I’m popping squares of bitter chocolate into my mouth in an attempt to gratify/sate/satiate what feels ”“ to me ”“ like an insurmountable yearning for chocolate. And in a seemingly cruel trick that fate plays on me, I quickly discover that there’s no milk chocolate to be found in the house.
“Milk chocolate’s for kids, you know,” I remember an acquaintance once telling me with an imperious sniff. Maybe, but nothing beats milk chocolate for its almost ethereal texture – cocoa butter melting at body temperature. And I like milk chocolate for its full milk taste, its creaminess playing alongside notes of caramel and vanilla brought about by a light roasting. That’s not something I experience with dark chocolate with its wa-pak! in-my-face flavor resounding through my mouth as it disintegrates into chalky little granules. Don’t get me wrong ”“ I like dark chocolate in desserts and when making hot chocolate but I prefer milk chocolate for straight up eating. After all, when eating (milk!) chocolate, wretched excess is just barely enough.
- photo from my 2005 post Café Xocolat
And then I remember the brownies from Xocolat that I picked up a few days back. Xocolat, that paean to chocolate in all of its inviting incarnations, is where I go when I throw my dietary virtue out the window. Their Taza de Xocolat (above) is the lodestar of liquid chocolate ”“ any thicker and it’d be pudding. Their churros are awesome as well.
But today I have the brownies. Up until some months back, Xocolat displayed them unwrapped in the store displays ”“ glittering blocks of deep, dark chocolate ”“ their immense mass comparable only to their heft: brownies for the macho. But now they’re displayed wrapped in plastic; not as appealing but it keeps the moisture in. I’m told that the Citrus brownie is the least popular – people can’t seem to wrap their heads around the zesty-chocolatey pairing. But it’s my favorite, probably because I love lemons. The brownies also seem to have a problem with consistency: sometimes moist enough to make me swoon, other times, they’re brown bricks.
But today they’re a dream and my craving and appetite blurs as I alternate between nibbling and gnawing and then going back to the brownie variants I like. It’s quiet where I am, only the sounds of my lips smacking together and muted sighs of contentment interrupt the sanctity of this chocolate moment.
Chocolate craving terminated.
Café Xocolat locations at
-Ground Floor Serendra Piazza Mckinley Parkway Road, Bonifacio Global City. 856-2146.
-Promenade, Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan
-Eastwood City, Libis
-Casa Xocolat is located at 172 B. Gonzales St. Loyola Heights.