When Sonja Ocampo’s eponymous cupcake shop first opened its doors 10 years ago, one of the questions she was most frequently asked was, “When will you come out with sugar-free?” It may seem an odd inquiry to take to a dessert shop, but the fact of the matter is that there is no one definitive dish that will please every eater. With that in mind, Sonja gives The Edition a breakdown of the five distinct diners and how to cater to each one.
Who they are: The sentimental ones who don’t want desserts that are too flashy or complicated. They’re the people who look for classic bites–anything that will remind them of childhood.
Who they are: A little harder to please than the others, these are the ones who are looking for creativity. They’re adventurous and they want new flavors that are used for out-of-the-box creations.
What they crave: Hybrid desserts that incorporate more science into the process, like a blown sugar sphere with berry foam and candy floss.
The HEALTHY EATERS
Who they are: Those who put their health and figure above the satisfaction of their sweet tooth. These are the vegans or those who have to watch their weight.
What they crave: I don’t believe their desserts should do away with the sweet component, because that’s probably still what they’re looking for! So it’s good to give them that but with sugar substitutes or gluten-free flour instead. A good option would be yogurt with a fruit jelly or a cupcake that’s vegan or sugar and gluten free. Sonja’s has a guilt-free version of the Choco Overload cupcake made with bean flour and sweetened with stevia.
THE CHOCOLATE LOVERS
Who they are: They’re the ones who like anything that’s rich and, of course, full of anything and everything chocolate.
What they crave: Desserts that are really rich and fudgy. They would be happy with molten or flourless chocolate cake–something that’s essentially nothing but dense, heavy chocolate. The less there is to taint it, the better. From Sonja’s, there’s the no-brainer Choco Overload, a chocolate ganache-filled valrhona chocolate cupcake topped, naturally, with chocolate cream.
Who they are: Exactly what their name suggests. They like their desserts over-the-top: the sweeter, the richer, and probably the more ingredients, the better.
What they crave: Outrageous milkshakes that have everything you can imagine piled on top, from donuts to cookies and brownies!
Interview by Arianna Lim
Illustration by Elle Shivers