Journey into the world of chocolate and exotica
Chocolate, not mythical riches, was the secret of El Dorado. While the gold pillaged by the conquistadors eventually caused the ruin of their motherland, it was the chocolate they bequeathed to the Old World that begot a heritage that changed humanity’s palette.
Today, chocolate represents a broad variety of mind-blowing culinary choices.
While chocolate is firmly entrenched in the popular imagination as a child’s sweetest indulgence, the essence of cocoa has transcended this mundane role to become a medicinal concoction, a courtship ritual, and an indelible part of almost every dessert.
Chocolate is fashioned for every rung of society. It’s high class, middle class, and for the masses.
Chocolate can be eaten with anything. From juicy strawberries to fried insects.
Just like in the days of yore, mythical attributes are also connected to chocolate, like a dubious scientific study from Milan that claimed it was an aphrodisiac.
In short, chocolate never loses its luster. And for this reason Manila Hotel has made an enormous effort to entice guests with luscious offerings from its signature praline chocolate line. At least five of them stood out among numerous selections: Bailey’s Caramel Cream, Champagne Truffle, Cherry Brandy Cream, Crunchy Pine Monte, and Espresso Cream.
Bailey’s Caramel Cream
Here is a milk couverture (chocolate that contains at least 32% cocoa butter) with rich caramel-butter cream filling, infused with Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur.
It’s a perfect treat for St Patrick’s Day. More importantly, with its unique blend of cocoa, sugar, cream, and the finest Irish spirits, you just can’t tell which among the tastes dominates, chocolate or liqueur.
All that you know the moment it hits your mouth is its built-in divine intensity.
Champagne TruffleAn exquisite combination of white and milk couverture , balanced with Cognac and white wine, and coated with black couverture dusted with bianca sugar, it’s an ideal choice for every occasion, especially Valentine’s.
Never mind if champagne and chocolate are not natural bedfellows. Manila Hotel gets them to work well together.
Cherry Brandy Cream
A milk couverture with rich cinnamon fresh cream filling infused with Cherry Heering liqueur, here is one that’s perfect for cold weather.
It used to be very popular in the 1970s but was since then left untouched and rarely discussed, although still sought after by chocolate lovers.
With cinnamon added to the Dutch cherry brandy, you get a completely unique bloody taste for a chocolate. And while you may feel it’s extraordinarily strong, don’t worry. It’s not really overpowering.
Just one suggestion, though: Take a bite of it when you’re in a cool place. As cherry brandy is good with lots of ice, when mixed with chocolate, it loses its thrilling effect in places where the temperature is high.
Crunchy Pine Monte
Combine hazelnut cream with the magic power of chocolate, with a crunch from rice sugar cone and pine nuts. The result? A perfect marriage that gives birth to a new Italian twist.
A sophisticated dark couverture filled with a perfect concoction of fresh cream, Manila Hotel coffee-blend and butter, here’s one that’s closely associated with the new European identity, although more particularly Scandinavian.
It’s strong syrupy coffee burst poured into dark chocolate makes the resulting bitter taste a perfect mate for a glass of milk or iced coffee.
Nature lovers will love it. And so will those who wish to have a pretty serious coffee kick in their sweets. It would also make a nice gift for coffee and chocolate lovers.
Just a word of warning. Spare yourself from taking too much of it, or you will surely suffer a long sleepless night.
Print ed: 2/13