Are You A True Chocoholic?Columns Ono, You Know
October 28, 2016
Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
If you are not crazy about chocolate, chances are you know loved ones who are, and you’ve seen them tear apart the pantry when a craving sets in, stopping at nothing to find that last square of the chocolate bar stashed away for safe keeping.
I have the desire for chocolate running in my blood, passed down from my mother who has always taught me the joys of savoring hot chocolate, chocolate ice cream, a frothy mousse or a good brownie. But when I’m looking for a really rich chocolaty treat that sings with the bitter and fruity notes of a high-quality dark chocolate, I turn to flourless chocolate cake.
Much more luxurious than your average chocolate dessert, this fudge-like cake is a dream come true for the truest of chocolate connoisseurs, and you can find sinfully indulgent versions of it all around town — starting with the following dining gems:
Cake Works owner and chef Abigail Langlas knows exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to the richness of flourless chocolate cake.
“How I like to describe it is it’s almost like a baked truffle,” she says. “Basically, you whip up whole eggs and sugar, and melt together butter and chocolate, and fold it (together) and bake it. That’s why it’s so rich and dense and chocolaty.”
It’s easy to spot Langlas’ flourless chocolate cake in the King Street bakery’s display case, as it’s reminiscent of the Fleetwood Mac song “Gold Dust Woman” — in this case, the lady of the hour being the gold-dusted Chocolate Extravagance cake ($23.50 for 7-inch cake, $38 for 9-inch).
Langlas, who is known for baking up custom cakes and French macarons, says Chocolate Extravagance “is for the real chocolate lover; it’s not for the timid.” To balance out the sugar in the recipe, she uses a sultry 72 percent dark chocolate from critically acclaimed chocolate producer Guittard.
She’s been dishing out this shiny and sleek creation since the bakery opened in 2008. “I have people who will come back every year for their birthday for this cake or whenever they have a special party, so it definitely has a following. It’s also a nice alternative for people who like chocolate who are gluten-free, because it’s naturally gluten-free.”
2820 S King St., Honolulu
A DARK-CHOCOLATE SURPRISE
There’s another fabulous flourless chocolate cake available at Plumeria Beach House, but you’ll have to do some digging with your fork to find it, as this buried treasure is tucked away from plain sight. But I’ll give you a hint as to how to find it: X marks the spot when you order Island Decadence ($12, a la carte) from the dessert menu.
The oceanfront dining venue is located at The Kahala Hotel & Resort and is home to its signature curry buffet Wednesdays, a seafood buffet Fridays and Saturdays, a romantic a-la-carte menu of international flavors and much more. Whether browsing the buffet spread or going for a gourmet entree, be sure to end your meal on a sweet note with the aforementioned dessert.
You wouldn’t know it from its shiny sheath of white chocolate guava glaze, but Island Decadence is filled with a velvety layer of flourless chocolate cake topped with an airy yellow cloud of passion-fruit mousse.
Executive pastry chef Michael Moor-house is an artist when it comes to combining flavors and textures, as the tartness from the lilikoi perfectly plays off the bitter qualities of the chocolate. The dessert becomes even more complex with the addition of a toasted-coconut tuile cracker on top, which not only balances the flavors with its sweetness, but adds a welcomed crunch to the texture profile. Last, but not least, the glittering glaze and fresh fruit are like cherries on top of the cake.
Plumeria Beach House
The Kahala Hotel & Resort
5000 Kahala Ave., Kahala