One of the best ways to describe myself is that I’m a chocoholic. As a kid I grew up with the local Goya and Choc Nut, but my exposure widened with age.
Today, my philosophy has become one adapted from a friend: “If I’m going to put anything fattening in my system, it might as well be the best.” This goes for steaks, foie gras, breads and sweets—where chocolate comes first.
My standard in chocolate expanded when M&M’s, Nestlé Crunch and Snickers came into the picture. Not long after, my mom would come home from abroad bringing chocolates from either France or Switzerland. Slowly my palate started to have a preference for bittersweet chocolates. A store manager at Godiva in San Francisco told me once that “gourmets prefer bittersweet chocolate.”
Though I love American milk chocolate bars like Snickers, Reese’s, M&M’s, Kitkat, Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, See’s lollipops, and Canada’s Purdys, I also enjoy the bitter chocolates from Belgium, France and Switzerland.
The Japanese make a superb kind of both milk and bittersweet chocolates.
When it comes to cakes, I love a deep, rich, light, fluffy and bittersweet chocolate cake. Sylvia Cancio makes a fantastic version at her family’s Chocolate Velvet shop. I will never forget this. It was given to me by her sister Karen.
This is a deep-dark, rich chocolate chiffon-like cake around and a delicious, overly fattening dark chocolate mousse in the middle. Icing is made from Belgian chocolates.
There is a handful of fantastic chocolate cakes around. The affordable ones are from Shoppersville in Katipunan, Quezon City, Polly’s from the Shell station in Magallanes, and a few others.
I also tasted a delicious version made by Mary Grace, while architect Tonichi Mendoza and I both agree on the truffle cake of Sugarhouse, a creation of my cousin and the former owner, Ginny de Guzman.
Recently, our church had a midyear fasting. Near the end of this fast, I came across my first temptation—a fantastic-looking round chocolate cake. It had a dusting of chocolate all over. Inside was a fluffy, light chocolate cake with a chocolate mousse-like filling and frosting.
It is my newest discovery. Made from bittersweet chocolate, this is one of Manila’s up and coming winners. The flavors are rich but not too sweet, with subtle flavors. I love it. I warn chocoholics to stay away, but I myself didn’t, and couldn’t, but actually didn’t want to. It’s that good. I wouldn’t mind breaking a diet for this.
This just affirms that I am a weakling when it comes to good chocolate cakes.
Chocolate Truffle by Gustare; tel. 4030345