I really do.
Note: An extra-sexy post for Valentine’s Day. If you’re the type whose sensibilities offend easily, I suggest you skip this post.
Finding that one perfect dessert to eat on Valentine’s Day is a huge deal for me. I won’t settle for yet another hackneyed molten chocolate cake with raspberry coulis, a dessert that’s so fifteen years ago. No, the dessert I eat on Love Day must pander to my pleasure.
Macarons. Those polka dot-like confections gleaming in their muted but multi-colored brilliance from display cases. They’re always round, at least until now. This year, I’m gifted with a box of macarons, heart-shaped and heady with a shower of pink sugar dust. I don’t know what it is, but my pulse quickens when I’m given anything heart-shaped and edible. It’s the kitsch factor certainly, but have you noticed how the two top ends of a heart look like a woman’s flushed, full lips?
I marvel at the diligence with which these were made – just ground almonds, sugar, and egg whites – all notorious for losing form when hemmed in by heat. But here they are: two perfectly- shaped heart-shaped macarons, enclosing a lip of strawberry buttercream.
It’s sweet but subtly so, like a woman in the first blush of love – but won’t admit to it, no, not just yet. The heart-shaped shells are crisp, but only by a touch, like a tough man with a tender heart ready to woo the woman of his dreams.
There are times when love or lust, for that matter, should send one into a tailspin of heady ardor, a hotness so fiery, stares scorch and sweat drips. So aptly named then is this cake, a possibility in dark chocolate and yes, it is – again – heart-shaped, but with a name like Romance, how could it not?
It’s a dessert endowed with several of the sweets commonly associated with Valentine’s Day: dark chocolate ganache, chocolate cake, crème brulee, caramel, and strawberries. Putting them all together isn’t quite the structural rethink, but as with cake and love, it’s all about the execution.
This cake, its chocolate smolders darkly, scent arousing. Fork penetrates a layer of ganache, it’s sticky and sticks thickly before giving in to the push. Mouth meets cake, tongue gets lubricated in waves so rich it ravishes, then a caramel so carnal – coursing, pounding, making its way through, and somewhere in there, the quiver of crème brulee. But then oh, what’s this? A flicker, a whimper: chopped nuts tremble on the tongue. Texture, creamy and soft, like lips parting beneath one’s own.
This is a cake without restraint, unashamedly pleasing on the deepest levels, and being pleased. It re-invents my experience of savoring and all I wish for is more.
Strawberry Macaron de Paris
P355 (box of eight)
P615 (box of 14)
P1,175 (box of 28)
Both available at all Bizu branches.