Calea, It’s Still You

On the second Sunday of 2011, I found myself heading to the SM Mall of Asia to check out Chocolat, a chocolate cake cafe gushed about by many food bloggers.

What interested me was the use of tablea in the moist dessert. I have been crazy about these cacao tablets since the first day I smelled and tasted it in Bikol. I would gobble up ball after ball of the bittersweet confection, to the extreme anxiety of my mother who believed they could cause serious health problems when ingested in large quantities.

Chocolat did not disappoint, but it did not greatly impress, either. It must have been the high expectations set by those who came before me that my reaction had nothing to go but down.

I tasted the cheesecake with tablea and Hazelnut and bestseller Death by Tablea chocolate cakes. I loved the latter, especially since the tablea’s distinct flavor suffused my senses with every bite. It was the same with the cheesecake, with the cheese adding a richness to the taste. A richness, and sweetness, that would prove too much for my head and stomach.

I know chocolate cakes are supposed to taste lush and sweet, but Chocolat’s were just too heavy and sweet for me. I had expected it to be less sweet than the usual, like those dark chocolate bars that are almost, almost, bitter. But the Death by Tablea and cheesecake with tablea did not go easy on the sugar. But hey, these are chocolate cakes and they are supposed to be really sweet in general. As for the heavy sensation, sharing a slice with a friend will prevent that feeling at the end.

After this escapade to the Philippines’ largest mall, I therefore conclude that Bacolod’s Calea still whips up the best blend of sweetness and taste of any cake, chocolate or otherwise, in the country.

I just wish it were that easy to visit for the occasional cake binge-eating spells.

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