Feb 4, 2005

Some Sort of Chocoholic Recommendations

Valentines' Day or not, the craving and appreciation for chocolate lives on! Below are some of my favorite to-die-for chocolate concoctions that you may want to indulge in when that craving creeps into you.

  • Doren Tayag's Chocolate Decadence - I used to go all the way to Pampanga just to buy this cake! Her chocolate cake is not too sweet, has just the right crumbly texture, and is perfectly complemented by a delicious caramel sauce that is more creamy than sweet. This is oh so addicting! A major plus is the price! For the medium size that's good for 6-8 persons, you just pay P400 something. Other bakeshops will charge a minimum of P600 for this kind of cake! Go try it! Contact Doren at +63 917 5312712 if you plan to get it in Pampanga (Go on a food trip while you're there!). For the Manilenos, this is available in the Trellis restaurants.
  • Lelen Lim's Chocolate Cake - Oh my. Lelen's chocolate cake is so moist that you will cry with delight when you taste her cake. It's so moist that you don't even have to have the chocolate icing to appreciate the cake's goodness. And it's a real steal at less than P200 for a 7-inch cake! Been convincing this beautiful woman to pursue baking as a career. If you're interested, contact me directly so I can give you her number.
  • Jill Sandique's Concorde Cake - Just when I thought the best Concorde came from SugarHouse. Jill's Concorde Cake wins the best of its kind hands down. The yummy chocolate goodness begins as you bite into the chewy chocolate meringue and continues as you uncover the perfect blend of the bittersweet chocolate mousse-like cake. I was on my way to visit my cousin Rachelle to the hospital after picking up this cake. I could smell the delicious aroma (I can tell how good a cake is just by smell alone.) enveloping the car, but I told myself to wait till I get home before I eat. Alas, I gave in to temptation and tried the chocolate meringue first. I got hooked. Without any fork or spoon, I shamelessly used my fingers and ate and ate and ate the Concorde just like a child. Take note. I was in the car. For orders, call Jill at 2 days notice. +63 917 5345455. Hurry before the price increases!
  • Gloria Jean's Iced Cocoa Loco (or is it Choco Loco? I keep mixing it up with another favorite, the Pen's Choco Loco) - This is such a wonderful discovery. Thanks to my friend, Jemen (probably GJ's most loyal habitue), I finally have something to order in a coffee shop (I don't like coffee. It tastes like a trying-to-be chocolate. No offense to coffee drinkers. It's just how I feel about it.).
  • Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Drink - I found out from one of the GJ employees that this is the secret to their Iced Cocoa Loco. I was about to buy GJ's chocolate powder drink, but the employee was kind enough to tell me that this is the real secret to their famous Cocoa Loco drink. Unfortunately, this isn't available in Manila so had to ask my good friend Mic to buy me one (Thanks so much, Mic!). Another treasure to add to my pantry.
  • Terry's Valor Chocolate Mousse - The richness of this dessert comes from its excellent Valor chocolate and not from the other ingredients mixed with it, making this dessert bursting with just the right bittersweet chocolate goodness that won't make you feel heavy after a hearty lunch in Terry's. It looks good for one, but two can actually share. Below P200 in Terry's Podium Basement or in its original Pasong Tamo branch.
  • Haagen Dazs' Choco Choco Chips - Who would think that one of the most delicious chocolate ice cream comes in such an ordinary flavor title??? I was on a blind date when I first tried this and I must say that this super yummy ice cream was a major factor in enjoying that date. Gives the impression of being pricey because of its high cash outlay, but it's actually economical because you get satisfaction even in just 2 tablespoonfuls.
  • Mandarin Oriental's L'Hirondelle Cake - I don't know if they still serve this cake, but Mandarin's version of the Opera Cake has left such an impression on me that I can still remember how good this chocolate cake is after eating it in 1998.
  • Bizu's Samba - Bizu has turned out a number of interesting cakes, but I remain loyal and true to one of their original cakes. The Samba is a different chocolate cake because its icing is smoother than the typical American chocolate cake. If I'm not mistaken (Please correct me if I'm wrong.), this is how the French make their chocolate cake.
  • Villar's Chocolates - Now this chocolate should be made available here. I think this is one of the best Swiss chocolates I've tried. If you like Lindt, you will love Villar's. Especially their dark chocolate. A Swiss friend told me that Villar's is the only family owned chocolate company that hasn't been bought by Nestle.
  • Leonidas Chocolate Truffles - When this store opened in Manila, I really wondered how they would survive on such high prices. Still, I gave it a try and I got hooked, but its high price continues to dissuade me from buying regularly. I get to buy these thrice a year.
  • Nestle Diplomata - I usually like my chocolates pure and simple, but this chocolate bar is addicting. Go to Pioneer Supermarket's chocolate section and hoard on these before they run out. This is a Nestle Brazil product and is not readily available here, so please, please buy so the supermarkets will continue to carry them. I'm not exactly sure what the ingredients are (because the label is in Brazilian language), but you will easily get addicted to the smooth and just right sweetness of its creamy chocolate and the crunchy praline (It's called crocante. Anyone knows what that is?) layer in the middle. Ooh la lah.
  • Dom's Cacao - If you know my friend, Dom, ask him to buy you some cacao that's used for chocolate eh the next time he goes home to Mauban. I was lucky enough to be given some of these and everytime I want some delicious hot chocolate, I just open my treasure chest (aka the pantry) and prepare myself some of this delicious chocolate eh.
  • Mayor Aspiras' Hot Chocolate - Back in college, I was fortunate enough to have worked with the very intelligent and accommodating granddaughter of Mayor Aspiras (Hi Mo!). We were invited to the house of Mayor Aspiras in La Union and served the thickest and chocolatiest hot chocolate eh in this side of town. It's been 10 years since I've drank that chocolate and the wonderful memory of that drink still lingers in my mind and in my mouth. The best talaga!

There. This list ought to be enough to trigger your endorphins and make you happy. Oh, and enjoy the health benefits of chocolate, too (especially dark chocolate! Check out: http://www.intemperantia.com/healthbenefits.htm). Bon appetit!