid close attention when she created these flavours.
Also, the presentation is A+ for me.
My only qualm with the cheesecake cupcakes really is that I find it a bit too sweet for my taste. I know this is probably because the cupcakes are inspired from candy bars. Still, they are not something I would eat a whole piece of because I don’t really have that much of a sweet tooth. (Shocker, I know.) I would probably take just a quarter and share the rest with my brothers. Despite this, like I said I do love how the cheesecakes still retain their individual characteristics and are not just flavourless sugary treats. This is their main strength. The addition of the different flavours however means that they do lose quite a bit of that tanginess I love. That said, I think anybody who loves sweets and cheesecakes would probably find that these are their dreams come to life. It’s all a matter of finding your favourite flavour.
So now I want to talk about each individual flavour by order of my least to my most favourite:
6. White Kitty
This takes last place by default not because it is bad or anything, but because I am not a white chocolate lover at all (unless it’s heavily matcha-flavoured, go figure). But anyway this was inspired by white chocolate Kitkat and as you can see it has a small piece on the top of a thin layer of white chocolate ganache. The texture of this cheesecake is the closest to a regular one and the white chocolate flavour is very apparent. Needless to say this is the one for white chocolate lovers.
5. Nutty Choco
Inspired by the Filipino’s favourite candy Chocnut, this cheesecake has that slightly milky peanut-chocolate flavour. Chocnut is a bit on the sweet side so this flavour was a bit on the sweet side as well, but the taste was really captured. There is a crumbling of Chocnut on top for good measure though.
4. Munch Crunch
As a child my favourite chocolate was the Crunch bar, where this flavour was inspired from. What I like about Crunch bars is that despite being milk chocolate it is not cloyingly sweet, plus I love how the rice krispies pop in my mouth. This particular flavour does a good job of keeping that in mind as the chocolate layer is not overly sweet even though it is unmistakably milk chocolate. The melted chocolate with rice krispies blob on top is a nice touch to get that poppity-pop we all crave from a Crunch Bar.
3. Midnight Reese
This one tastes quite a bit like the Chocnut one however I like this better because it is less sweet and more peanut-flavoured. It’s inspired by Camille’s favourite breakfast which is a peanut butter sandwich. The layer of chocolate ganache on top is a tribute to the now-classic flavour combo of peanut butter and chocolate, which is why it works! I personally looove that combination as well. She tells me this is one of their bestsellers and for good reason. It only makes sense that she would add Reese pieces on top because that is everyone’s favourite peanut butter and chocolate candy.
2. Chunky Cookies & Cream
Ahh my second favourite flavour. This had initially been a request by a client but it turned out so well Camille decided to incorporate it into her product line. I love this because it is a darker and deeper chocolate flavour. Simple as that really. I think there are some cookie bits in the cheesecake itself because I kind of get something else from when I take a bite of this. The crumbled cookies and cream bar up top is a nice touch, and I like it even if it’s white chocolate because it complements the dark chocolate cheesecake base well.
1. Sneaky Snickers
Anybody who loves Snickers, say I! Snickers (in mini version!) is probably among the top of my favourite milk chocolate candy bars because of the mix of caramel and nuts and chocolate in the bar, and to be able to translate those flavours into a cheesecake means that this is the bomb! I loooove getting the notes of caramel with each bite, and sometimes I even get a light honey taste from the cheesecake. I don’t know if it’s just me. Anyway maybe because the flavour of this cheesecake is the most unique among the six I find it the most pleasurable for my tastebuds as well. It’s topped with chopped Snickers and a drizzle of dark chocolate. What’s not to like?! Definitely a must-try!
For the sake of full disclosure, I was sent a box of these to sample but all the opinions I have stated are my very own. I honestly think The Cucciolo Baker has a lot of potential. Get yourself a box of these cheesecakes and I think you will agree! 😉
The Cucciolo Baker
Mobile/Viber: +63 915 8804312