When I was invited to get a sneak peek at The Confectional’s new Capitol Hill location and chat with the powers behind the cheesecake – Paul Veron and Destiny Sund - the behind-the-scenes aspect intrigued me, the only trouble was I’ve never really liked cheesecake (my sister Jennifer is the cheesecake devotee in the family). All it took to convert me was one cheesecake truffle.
Paul Veron grew up in a household where the only sugar you could eat was in foods you made from scratch. Foodie mamas take note, this policy turned him into, in his own humble words, “a pretty good baker” and lover of food, unique tastes and experimentation with flavor combinations. The result is The Confectional, a cheesecake nirvana.
Forget New York style cheesecake with canned cherries on top, The Confectional does things differently. Think Lemon White Chocolate with pucker-worthy citrus tempered by sweet (but not too sweet), creamy white chocolate; Cookies & Mint Chocolate (Veron’s favorite) with a texture close to a brownie and a perfect blend of chocolate and mint with a dark cookie bottom crust; Raspberry White Chocolate with actual raspberries (a best-seller); and Caramel with the most buttery cookie crust I’ve ever tasted.
The Confectional’s cheesecakes are the cheesecake answer to an ice cream cone, individual sized and wrapped in pannetone paper, so you can walk down the street and eat it utensil free.
On the smaller side are the Cheesecake truffles (gluten free) and it was the Mexican Chocolate that made me a believer. Creamy, rich milk chocolate enrobed in dark chocolate – at first bite the chocolate and cinnamon flirt on your tongue, then when you’re relishing the afterglow a subtle heat works its way from throat to toes. I’m already planning a dinner party around these transcendent delights. For a peek at how to make them yourself, click here.
You can find twelve flavors of cheesecake, plus two sugar free varieties and ten flavors of cheesecake truffles at The Confectional. Craving a flavor combination not on the menu? The Confectional will make off-menu cheesecakes to order. They’ve made blueberry and white chocolate for a blue and white themed wedding, Pina Colada, Bailey’s chocolate chunk and many more, and by the way they ship – fresh, not frozen (Jen expect cheesecake for Christmas). Sometimes requested flavors don’t work out too well – wine jellies was one such disaster – but don’t worry The Confectional will let you know and help you create something that works.
Creating is something Veron is constantly doing and he and Sund continually whip ideas around. Keep your eye out for an Amaretto cheesecake (in development) and for the special flavors that pop up twelve or so times a year. Pumpkin and Turtle are fall favorites and Strawberry Lemonade is a tall taste of summer.
The Confectional only uses natural ingredients from its local brown cage free eggs to its Maria cookie crust. Local ingredients like Chukar’s cherries and Autumn Martin’s caramel are also incorporated in several flavors. The Confectional bakes daily and never freezes its cheesecakes.
On Saturday, June 4, 2011, The Confectional celebrates the Grand Opening of its Capitol Hill location. Nestled up to poppy on Broadway Avenue East, it seats 16 and features The Confectional’s cheesecake and cheesecake truffles, a thick and not too sweet Columbian Hot Chocolate made with organic cream, Stumptown coffee, Coco Café (a hot chocolate and coffee blend), Dry Soda, Izzy’s and Whidbey Island ice cream bars in six different flavors, including cinnamon.
At the Grand Opening on June 4, you can try a free sample and get your mouth on the Grand Opening flavor, Passion Fruit Seeds (the essence of Passion Fruit, with a teeny bit of crunch that dissolves on your tongue). There will be a drawing every hour for a 9-pack of cheesecake and one lucky person will receive 16 individual cheesecakes each month for an entire year (or you can even order them all at once).
618 Broadway Avenue E on Capitol Hill, between Mercer and Roy, right next door to poppy.
Grand Opening: June 4, 2011, 11 am – 9 pm
Hours: The hours are a work in progress but the tentative schedule is Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday 1pm – 9pm and Friday and Saturday 1 pm – 11 pm, so you can get your cheesecake fix after lunch and before and after dinner. Need cheesecake earlier? The Pike Place location (1530 Pike Place) is open every day 10 am – 6 pm.
For more info, check out my article on Examiner.com.