It’s off the usual route and takes a bit of traveling to get to but Cioccolo is an interesting place to go to at night. Right in the middle of a dark field, it seems a place of enchantment has sprung up, magically lit up at night. There’s R2-D2 in one area, Elvis in another as well as Roman statues here and there among a host of other curiosities that catch the eye and piques one’s interest no matter how blasé he or she can be. There are even huge banquet halls spread out on the spacious lot that looked like settings for a medieval tale complete with trompe l’oeil ceilings, huge chandeliers, gilded walls and ornate furniture. Cioccolo’s truly kitschy as kitschy can be but in a pleasant way, maybe strangely romantic even like a fantasy world. Contrastingly, the coffee shop looks “normal” and “real world”, warmly lit and inviting for a nightcap. The whole place looks every bit interesting but we wonder if the food could be as “kitschy” good as well.
Forrest Gump may have said that life is like a box of chocolates but he never had the dilemma of contemplating on what kind of chocolate brownie he’s going to get out of an assorted boxful from Brownies Unlimited. That’s what Happyfoodies mulled upon when we got boxes of chocolate goodies from BU over the holidays. Not to complain though as we’re certified chocoholics.
Two-in-one coffee mix. Two-in-one toothpaste and mouthwash. Two-in-one shampoo and conditioner. Two-in-one mobile phone and organizer. We live in a curious age when consumer products are marketed to be better because they’re essentially two products in one. But how about desserts? Sure, we’ve got cake a la mode but that’s about it. That is, until we heard of Custaroons.
Just what on earth is a custaroon? Well, it’s a mix of custard (or leche flan in more familiar terms) and macaroons (dessicated coconut and milk confection). Custaroon is a term coined by its creator, Gigi Gaerlan, a self-confessed sweet tooth and leche flan fanatic. Hailing from a family of restaurateurs, getting into a hobby of baking sweet treats came naturally to Gigi. In a very competitive marketplace, she felt the need for a unique product she can call her original. So she mixed her liking for custard with her mom’s recipe for macaroons. At first, she just baked batches for giving away to relatives and friends. But soon, orders started trickling in. That was way back in 2000. At present, Gigi’s Custaroons are still home-baked in her kitchen in Sta Mesa. Happyfoodies samples custaroons and shares the experience.