Bite Me, Brussels.

Reviewing food for the foreigners, without all the fluff.

Posts Tagged ‘ice cream’

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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Ice cream slut

Posted by Pi 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.

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

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Don’t you love the desserts in Brussels?

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Behold, the sorbetière!

Posted by Pi 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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Gelato limone

Posted by Pi on May 14, 2009

Venezia1

Sorry for the hiatus, folks, but we expats take vacation on a Belgian schedule, too, sometimes.  Before we come back, take a look at this great cone of creamy lemon ice cream I tasted recently over in Venice, something very different from all the icier sorbets and sherberts I’ve had in the past.  Excellent stuff.

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Ice cream with tea and sesame seed

Posted by Pi on March 8, 2009

espacesushi3

I would visit this sushi place again just for the dessert!  Espace Sushi recently served up decent sushi and sashimi, but let’s forget that.  Really it was the unique and delicious dessert there that stood out to me.   Unusual twin scoops of ice cream graced the end of our meal:  one flavored with green tea, including little flecks of crispy dried tea leaves, and the other with roasted sesame seed.  For a tea fan, the green scoop tasted pretty good, with a distinct tea aroma and taste without being overpowering.  As for the other scoop? Absolutely stellar.  The rich nuttiness of the sesame came out subtly but strongly with each bite, and I wished I could take a pint home with me.  Both scoops were not nearly as sweet as standard ice creams, but they were still very smooth and creamy.  I don’t know where they got these flavors, or if the restaurant made it all themselves, but I liked it.

espacesushi2

The ice cream went perfectly with the simple but delicious green tea cakes.  Almost exotic, they were denser, cleaner, and much more subtle than the typical buttery cakes found elsewhere in Brussels, yet they still had a smooth texture and light sweetness to them.  Just like the ice cream, each moist bite had a distinct scent and flavor of green tea.  This restaurant apparently stayed true to the idea of sushi when it came to their desserts: keep the flavors and textures pure, uncommonly good, and exquisite.

Espace Sushi
Chaussée de Wavre 325

Atmosphere: A
Languages: French, English

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