Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Archive for the ‘Sweet Tooth’ Category

Best Hot Chocolate Competition part 1

Posted by rachelinbxl on October 15, 2012

Of course, one of the things we are spoiled for choice on in Belgium is all things cocoa related!

I have my favourite chocolatiers – Zaabar and Blondeel are on the list. Zaabar for their chocolate bars of different cocoa origins, and Blondeel for their hot chocolates. There are others I must try – Wittamer is one I have often heard recommended. But I stick to St Catherine for this post.

The tea house has varied the selection in the past, but recently stuck to tried and tested – Venezuela – lower cocoa content but with chili powder and lemongrass flavour, Ghana (85% coca) with vanilla, cinnamon and aniseed (not strong), Madagascar (63% simple cocoa and milk), Safraan – more expensive 63% topped with frothed milk and real safran, and the 100% cocoa with mountain honey – that I love but that shouldn’t be considered as a drinking chocolate 😉

Madagascar Ghana – velvety smooth, vanilla undertones
Ghana Venezuela – more milky, with chili powder and lemongrass
The tea room The decor – Mayan?

If you go with  few people, try each! I’m also told their coffees are excellent. Their tea suffers from the typical Belgian problem of not being served hot enough in my British opinion. The Ghana is stronger on the cocoa content, and velvety smooth. The Venezuela was very hot on the chili to start with, with the lemongrass coming through more towards the bottom of the cup. This one is harder to taste the cocoa, it’s somewhat overpowered. The safran one was the biggest disappointment to me. It’s more expensive and much milkier. Maybe my palate is not refined enough, but I couldn’t taste the safran in this. My favourite remains the 100% – but I eat it with a spoon. It is not sweet, nor milky, despite being based on milk and chocolate. The honey adds a delightful wild flavour to the cocoa, but this is not a refreshing drink. It’s a medicinal pick me up filled with endorphins and feel-good factor!

They always put 2 chocolates beside your hot chocolate, as well as a glass of water that is much appreciated. One is their most famous praline based on florentine pieces – caramelised sugar with small nuts in it. You can ask to select chocolates from the counter for a small extra cost to enjoy with your drinks  (the price varies with who is serving!). They offer great flavours – including chili, wasabi, sea salt, earl grey, jasmine and rosemary. At 10 euros per 100g, you will only take away a few chocolates in a plastic bag unless you are on a splurge.

This place is often busy for the sit-down, but worth a visit! if it’s too packed, pop round the corner to Charli to test their pain au chocolat. I’ve since tested their beer and pumpkin seed bread and it is worth the trip!

Frederic Blondeel

Quai aux Briques 241000 Bruxelles
Drinks: A
Atmosphere: B
Service: A
Price: B+
Languages: French, Dutch, English

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Sweet, creamy goodness at El Vergel

Posted by pieguybxl on November 25, 2009

One can understand the steady price inflation at El Vergel over the years because its food is so darn good.  Portion sizes might not satisfy everyone, but the flavors should.  Case in point: the El Vergel cheesecake.

Don’t ask me what’s so Latin American about this cheesecake, but I’m not complaining.  It boasts a smoother and creamier texture than some New York or Chicago cheesecakes, and there definitely is no air or puffiness to it.  It’s really rich, but miraculously at the same time it’s not too rich, and like gourmet Marcolini chocolates, the sweetness doesn’t overpower the senses or leave your mouth dry.  The crust also balances out the creaminess perfectly, with a strong biscuit-cookie taste and crumbly texture and just the tiniest, tiniest hint of saltiness.  This cheesecake in a word: fantastic.

The only complaint is that the individual slices are getting smaller at the restaurant!  Just buy a whole pie to avoid the trouble and cut yourself your own huge piece.

El Vergel
Rue du Trône 39, Ixelles

Cheesecake:  A
Languages: English, French, Spanish

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1€ Custardy goodness

Posted by pieguybxl on July 2, 2009

Quick tip:  Those sweet and rich Chinese egg custards really can be found in Brussels!  Just visit the center.  Excellent stuff.  Stop by the small bakery across the street from Kam Yuen to catch your fill before they’re all gone.  Don’t expect a huge selection after lunchtime.

St. Anny
Rue Sainte Catherine 4, Brussels

Languages:  Mandarin, French

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Ice cream slut

Posted by pieguybxl on June 22, 2009

That’s right, I’ll eat it anywhere, anytime.

For your viewing pleasure, pictured below is some extra-sweet dulce-de-leche ice cream over a thick Liege-style waffle, from the Häagen-Dazs novelty ice cream shop in the touristy city center.

hg1

Here’s a beautiful scoop of the cookies ‘n’ creme:

hg2

Don’t you love the desserts in Brussels?

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Behold, the sorbetière!

Posted by pieguybxl on May 24, 2009

philips

Warm weather is here in Belgium at last, and it’s the perfect time to make your own ice cream.  I got the Philips HR2304 ice cream maker from MediaMarkt the other day (~70 euros), and it certainly gets the job done.  You only have to freeze a disc that sits on the bottom of the bowl rather than the whole bowl, itself, which is a very nice convenience since my horrible Belgian freezer is so tiny.  Also it’s fairly quiet as motors go, and it’s large enough for making 1L of ice cream.

Here it is pictured above in action, while processing some Chimay-flavored ice cream — how Belgian.  Apologies for the picture quality, by the way; although the ice cream maker is so spectacularly white that it looks like it was sent from heaven, I didn’t add that pizzazzle on purpose.  Once my camera is working again, we’ll post more photos of the restaurants around Brussels.

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