Sunday, October 26, 2008

Some of my adventures with chocolate

Fine chocolate is one of the great eating experiences in the world. Many of us are passionate about this decadent and luscious treat. I love its complexity, richness and versatility. I love beautifully crafted pastries and desserts, whether they are created by a home cook or an experienced pastry chef. Chocolate desserts are the perfect ending(or sometimes beginning) to a meal. What’s better than eating a gourmet chocolate dessert? How about going to a gourmet chocolate buffet? Here are some of some highlights from my tasting adventures with chocolate.

The Langham Hotel's Chocolate bar in Boston is the mother of all gourmet chocolate buffets. It's a chocoholic's dream come true. The 125 gourmet desserts, mousses, cookies, crepes, and panna cottas will please even the finest chocolate connoisseur. I have been to Cafe Fleuri's Chocolate Bar a few times and it's overwhelming every single time. I never know where to start. Even if you eat three or four plates of assorted desserts, you won't make a dent in their section. They are constantly restocking the supply. They use the very best chocolates in all their desserts. This is a great "special occasion place" here in Boston. My favorite foodie memory there: the chocolate bread pudding and the roasted pear and white chocolate mousse cake.

Cruise ships are known for their extravagant midnight buffets. The Celebrity Millennium cruise ship is no exception. During our February 2005 trip, we enjoyed their delicious European inspired food. At the extravagant midnight buffet, they lavished us with beef wellington and caviar ( the non beluga kind) and lots of chocolate! We sampled Italian, French, German and of course Viennese pastries and cakes. This picture was taken 10 minutes before guests raided the chocolate and dessert bar. I almost got trampled when they opened the buffet to the public but I managed to get one shot. Most memorable dessert: a chocolate praline ganache layered cake.

Norwegian Majesty Cruise, May 2006. This was wonderful Boston to Bermuda cruise. Norwegian Cruise Line is known for their midnight Chocoholic Buffet. We met a lot of friendly and hard working Filipinos working on board(about 60-70% were Filipino) and I felt right at home. A battalion of mostly Filipino pastry chefs made the most amazing chocolate sculptures and desserts. My husband and I noticed the iconic Philippine Jeepney, a very popular mode of transportation in the Philippines. The jeepney was completely made of white, dark and milk chocolate. I felt happy and nostalgic when I saw something that reminded me of my home country.

My adventures with chocolate brings us back to Boston. All these chocolate buffets inspired me to host an event called "For the Love of Chocolate" for my mom's group on November 2007. We had our own CHOCOLATE POTLUCK! We took a break from taking care of our little ones and indulged in everything chocolate! This event was pretty casual. We used paper plates and folding tables and had a great time! The participants of this event brought decadent chocolate fondue, cookies and cakes. I baked a chocolate croissant bread pudding and made a white chocolate and passion fruit mousse nestled in fillo cups(seen here). This was fun event and will gladly do this again with friends.

No comments: