There are four ways to eat Hokkaido’s Bake Cheese Tarts and we tried them all
I had just gotten off the subway in busy Ikebukuro when I noticed the queue. What were these people lining up for? I wondered. I went for a closer look.
And then I saw them: rows and rows of freshly baked cheese tarts, their tops a lovely golden brown. They seemed to glow from behind the glass. I joined the line. On the wall beside me were the words: Bake Cheese Tart Freshly Baked Cheese Tart From Hokkaido.
I watched the girl behind the counter pack box after box of tarts with graceful efficiency. When it was my turn, I ordered just two pieces. Big mistake. I should have ordered more.
The first one I gobbled up right there at the subway station. “Ohmgod sgood,” I mumbled as the double baked crust crumbled, flooding my mouth with the airy cheese mousse filling.
The second one I scarfed down at a quiet corner in Parco just minutes later. It was cheesy ecstasy.
Hours later, I received a message telling me that Bake was opening in Manila in just a matter of days—a delicious coincidence. I didn’t have to fly to get my next Bake fix.
Bake’s two stores in Manila—in Podium and at Rockwell Power Plant Mall—are now serving the same delightful cheese tarts Shintaro Naganuma first created in his family’s decades-old Kinotoya confectionary in Hokkaido using four kinds of cheese, three from Hokkaido and one from France. Dubbed “the best cheesecake tart ever,” there are four ways to enjoy Bake cheese tarts: fresh, chilled, frozen, or warmed in an oven.
When eaten fresh and at room temperature, the cheese filling is light and airy and the crust crumbly. When chilled, the cheese mousse becomes richer. When frozen, the filling becomes ice cream-like in consistency. It can also be popped into an oven for a few minutes to give it that “freshly baked” quality.
My favorite ways to eat Bake’s cheese tarts are fresh and chilled. But who am I kidding? I’ll devour them any which way.
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