My initial plan was to call beforehand to ensure that I would not be making a aimless trip to Bay and Dundas, but as management would have it, the listed telephone number was "currently not in service". Brilliant business strategy if you ask me. (Do you sense the sarcasm?)
As I made my way to the entrance, I was both surprised and impressed to find that only five people were spotted dwelling in the lineup outside. A sign, which was evidently a whiteboard decorated to resemble a ladybug, was propped up on a chair at the foot of the door ledge; it notified customers that the current wait time ranged between ten and fifteen minutes, and that today's batch of cheesecakes would be stamp-less (for whatever reason).
She suggested that I return after 3:00 PM, as that was when their second batch would be produced.
Having to follow a strict commuter schedule meant that obtaining the Angel Hat Cake was just not in the cards for that day, so I headed next door to the Matcha Cafe. There was no lineup whatsoever, so I was able to take my time and select three items to make the trip seem a little more worthy.
When the source of the matcha powder was brought up, the girl at the cashier informed me that the latte was brewed using a green tea powder that already contained sugar, thus making it impossible to reduce the sweetness. It was incredibly challenging to prevent myself from exhibiting an expression of complete disgust upon hearing this.
"So basically, it's not authentic." were my exact thoughts.
I decided to try the drink anyways, as I had already braved the frigid temperatures to make my way there. Honestly, it was more pleasant than it appeared. Creamy and piping hot, the sugar wasn't exact subtle - I would have preferred an unsweetened version any day - but the green tea flavour was also more pronounced to compensate for this addition. I'd say that the latte actually tasted more of matcha than the Matcha Cheesecake, which, in all truth, indicates a failed product for Uncle Tetsu.
Unwilling to admit defeat, I gritted my teeth and headed back to Uncle Tetsu the next day for another attempt. I joined the line at 3:21 PM and started my stopwatch.
But quite honestly, even the girl at the cashier was taken back when I hadn't purchased a cheesecake as well.
However, economically-speaking, these cookies would probably be considered the biggest rip-off ever. For a hefty price tag of $6.00, customers will only receive a half cup-full of sugar-rolled leftover cheesecake cookies (approximately 15 pieces?), while the remainder is stuffed with parchment paper.
And did I mention that it doesn't come with a proper box either? Had anyone bumped into me while boarding public transit (and that's something exceedingly hard to prevent while travelling during rush hour), it's highly likely that the flimsy sticker would have detached and left me spilling the cookies for all ground-ridden organisms to enjoy.
It did not have a distinct surface, nor any outstanding edges; the cake combined a very subtle cheesy flavour and high degree of moisture, without the denseness of a Japanese cheesecake.
View the full album HERE !
In order to provide the cake with a hint of colour, I took to applying a thin layer of agave before blasting with a blowtorch from a distance. Spreading the liquid sweetener was a demanding task in itself, as the surface would begin to lift even as areas were being covered using a gentle hand. Ultimately, the charring had little to no effect on the overall taste of the cake, except rendering small, sweet patches of texture.
Mixed feelings have been derived about the Angel Hat - I would probably only re-purchase if I happened to be strolling around the area, given that the lineup would not exceed fifteen minutes. In general, I find its texture to be more suitable for smaller-sized cakes/pastries, as a larger size indicates a higher risk for destruction during transit