Interesting sign, eh? Blenz Coffee recently opened a branch on the ground floor of the BDO North Tower in Makati which is on my daily route from the office to the bus stop – and it was a rather timely opening, seeing how I seriously needed a good cuppa comfort on the way home one evening.
I love Blenz for its matcha lattes, but the sign on one of the walls when I entered the cafe grabbed me in a major way because that Belgian Hot Chocolate looked so utterly tempting! Plus, I saw someone else order a hot choc while waiting my turn at the counter – oh, and such a hot chocolate! Almost as thick as molten ganache (hell, I could have sworn it was ganache!), a spoon-coating richness that no powdered mix or artificially-flavoured syrup could ever match. I wanted one…except it was an incredibly warm evening and I was wilting in the heat!
Fortunately, Blenz has an equally nefarious, so too wicked alternative: the iced Belgian chocolate.
If you’ve heard of the frozen hot chocolate over at New York’s Serendipity 3, this is as close as you’ll get to it in the tropics. It is, essentially, the Belgian hot chocolate poured over ice and topped with a billowy cloud of whipped cream and dusted over with crushed milk chocolate. (I’m thinking at this point that it’s the sort of description that doesn’t seem to do the drink justice…)
When you order an iced Belgian chocolate (P 180.00 for a whopping large tumbler), the barista will ask you if you would prefer dark, milk, or white chocolate in your drink. I don’t know about all the rest of you – Laird known that I know a lot of tender-tongued pansies who would prefer the milk chocolate – but I told the barista to make mine “as dark as possible”, as decadently, deliciously dark as they could make it. Most baristas would probably blink at this, but the one who served me that evening threw me a knowing smirk.
I was asked to wait for a bit while they made my drink – about five to six minutes, tops. It was well worth the wait; I was not disappointed.
If you love hot chocolate, chocolate milkshakes, or just plain chocolate milk, this is definitely the gold standard for it. The people at Blenz stir a Belgian dark chocolate ganache into warmed whole milk and pour it over just enough ice to cool it to the wonted side of cold and delightfully frosty.
It is a rich bastard, if you’ll excuse my French, of a milkshake: the milk and the ice do little to take the edge off the dusky, smoky bittersweetness of the chocolate melted into the drink. You get a proper chocolatey hit with each sip, no questions asked. You have to keep stirring it from time to time to make sure that the chocolate doesn’t settle and go all stodgy and sludgy at the bottom of the cup, but this extra bit of effort makes it worth it.
With the rains pouring again, I might succumb to the temptation of the hot version. But, while the hot weather still holds sway, keeping it iced is the only way to go. 😀