I first met Jomel Salas during Inquirer Lifestyle’s mini “Best Desserts” event at Central Square last year.
He so happily attended and participated in my dessert-and-wine pairing seminar. Little did I know that Salas was to be the maker of this indulgent find, along with his business partner Joby Provido.
It was my cousin Suzette Villadolid who discovered Brownie Bar. “It’s a must try!” she said during a family dinner.
Indeed! It is a brownie spiked with your liquor of choice, with a thin, crisp exterior and a creamy, truffle-like center that melts in your mouth.
Each bite is full-bodied, bold, chocolaty yet subtle. A cake-like chocolate bar that will satisfy any chocolate craving, is my best description of it.
My personal favorite is the Don Papa Tablea, a sinful combination of local tablea, Malagos chocolate and Don Papa Rum.
“This is a true tribute to the Filipino spirit,” Provido said.
The brownie gives the palate a virtual chocolate and liquor tour of the Philippines. The bar is a coming together of dark tablea from Cavite, laced with Don Papa Rum from Negros, with slivers of rich Malagos chocolate from Davao.
“Don Papa’s sweet vanilla-like note pairs well with the bitter tablea,” Provido said.
The partnership between baker and cake decorator Salas and chocoholic web designer Provido started when Salas asked the latter to help him with the packaging of his brownies.
Beautiful and delicious
There are not very many products like theirs, the kind that is visually beautiful and delicious.
It is Salas’ penchant for French cuisine that piqued his curiosity to add liquor to his baked goods. He would then bring his Cerveza Negra brownies to different parties. Those who had a taste of it, loved it and prodded him to start selling.
He first sold his baked creations at a summer festival in Zambales, then at the Rockwell Tent. With fondness, he remembered how quickly people bought and devoured his boozy brownies.
Inspired by the positive feedback, he improved on the brownie by using only the finest ingredients.
“We want foodies to see the brownie in an exceptional way,” Provido said.
It was also important for the duo to package the brownies in style, and for their clients to give them away or take to parties with pride.
Provido said that it was while trying to strike a perfect balance between chocolate and liquor that they developed their brownie bitters—chocolate liquor mixed with other spirits that they themselves concocted.
The bitters come packaged with the brownie, in little bottles with a dropper. This way, “people can control the booziness of their brownies,” they said.
There are six variants. My cousin Suzette is in love with their Callebaut Cointreau Dark Callebaut chocolate, infused with Cointreau orange liquor and topped with candied orange and roasted hazelnuts. Other variants are Frangelico Truffle, Double Black, Black Label Whiskey and Cerveza Negra.
Call 09175209349; e-mail [email protected]; Facebook and Instagram @browniebarphilippines