Jan 20, 2007

January Faves

A new year. A new chance to discover what's yummy out there. Here's a list of current faves.

UCC's Cheesecake Hot Cocoa - I usually like my hot choco in the form of Tsokolate Eh, but UCC had me at first sip. I was planning on ordering this fave, but then the Choco Mint caught my eye. Then I remembered I dislike mint, then my eye caught this on the menu. I thought I was going to regret it. I was wrong. Dead wrong.

This is delicious! It really tastes like cheesecake, the kind that's not too sweet and hints at a bit of almond. I loved it so much that I finished it in less than 5 minutes. So much for having hot choco with good conversation. A MUST. At Php139 per cup, I wish I could take it out daily and take it to work. Now I understand why people can't seem to live without their coffee.

Balut & Penoy - I was famished by the time I was done with my groceries, but there were no hot food in sight save for Balut Express. I have forgotten how much I love balut, so I excitedly buy 2 piping hot balut, starting my delicious meal with a sip of the hot tasty liquid that one has to finish before getting into the meat. For some reason, this balut tasted different, as if it were boiled in patis (fish sauce). This gives me an idea --- to dip my balut and any egg in Datu Puti patis. Tasty!

A few nights after, I rush home from the office, hoping to catch that balut vendor I always hear traversing my street. I get home in the nick of time and order 2 pieces of balut. Mr. Balut Vendor's girlfriend pitched that I try their penoy because it was unique. "May sabaw po. Masarap at bago." I got curious.

Oh my. I was in love again! I was in cloud nine as I devoured the 2 fresh balut I bought, but I must admit to committing adultery as I fell in love simultaneously with the penoy na may sabaw. Never mind the fact that it was not the same sabaw as the balut's. I just passed it up as a misinterpretation on the girlfriend's part. This was no ordinary dry penoy. What they did was to cook the egg soft boiled so the penoy would have the consistency of jell-o. What was amazing was that there was no separation of the liquid from the solid. (Mental note: People who have not tried balut should try this first. As deliciously tasty as the balut, minus the unsightly chick and bones.) I think you would understand why I cannot post a picture of the balut here. Only my favorite photographer, Allan Tuazon, can probably shoot it appetizingly.). Balut sells at Php12. Penoy at Php10.

Goldilocks' Chocolate Sans Rival - Goldilocks' for me, never meant yummy cakes. As a kid, it was a special place for me and my lola to hang out and eat. I remember being visually attracted to their Rainbow Cake, but in my heart I knew that better cakes were out there for me.

As I grew up, Goldilocks' palabok and lumpia lost that homecooked taste, so there was no longer a reason for me to go there. I only get to try their cakes during office blowouts and children's parties, but they didn't impress me.

Until, the other night, when I had this really bad craving for sans rival. It was 930 pm and Betty's was definitely out of the way and closed. I was desperate. I remembered that a friend's mom loved the Goldilocks sans rival, and so, with much skepticism but heavy craving, I hurry to my neighborhood Goldilocks's cake shop to order a slice. Just my luck. A slice was not available, but a whole cake was. Normally, I would've ordered the whole cake. Uh uh. Horrors! Not a Goldilocks' cake! Then I hear a voice.

"Ma'am, Try our chocolate sans rival. Masarap." Well, I had to satisfy my crazy craving. I buy 2 slices. I hurry home, stash the sans rival in the freezer, wash up, and prepare my place for some eating.

It was good! Though I prefer crunchy meringue layers, I actually enjoyed the chewy layers of this cake. What was good was that the chocolate was an outer layer to the buttery sans rival. Being a commercial cake, I didn't expect the cashews to be generous, but it was sufficient to prevent that too often cloying sweetness of this dessert from happening. As I take a bite of the chocolate sans rival, I enjoy the chewy bite exploding into butter then suddenly mixed with an American chocolate taste and a touch of fresh cashew to add a slightly but yummy salty tinge to this bite. Can't wait to try their original sans rival. Yes I now eat my scathing opinions of Goldilocks, together with this cake.