As my first ever food post, I thought it would only be fitting to talk about my first love, Chocolates.
CHOCOLATES… Who doesn’t love them? Who can resist its power, its beauty, its allure, its charm? Definitely not The Spoiled Mummy! Much has been written and said about the benefits of chocolates, so this convinces me all the more that not only are chocolates delicious, but they are in fact, good, healthy (but not necessarily fat-free) and beneficial for me as well!
Chocolates have such a good, positive effect on me that the mere sight and smell of these delicious delicacies justt make my heart skip a beat! I LOVE anything and everything with chocolate! Be it a piece of dark truffle, a slice of a rich chocolate cake, a mug of hot cocoa, an ice cream drizzled with hot chocolate fudge, or a chocolate cupcake… chocolates just make my world (and my heart) go around!
However, I only LOVE the dark kind. Yes, love is such a powerful word so I will only use this word to refer to my beloved dark chocolates. For me, the darker, the more bitter, the better! The higher the cocoa percentage, (the healthier they say), the better it is for me! I am definitely not a big fan of the milk variety or the white kind of chocolate, but yes I can still eat them – but very minimally – and I can already tell you, their effect on me is just not the same… In other words, they just don’t make me THAT happy and ecstatic in the same way the dark chocolates do!
Here are just some of The Spoiled Mummy’s favorite chocolate desserts from here and all over the world:
(Warning : Food Porn. Do not read on an empty stomach!)
Zurich: Sprungli Swiss Chocolates
They are one of Switzerland’s oldest confectioners (since 1836!) and their truffles and pralines are still handmade daily by their trained artisans. They only use the very best and finest ingredients to combine with their 100% pure Swiss chocolate. They don’t use any artificial colourings or preservatives. However, you can only get them in their shops in Switzerland. The last time I checked, they still refuse to branch out elsewhere. Photo credit goes to the Hubby who took this photo “secretly” while inside their shop in Zurich…So if you know someone who’s coming home from Switzerland, this brand of chocolates will be a great pasalubong! But if you can’t wait for that, check out their website Confiserie Sprungli to order online.
And among the many different kinds of truffles the Hubby brought home, this is my favorite, their Truffes du Jour in Salted Caramel. It is made of the highest and purest quality of Swiss chocolate with a not-so-sweet caramel filling inside then topped with the finest sea salt. It is the perfect combination of sweet and just a tad bit salty. And for me, the best part in eating these good quality artisan chocolates? It’s when the first moment you bite into them, you hear a nice cracking sound and then a little bit of the filling oozes inside your mouth!
Hong Kong: L’Atelier Joel Robuchon
For my last birthday that I spent in Hongkong’s L’ Atelier Joel Robuchon, a 3 Michelin starred restaurant, this was my wonderful dessert “surprise” : Surprise dark chocolate ball filled inside with crunchy toasted pecans and a scoop of Tahitian vanilla ice-cream. This dessert was even made better when a bit of hot caramel sauce was drizzled on top of it making the cold Chocolate ball crack and open up revealing the “surprise” inside…Did I mention I love chocolates that crack? 🙂
In our last trip to Tokyo, Japan a few months back, I discovered that one of my favorite dessert places in the world, the French tea salon and pastry shop, Laduree has a shop at Mitsukoshi in Ginza. So of course, being The Spoiled Mummy that I am, I could not let that trip go by without having my desserts there. (This is probably the closest Laduree to Manila too.) Photo above is their Chocolate Millefeuille Praline. You can tell, that the chocolate used here was of the highest quality and the millefeuille pastry in between the layers provided a different texture, that extra crunch I always look for in my chocolates. 🙂
Another dessert that we had from the same place, Laduree Tokyo, and also one of their top best- sellers, is their Plaisir Sucre which literally means sweet pleasure. Since this is made with milk chocolate (and I am not so much of a fan of this variety), I just had a small bite and gave the rest to The Hubby and the kids… and they loved it! It also had French whipped cream and hazelnut praline inside.
Another similar dessert place, with the same concept (Parisian tea salon and pastry shop) is Antoinette in Singapore…here I tried their Earl Grey Chocolate cake which is touted as Singapore’s best cake. It is made of the softest chocolate cake and filled with just a hint of Earl Grey tea flavor. So if you love your tea and you love chocolate, this cake is for you 🙂
Singapore: Restaurant Andre
Restaurant Andre, in Singapore, part of San Pellegrino’s World’s 100 Best Restaurants, also has a wonderful chocolate dessert platter showcasing how chocolate can be done in so many ways and presented in a very artistic way. I always appreciate good presentation. It makes any meal even more delectable!
Singapore: Tetsuya Wakuda
Here’s another beautifully presented Chocolate petit fours from Japanese celebrity chef Tetsuya Wakuda’s Waku Ghin, in Singapore
Hong Kong: View 62
Molecular Chocolate Cake cooked in Nitrogen gas from View 62 by Paco Roncero, Hong Kong… the chef is one of Spain’s most influential chefs having been trained by the king of molecular gastronomy himself, El Bulli’s Ferran Adria
Vienna: Hotel Sacher
The first and the only “historical” chocolate cake I’ve ever tried so far. The Original Sacher-Torte has been touted as one of the most famous cakes in Europe (and in the world) since it was created in 1832 in Vienna, Austria. Its original recipe has been a well-kept and well-guarded secret of the Hotel Sacher in Vienna. This world-famous cake is still produced in the traditional manner and is handmade with the finest quality of dark chocolate as a base and then thinly coated by hand with only the best-quality apricot jam. The chocolate icing sheet on top of it is its crowning glory. And since this is an original Viennese delicacy, this tastes best with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream and complemented with the original Viennese coffee called “Wiener Melange” (coffee with milk).
Wherever you go in Vienna (or anywhere in Austria for that matter), you will see many different versions of this Sacher Torte. But if you want to try the original and the best tasting one, you must go to the Hotel Sacher in Vienna or Salzburg or to any of their Original Sacher Cafes.
Salzburg: Furst Cafe Konditorei
Assorted chocolates, pralines and truffles from Furst Cafe Konditorei, Salzburg, Austria
Manila: Stella Rocket Room
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake from Stella Rocket Room, in Bonifacio High Street (do you see the tiny sprinkling of salt on top?) Best eaten with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream!
Manila: The Fireplace
One of the best (if not the best) molten chocolate cakes I’ve ever tried, Chocolate Soup from The Fireplace, Hyatt Manila (and how I love that they didnt scrimp on the size! Usually, molten chocolate cakes are so small that it’s gone in a few spoonfuls, but this one is good to share – or NOT!)
A different kind of cupcake. For the more adventurous foodies out there… Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes from Gigi Gaerlan of the famous Gigi’s Custaroons.
Rich but oh-so-good Chocolate Salted Caramel brownies from Joan and Jane cake bites
Last but definitely not the least, if you’re a purist and all you want is some good traditional chocolate cake like what your grandmother used to make, then this is the one…Good ‘ol Fashioned Chocolate Cake by one of my favorite bakers in Manila, Homemade by Roshan
What’s your favorite Chocolate dessert? I’m sure you have one! Please share them with me!