What about burnt cheesecakes? Ipoh Echo’s latest dessert trail brought us to proprietor cum entrepreneur, Roger Ching and his café, Rogers Bakery Café!
Born and bred in Ipoh, 25-year-old Roger received his early education in Yuk Choy and Wesley Methodist before pursuing his advanced diploma in patisserie from Ecole de Patisserie at Petaling Jaya.
“I started gaining interest towards culinary arts when I was 12,” he said, citing famed British chef Gordon Ramsay as his inspiration.
“I ventured out in overall cooking initially, but my family told me that being in the culinary line is an all-consuming career. I’d be investing a lot of my time and sacrificing many things.
“Before Rogers Bakery Café, I started out as a home business, ‘Roger’s Homemade Cakes and Pastries’, some time after my completion of studies. I offered Western cuisines, ranging from pastas and chops to cakes and drinks for desserts, like a usual eatery does.
“It wasn’t until 2018 that an acquaintance suggested that I focus on making and offering desserts, particularly burnt cheesecakes. My diploma being one in patisserie, it was the perfect choice,” he explained.
“Besides, I don’t need to endure the heat as air conditioning is optimised for baking,” Roger quipped. “That was indeed one of the few reasons I took up baking full-time.”
“Also, the reason I chose cakes is the fact that cakes are traditional desserts. I ventured into the path whilst giving it a modern twist.
“I focused solely on burnt cheesecakes because other eateries offer different styles of desserts and burnt cheesecake was often given little attention,” he opined.
Asked what defines a good-tasting cheesecake, Roger posited, “The real deal cheesecake should be smooth to the palate, melts in the mouth as it’s eaten and most importantly, does not leave an aftertaste.”
Roger also creates customised cakes, such as Korean flower cakes, numbered chocolate cakes with cream and fondant cakes.
“Depending on requests, customised cakes may cost between RM300 to RM600,” he told us.
On post-MCO, Roger noted that the business wasn’t too negatively affected because most orders are done online.
“I’d say it’s common practice to foresee things nowadays as a businessperson. Even when my business was home-based, I had already utilised social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to promote and sell my products,” he said.
“COVID-19 and the resulting MCO was undeniably a huge hit to many businesses. I felt it too. But it’s high time for a mindset shift. Businesses should help one another instead of worrying that one might overtake the other,” Roger noted. “This is why my baking workshop is a collaboration with other professionals in the culinary scene.”
Roger’s workshop, which started circa October 2019, can be booked via appointment. The fee is between RM88 to RM150.
“Since the start, around 180 students had registered and attended the workshop. I teach them about the basics of baking a cake. Whenever students decide to go for a more advanced baking level, I refer them to my workshop collaborators,” Roger mentioned. “This is one of the ways I support them.”
Roger was also kind enough to share an effective method to make delectable meringue and chiffon cakes.
“Meringue, which consists of egg whites and sugar, when whisked using the whisking machine, has its peak level. For chiffon cakes, the meringue only needs to be in its soft peak. To test, the meringue beaten should not drop from the bowl when flipped upside down.
“The most common difficulty is to manage the spongy texture of a chiffon cake,” he explained.
“At first, the batter which consists of egg yolks, milk and corn oil, can be beaten to mix, but when meringue is added into the mixture, one must only fold to mix. This is to ensure that the batter isn’t overmixed, so as to retain its spongy texture after putting it in the oven preheated to 150℃ to bake for 35 to 40 minutes,” Roger added.
We were then showered with Roger’s hospitality to taste some of his finest creations, mainly the durian cream puff and a variety of burnt cheesecakes.
“Being a fan of durian myself, particularly the musang king, I made the musang king burnt cheesecake and durian cream puff,” he said. “The main ingredient is of course the durian flesh because it already has a rich aroma and appetite-inducing flavours.
“All of my creations use natural ingredients, with no preservatives or added flavourings,” Roger highlighted.
Of course, our very own food diva herself, SeeFoon said, “The Musang King burnt cheesecake was divine. Heaven in a few bites.”
No 4 (Ground Floor), Hala Pegoh Aman 7, Taman Pegoh, 31500 Ipoh.
11am to 6pm daily (closed every Thursday)
018 388 8457
Pictures and video by Gisele Soo