Monday, April 12

Chill’s Home-Baked Goodies: A bundle of assorted delights

by JOHN PATRICK A. MAGNO RANARA

A MOTHER can bestow many gifts, values, and life lessons to her bundles of joy. For some, it is her unconditional love and support even in times of confusion; for others, it is her guiding wisdom as one traverses through the complex labyrinth called life.

But for Brianne Leigh Cabalonga, it is the inspiration to start her own business.

Chill’s Home-Baked Goodies is a fresh bakery that bloomed in Cainta, Rizal in May last year and specializes in cheesecakes, revel bars, brownies, and cakes.

photo by JOHN PATRICK A. MAGNO RANARA

Both the owner and cook, Cabalonga uses the skills that she learned from her mother to run her own bakery.

“A few years ago, my mom started a small bakeshop. My sister and I used to help her in the kitchen after our class. When my mom needed to go back to work, we eventually stopped with the business. With that experience in hand, I have decided to put up an online business this year,” Cabalonga said in an online interview.

The highlight of their wide array of confections is their baked cheesecakes, which are more than enough to tempt one’s sweet tooth into craving more. Cabalonga, however, offers not just one, but nine different flavors in a single box.

Aiming to satisfy their customers’ sweet tooth cravings, the young baker said that they use only the highest-quality ingredients, such as imported cream cheese to heighten the flavor of their colorful menu.

Classic Blueberry Cheesecake

photo by JOHN PATRICK A. MAGNO RANARA

Perhaps, the best one out of the whole bunch, this sweet dessert is composed of classic cheesecake batter, topped with luscious blueberry compote, and is grounded on a thin layer of crushed graham. So soft and delectably chewy, one may feel like biting into melted blueberries as the subtle tanginess of the cream cheese delights the tongue.

The cold texture of the batter washes one with a gratifying sensation as it leaves traces of the blueberry flavor lingering around the walls of one’s mouth.

Oreo Cheesecake

photo by JOHN PATRICK A. MAGNO RANARA

An all-time favorite, this cookie-covered treat will perhaps never die out from sweet addicts’ dessert menu. Topped with crushed Oreos, the creamy texture of the cheesecake leaves behind a sweetly sour taste and is enhanced by the thin layer of Oreo crumbs. This sweet course proves that a balance of softness and crunchiness is truly a gastronomical delight.

Dessert enthusiasts will find that this cookie-sprinkled course is a flavor that may be common, but will never go out of style.

Bibingka Cheesecake

photo by JOHN PATRICK A. MAGNO RANARA

Though cheesecakes are popular desserts that originated from as far as ancient Greece, there is no reason not to incorporate the ever unique and fascinating charm of Filipino culture into the mix. That is exactly what Cabalonga achieved in this special treat.

With this little delight, one may relish in the familiar taste of bibingka.

The cheesecake is composed of classic cheesecake batter with salted egg, topped with grated cheese, and desiccated coconut flakes. The sweet, nutty taste of the coconut flakes is instantly felt in the first bite, mixing well with the sour thickness of the cake.

This Filipino-inspired treat will surely have a special place in the hearts of dessert lovers, especially during the holidays.

Classic Strawberry Cheesecake

photo by JOHN PATRICK A. MAGNO RANARA

Much like its blueberry companion, this gorgeously red dessert is made with thick strawberry syrup lathered over a classic cheesecake base. As one bites into the cheesecake, the fresh strawberry compote softens even more between the teeth. This delightful touch serves as the cherry on top that completes this sugary treat.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

photo by JOHN PATRICK A. MAGNO RANARA

This crimson confection takes the highest tier in the sourness rank. A single bite into the buttery chocolate surface, along with the kicking zest of the Greek yogurt, will fill one’s mouth.

Although the more mellow sweetness of the crumbled chocolate sprinkled on top slightly balances the flavor, one may still be taken aback by the sour punch that the cheesecake brings.

photo by JOHN PATRICK A. MAGNO RANARA

Despite the coronavirus pandemic still raging and trampling on many businesses, it has not stopped Cabalonga from continuing her love for baking. This is because her family and friends have all played a big part in helping her venture flourish.

“We are fortunate enough to have friends and family who supported us despite the pandemic. They would always order from us and give it to their friends or colleagues as a gift. Our friends and family had helped us promote our business amid the pandemic,” she said.

Because of the pandemic, however, many minds have taken time to ignite their passions, reach for their dreams, or in Cabalonga’s case, follow in her mother’s confectionery footsteps. F

This article is originally published in The Flame‘s second issue. Read it here.

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