Caramel Cake Battle: Costa Brava vs. Estrel’sAugust 22, 2016
Costa Brava and Estrel’s have often been dialed in as the best caramel cakes in the metro. Both share many similarities, both began as small business enterprises, and both have been deemed the best caramel cake in town. Most of spoken highly of the two establishments, each lauded for their perfect build of the much loved cake. And true enough, we found pinpointing the best of the best quite a tricky task, as both brought their own spin, each in exemplary fashion.
At first glance, it is quite clear which of the two looked more professional. Estrel’s glistened in the faint light, intricate frosting adorning the lacquered topping, while Cost Brava stood bare, its decorations clunky and unrefined.
Both are priced at P1,000, but the Costa Brava is larger of the two measuring 9×12 inches as compared to the Estrel’s 8×12 inches. In regard to value for your money, Costa Brava comes out the cheaper of the two.
The first thing that we could tell was that the chiffon’s jiggle was beautiful. The cake bounced gracefully on its platter, the light base seemingly perfect in structure and bake. And true enough, the cake was exemplary. It was light and springy to the touch, and feathery to the tongue. Seemingly complemented by the icing, which was delicate, the caramel coming subtly and quietly in your mouth. However, because of the lightness of the frosting, it lacked the depth that caramel usually gives off, and it possessed a peculiar headiness, a heaviness—a telltale sign of too much butter. But the cake as whole was well-balanced and solid in execution. The general lightness of the chifon base alleviating the buttery aftertaste.
What Costa Brava lacked, Estrel’s made up in expert fashion. Their frosting was deep and unctuous, the caramel readily pronounced at first taste. However, their cake was a bit heavier, the chiffon too compact, the cake missing the lightness that the Costa Brava had so much of. And while Costa Brava revels in lightness and delicacy, Estrel’s shines in decadence and depth. The caramel comes out and lathers your tongue in a deep glaze, seemingly sultry in taste. Estrel’s is for those who want the heaviness in the tongue and need to indulge.
It’s quite difficult to deem one better than the other, as both excel in their own way. While Costa Brava reels you in with its brilliant chiffon and balanced flavors, Estrel’s has perfected its caramel icing, so much so that Costa Brava’s can only pale in comparison. In the end though, it comes down to what makes the cake, is it the adornment of the caramel or the foundation of the cake base? It was an extremely difficult decision, but in the end, by a very, very small margin, Costa Brava won it out.
Both cakes are excellent and can rightfully take their place as one of the best. While Estrel’s had expertly devised one of the most convincing caramel icings out there, Costa Brava comes together in a perfectly, fluffy ensemble of cake and icing. It’s balance and value for money giving it the slight edge over Estrel’s.