IF you love chocolate cakes and are constantly on the lookout for really good ones, especially one that will give you that familiar taste that you love but at the same time offer you something new and exciting, then you might want to try Chelley Belly Bakes’ Cocoa Nelusko Cake.
Baked by Rachel Anne Almeda Puno, also known as simply Chelle, it is made up of two layers of moist and rich premium chocolate cake, separated by a thick, luscious and creamy Natilla filling, then iced on top and on the sides with silky and buttery Nelusko icing.
The Nelusko Cake is actually a classic chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream icing and cashew praline topping. It’s a cake that has become a part of the tradition of the Puno household for the past 40 years. The icing, in particular, is a family recipe that has been handed down to Chelle by her grandmother and her mother. The pure butter based icing is light, silky and creamy, and just perfect for Chelle’s Cocoa Nelusko Cake.
Chelle’s love and knack for baking was sparked by her grandmother. Growing up in a house that always smelled good, with the kitchen always busy and the oven always warm early at dawn, she learned to bake from her lola, who patiently taught any of her grandchildren who showed interest in cooking and baking, and from her mom, whom she assisted in the kitchen when she was about 6 to 8 years old. She enhanced her skills by pursuing a B.S. Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management course at De La Salle University-College of St. Benilde (DLSU-CSB) and by working for the Pastry Department of Tagaytay Highlands afterwards.
Chelle had actually baked and sold many Cocoa Nelusko Cakes 15 to 18 years ago, but she went on a hiatus on her baking when she got busy. But then the pandemic happened, and, basically stuck in the house like everyone else, she started making Cocoa Nelusko Cake again in April this year from the Puno home in Biñan, Laguna, where she is based. And her cake started to create a ripple not only in Laguna but also in Metro Manila because it is so good.
Chelle’s Cocoa Nelusko Cake actually comes in three variants. There is Classic Plain Nelusko, which has plain icing she designed in a classic way—with the tines of a fork creating alternating artisanal tiles on the whole cake. The cake is very good in its simplicity. But Chelle decided to create two other variants: Cocoa Nelusko Pralines, which has the same silky and buttery Nelusko icing but topped with pecan praline; and Cocoa Mocha Blast, which has butter mocha icing and is topped with toasted almond flakes. So, however her clients liked their Nelusko cake, Chelle’s got them covered.
And the good news is that both variants are good, too. The Cocoa Nelusko Pralines gives you a combination of sweet and nutty, with the pecan praline giving you something to nibble on. The Cocoa Mocha Blast also extends that nutty goodness without the hint of sweetness from the pralines, with the toasted almond flakes already giving you enough texture to chew on.
All three variants come in XS, S, M and L sizes, whose prices range from Php800 to Php1,800 for the Classic Plain Nelusko, and from Php1,000 to Php1,900 for both the Cocoa Nelusko Pralines and the Cocoa Mocha Blast.
To order, send a direct message to @nelusko_cakes_chelleybellybakes on IG, call/text 0965-1331454, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Best to place your order two days in advance.