Inquirer Super

The Bruce Bogtrotter Challenge: We made ‘Matilda the Musical’ cast members try Manila’s best chocolate cakes

By Pam Pastor
03/14/20 3:23 PM

Any “Matilda” fan—whether of the Roald Dahl book or the film or the musical it inspired—can tell you about this memorable scene: the horrid, horrid Miss Trunchbull punishing poor Bruce Bogtrotter by forcing him to eat an entire chocolate cake while his classmates at Crunchem Hall cheer him on.

Bruce Bogtrotter illustrated by Quentin Blake

The Royal Shakespeare Company’s international touring production of “Matilda the Musical” has two Bruces—young actors Matthew Leck and Jaxon Cohen who are both making their professional debut in the show—and they had the joy of bringing this scene to life onstage at The Theatre at Solaire. 

MATILDA
MATILDA / MARCH 11, 2020 Cast of Matilda tries some of Manila’s best chocolate cakes at the Solaire Resort & Casino in Paranaque City. INQUIRER PHOTO / LEO M. SABANGAN II.

“I love eating chocolate cake and also being a revolting child,” said Jaxon, before simultaneously dabbing with Matthew.

The chocolate cake scene is a fun scene, they both agree, but they were tight-lipped when we tried to get them to spill the secret behind that scene. “Please?” we asked. “How do you eat an entire cake onstage?”

“We have a big appetite,” Matthew said, smiling. 

“A very big appetite,” Jaxon agreed. 

Matthew joked, “Yeah, they don’t feed us lunch or breakfast so we have dinner onstage.”

Very big appetites

We were going to get a peek at their very big appetites because Super had a Bruce Bogtrotter challenge for them: we were going to make them eat seven chocolate cakes. Not to punish them, no, we’re no Trunchbull. We wanted them to try Manila’s best chocolate cakes so they could tell us what they think about them. 

A very Bruce Bogtrotter afternoon with Jaxon Cohen, Michael Gardiner, Caleb Payne, Matthew Leck, Daniel Abrahams and Ipeleng Merafe and cakes from (from left) Big Al’s, Wildflour Cafe+Bakery, M Bakery, Toby’s Estate, Solaire and The Sweet Life by Ange. PHOTOS BY LEO M. SABANGAN II.

Were they up for it?“Yes! We are Bruce after all,” said Matthew. 

“We are Brucies,” Jaxon agreed. 

Joining Matthew and Jaxon for the challenge were the show’s dance captain and swing Michael Gardiner, assistant dance captain and swing Ipeleng Merafe and Daniel Abrahams and Caleb Payne who both play Eric.
 
“This is heaven,” said Matthew, as they looked at the spread in front of them at Solaire’s Theatre Cafe. We had chocolate cakes from Toby’s Estate, Wildflour Cafe+Bakery, The Sweet Life by Ange, Big Al’s, Solaire and M Bakery waiting to be devoured. 

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE CAKE BY WILDFLOUR CAFE + BAKERY 

Jaxon and Caleb try Wildflour Cafe+Bakery’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

Being a true Bruce, Jaxon took the lead, slicing the through the layers of Wildflour’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake.

He took a big bite and said, “Mmmmm, it’s so good!” 

“Whoaaaaa!” Caleb said after his first bite. 

“It’s so good!” the others echoed. 

“Very delicious!” 

“Super rich!”

“Yummmmmm!” 

Kicking things off with Wildflour Cafe+Bakery

They enjoyed the cake so much that GWB Entertainment assistant company manager Brooke Almond had to get the kids to slow down and eat smaller pieces of the cake. “Let’s make smart choices, guys. You have six more.”

Get your own Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake from Wildflour Cafe+Bakery’s different branches. Visit www.wildflour.com.ph

BRUCE BOGTROTTER BY TOBY’S ESTATE 

Matthew, one of the show’s Bruces, tries the Bruce Bogtrotter cake from Toby’s Estate

Yes, Toby’s Estate’s chocolate cake is called the Bruce Bogtrotter, making it perfect for the challenge.
 
Ipeleng placed a slice on Jaxon’s plate. He ate a forkful and sat back. “Oh, it’s so good!”“Does the other Bruce approve of the Bruce Bogtrotter cake?” we asked.
 
Matthew took a big bite and slid down his seat with his arms up in the air. “It’s so good. Oh my gosh, this is the best thing I ever put in my mouth. This is the best cake in the world.”

Yep, the Bruce Bogtrotter cake got two thumbs up from the show’s Bruces.
 
Caleb savored his slice while leaning back while Daniel kept saying, “This is good.” 

“It’s gooey,” Michael said. 

Bruce Bogtrotter is available at all Toby’s Estate branches. Visit www.tobysestateph.com.

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE PARADISE CAKE BY THE SWEET LIFE BY ANGE 

They called The Sweet Life by Ange’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Paradise Cake “the little baby one” because in its 5-inch tin can, it is the smallest of the lot.
 
“It’s so cute, I love it,” said Matthew, clapping.
 
Caleb dug into it, cracking the top layer of Ghirardelli chocolate and putting an explosion of cold dark chocolate sauce, ganache, salted caramel and chocolate cake into his mouth. “Oh!” he gasped, throwing his head back. “That is so good!”
 
Daniel’s eyes went super wide when he tasted it while the bite Matthew took made him push his chair back. “Oh my goodness. What the heck! Call 911,” he said. “That’s the best cake!”

“Every cake is the best cake,” we teased him.
 
“I know,” he said, laughing. “I love cake!”
 
Jaxon took a bite of Salted Caramel Chocolate Paradise, hugged himself and said, “Somebody call 911.”

Daniel dug in and said, “Caramel! Oh my goodness!”
 
As Ipeleng and Michael took bites, Matthew told them, “The caramel is so good, I think you’re going to love it.”

They nodded in agreement, their mouths full. 

Salted Caramel Chocolate Paradise Cake may be small but it definitely wasn’t small in taste. Jaxon said, “It’s like Matilda’s motto! ‘The tiniest mite packs the mightiest sting!’”

The Sweet Life by Ange delivers. Place your orders through the website https://livethesweetlife.net


DECADENT CHOCOLATE CAKE BY BIG AL’S 

Trying Big Al’s Decadent Chocolate Cake next


There was a chorus of “whoas” when Jaxon dug into Big Al’s Decadent Chocolate Cake and they saw the icing glistening from his fork. Jaxon took a bite, his eyes widened and he smiled as he fell back against his chair, clutching his heart. Caleb took a big bite too and another one, making sure he got all the chocolate off his fork. He threw his head back, sighing and saying, “That is so good!”
 
Matthew clapped and Daniel raised his eyebrows after taking a bite.
 
“Just one piece, small, small forkful,” Brooke reminded the boys.
 
Matthew counted down, “Three, two, one…” and the boys posed and said, “Whoa!”

Michael offers Daniel some Big Al’s Decadent Chocolate Cake


 
Yep, Big Al’s was a big hit too. 

Big Al’s Decadent Chocolate Cake comes in four sizes. There are pickup points in Antipolo Valley Subdivision, Sikatuna Village and P. Burgos Makati City. Order through http://bit.ly/orderbigals.


SOLAIRE CHOCOLATE CAKE 

“That looks like Solaire,” they said, spying the gold accents on the cake.

The boys looked at Solaire’s Chocolate Cake (flourless and gluten-free dark chocolate mousse cake with chocolate gelée) and, spying the gold accents on it, one of them said, “It looks like Solaire!”
 
“It’s golden!” Matthew said, as Michael sliced the cake for them.
 
“That’s dark chocolate, it’s very good,” said Caleb as Matthew clapped.
 
“Ooh, I like this one,” Ipeleng said.
 
At this point, the boys started singing the song “Bruce” from the show. 

You can order Solaire Chocolate Cake from the Oasis Garden Cafe and The Patisserie in Solaire Resort & Casino. 


CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM by M BAKERY 

“It’s bigger than the plate!” said Caleb as Michael sliced M Bakery’s Classic Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Matthew pointed to the massive 3-layered 12-inch Classic Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream from M Bakery and started singing the song “Miracle” from the show, altering the lyrics, “My mummy says this is a miracle.”

And we agree—M Bakery’s rich, moist, dark, velvety chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream does taste like a delicious miracle.
 
As Michael started slicing the cake, Matthew said, “I’ll share a slice with Daniel.”

“I’ll share a slice with Michael,” Jaxon replied.
 
Seeing the hunk of cake Michael just cut, Caleb said, “It’s bigger than the plate!”

“It’s the size of your head,” Michael said. “I think we’ll all have to share this slice.”
 
“Yes!” Ipeleng agreed. “We’ll each have one bite.”

The two Bruces continued singing the song “Bruce”: “We never thought it was possible/But here it is coming true/We can have our cake and eat it too.”

“Oh my god,” Jaxon said, his mouth full of cake. 

“So good,” Matthew echoed. 

Caleb slid down his chair again and Matthew said, “That was so good I’m getting another bite.”
 
Jaxon asked, “Matt, how do you have space for that?” 

Michael said, “That is so rich.”

Ipeleng nodded, “I like it.” 

M Bakery’s Classic Chocolate Cake is available in four sizes. Get yours from M Bakery Lower Ground Unit #23 5th Avenue corner 28th Street One Bonifacio High Street Mall in BGC. 


FOURTEEN AND FABULOUS CHOCOLATE CAKE BY THE SWEET LIFE BY ANGE

“Who made that?” the boys asked as they stared at The Sweet Life by Ange’s Fourteen and Fabulous cake.

 
“Who made that?” they asked, spying the tall chocolate cake topped with huge chocolate-covered strawberries, Kit-Kats, Kisses, Maltesers and Ferrero Rochers.
 
Ange De La Cruz and her team did, giving their Fourteen and Fabulous Chocolate Cake the Bruce Bogtrotter treatment by doing a caramel filling.
 
“Ooooooh!” Caleb said.
 
“I need a chocolate strawberry!” Matthew said, his eyes going wide. “Those strawberries are huge!”

“I know! I didn’t know they’re real!” said Caleb.

 
“Jaxon, it has Kit-Kats on it!” Matthew said. 

As slices were handed out, Matthew gasped. “Hershey’s Kisses!”
 
They started eating the chocolate-covered strawberries first.
 
“Do you want a strawberry too?” we asked Jaxon.
 
“I need a Ferrero Rocher,” he replied.
 
“I haven’t even tried the cake, I’m just trying the accessories,” said Matthew.
 
And when he finally took a bite of the cake, he said, “Mmm! That’s good!”
 
“Oh, gorgeous. Good,” Ipeleng said.
 
“Wow,” Michael said. 

Get your own Fourteen and Fabulous Chocolate Cake from The Sweet Life by Ange. Place your orders through the websitehttps://livethesweetlife.net


THEIR FAVORITES

“How are you feeling after seven cakes?” we asked.
 
“I’m feeling like I’m on a sugar high,” said Matthew.
 
When they were done tasting all seven, we asked them to choose their favorites.

Channeling their inner Bruce Bogtrotters


 
Ipeleng’s picks were Wildflour’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake and The Sweet Life by Ange’s Salted Caramel Chocolate Paradise Cake. Michael’s pick was also the Paradise Cake.

“What about you?” we asked Jaxon.

“All of them!” said Jaxon, his voice muffled by yet another mouthful of cake.
 
“Same! All of them!” Caleb agreed.
 
Matthew said, pointing to the Salted Caramel Chocolate Paradise cake, “I like all of them but that one’s my most.”


“Which one’s your favorite?” we asked Daniel.
 
“The Bruce Bogtrotter!” he replied.

All seven cakes (what’s left of them anyway) were brought backstage at The Theatre at Solaire where the rest of the cast and crew also got the chance to channel their inner Bruce Bogtrotter and have a very chocolatey afternoon.
 
“Nothing’s too sweet for Bruce,” said Matthew. 


Post-script

Sadly, after the announcement of the Metro Manila community quarantine because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rest of the “Matilda the Musical” performances have been cancelled. And it’s a shame because it’s such a good show. We’re going to drown our sorrows in chocolate cake. 

“Matilda the Musical” was produced by GMG Productions, GWB Entertainment and Virtus Live. 

Follow Super for updates.

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