What We’re Loving Now: Xocolat’s Dark CacaoMay 20, 2014
- Mylene ChungWords
For this article, I am supposed to talk about how good Xocolat’s Dark Cacao is, and why I decided to put it up on our little food pedestal here on Pepper. But before I get to that, let me first tell you about why I went on a rampage trying to find Manila’s best pulverized cocoa.
It all started with Toby’s Estate. If you haven’t been to any of their two existing branches- and I’m sure there will be a lot more until this coffee hipster colonization bends over- you probably should, if only to lust after their Atlas-inspired lamp. That lamp is beautiful- roughly finished gold flat bars, curved and welded to form a globe with tiny incandescents sending orange sparks from within it’s hollow core. It hangs down from a perfectly lined reclaimed wood ceiling at their Salcedo branch. I happen to like furniture. But more than that, I’d bowl over a good cup of hot or iced mocha, and in my opinion, Toby’s Estate serves one hell of a cup.
What makes me drawn to Toby’s version of mocha is how it is more bitter than sweet, proof that it doesn’t cheat its way with the usual crappy chocolate syrup that is more parts sugar than chocolate. I practically begged the barista to tell me what they use for the chocolate portion of their mocha, and he eagerly told me that it is a special Ghana Red Chocolate in powder form supplied by their main branch in Australia. After googling the word “Ghana” I discovered that it is a state in west Africa from where they probably got their raw cacao beans from. I’m assuming that everything is processed into the finished chocolate mush in Australia.
Thing is, when people start telling you something hails from a far away land so out of your reach, you start to hope that it’s actually within your grasp. So with my back straight, hips slightly skewed to one side(as if the barista would even notice that from above the counter), and eyes intent on catching prey, I ventured to ask, “WIll you be selling that anytime soon?” followed-up with a whispered, “How about you sell some extra stock to me in secret?”. For some reason, I seriously felt like I was prying my way out of a traffic violation, and I hate that. But this is chocolate.
So obviously I am writing this article today about Xocolat’s Dark Chocolate Powder because Toby’s Estate, for all their chocolate hogging schemes, refused to fall for my seductive prowess.
Now here’s the story of how I chanced upon Cafe Xocolat’s Dark Cacao. For the purpose of story-telling, we’ll call this The Dark Healing Potion, and to keep myself from boring you about my lame obsession for dark chocolate confetti, I’ll keep this short.
I chanced upon Cafe Xocolat’s Dark Healing Potion while waiting almost three hours for my boyfriend’s gaming pc to finish volting in. After an hour of walking around Greenhills’ shopping area and another extra hour of rummaging for Lucky Peach back issues at Booksale, we ended up at Cafe Xocolat.
Cafe Xocolat’s Greenhills Promenade Branch is not very pretty. It’s old and torn, and the fake leather seats, with their inner foam popping out like love handles protruding from a pair of jeans one size too small, looked like they belong in the nearest junk yard. I ordered the Hot Xocolat. Because I enjoy chatting up friendly cashiers, I told him that this would have been one of my favorite chocolate drinks if only it weren’t too sweet.
As if that was a sign for him to start shoving their new products in my face, he asked me if I might be interested in their new chocolate powder selections up for sale. They were contained in the cutest little cannisters and as a prop stylist and food photographer, I happen to LOVE containers of all sorts and sizes. I bought one on impulse thinking that if the powder tasted like shit, I’d still have the pretty cannister as consolation.
The next morning, while I was brewing a cup of Toby’s Rodyk blend (I regularly buy my beans from them), just for the heck of it I poured in two tablespoons of The Dark Chocolate Healing Potion followed by a splash of evaporated milk and some brown sugar. Gulp, blink and bam! I just food-hacked Toby’s Estate’s Mocha!