Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

Little bites of Marcolini heaven

By
July 15th, 2016



PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Macarons have arrived at Pierre Marcolini Haute Chocolaterie at Ala Moana Center.

If you have not yet experienced Pierre Marcolini Haute Chocolaterie on the third floor of Ala Moana Center's Ewa Wing, now is a good time. In addition to the chocolatier’s fine Belgium chocolates, the boutique has welcomed some delicious new arrivals.

Although chocolate is at the heart of the company's business, after tasting their macarons, it's hard to go back to any other. These shimmer in beautiful pastels, some with a mica-like shine, and come in 10 intense flavors ranging from dark chocolate to salted butter caramel to rose water buttercream.

The meringue shells are so delicate, it feels like a bite of air. The cost is $3.80 per piece, $17 for a box of four, and $32 for a box of eight.

Marcolini’s signature Les Coeurs (hearts) are now available in six flavors—passionfruit, lime, matcha, nougat, pistachio and salted buttter caramel—beyond his signature framboise, or raspberry, flavor. A four-piece boxed assortment is $17, the eight-piece box is $28.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her food coverage in print in Wednesday's Crave section. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

Pierre Marcolini's beautiful chocolate les couers, or hearts, now come in signature framboise, or raspberry, flavor, plus passionfruit, lime, matcha, pistachio, nougat and salted butter-caramel flavors.

Macarons in rosewater, dark chocolate, dark chocolate caramel, lemon tea, cassis, coffee, vanilla, pistachio, and salted butter caramel.

Natural almond and butter, chocolate chip and raspberry Financiers are also new, sold in a six-piece box for $27.

A macaron tree in the store's window on the third floor of the center, outside Bloomingdale's.

Samples of Magnolia Bakery chocolate banana pudding await

By
March 31st, 2016



PHOTO BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

Magnolia Bakery's chocolate banana pudding debuts tomorrow, with free samples while supplies last at the Ala Moana Center shop, no foolin'.

Fans of Magnolia Bakery's classic banana pudding will find a new treat awaits on April Fool's Day. A new chocolate version features layers of chocolate pudding, OREO wafers, banana slices and chocolate shavings.

The chocolate banana pudding launched earlier this month at Magnolia Bakery locations in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicaco, and to mark its arrival in Hawaii, the Ala Moana Center Ewa Wing bakery kiosk will be offering free samples April 1 to 3, while supplies last.

The chocolate banana pudding will be available at the bakery café in small ($3.50), medium ($5), large ($6.50) and 64-ounce party bowls ($35). For more information, call (808) 942-4132.

Kiosk hours are 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays, and 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Cafe hours are 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays to Saturdays, and 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

Eating SF: Heaven on earth at b. patisserie

By
April 10th, 2014



kouign amann
SAN FRANCISCO — When you live in Hawaii, far from any great land mass, you at one point will become a mule. You know the drill. You're getting on an airplane to get off this rock. Friends find out. They tell you beforehand to deliver this to so-and-so, and bring back things. Even if you don't speak to them beforehand, they will find out from Facebook or Twitter posts and text you.

So it is that I received a text while in San Francisco to go straight to b. patisserie and bring home kouign amann. "You have to go! It's orgasmic!!!!"

OK, so it's hard to ignore that many exclamation points, so I made friends with my cab driver and had him at my beck and call on the day of my departure. After dropping me off at the Persian restaurant Maykadeh for lunch, I promised a pear croissant in his future if he picked me up a few hours later and took me to b. patisserie en route to the airport later in the afternoon.

b. patisserie is the work of Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute.

Leong began her career as pastry chef at Gary Danko, before leaving for Europe and working at restaurants and patisseries in Paris, Barcelona and Copenhagen. She seems to have brought back all their secrets because her pastries are divine.

People are particularly enamored by the kouign amann, a caramelized croissant with light candy crunch exterior and fluffy interior, that originated in Brittany, France. The ones I ordered were filled with chocolate, at about $4.50 apiece but soooooo worth the trouble of lugging them onto the plane.

I went straight from the plane to dinner, and they still tasted fantastic 11 hours later as my friends and I surreptitiously gobbled them up after dinner, like drug addicts in the dark parking lot beneath the restaurant.
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If you want to go or have a friend headed to San Francisco soon, b. patisserie is at 2821 California St. @ Divisadero St., Pacific Heights. Call 415.440.1700.

Big Island Candies celebrates new Ala Moana store

By
November 19th, 2013



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A limited-edition, chocolate-dipped Hello Kitty design graces T-shirts at the newly open Big Island Candies store in the new Ala Moana Centercourt.Nadine Kam photos

Big Island Candies hosted a couple of events to celebrate the opening of its new Ala Moana Center store, in the renovated street level Center Court, that has welcomed other retailers such as Swatch, Minamoto Kitchen, Papyrus, Island Sole and Freaky Tiki Tropical Optical.

Events started with a store blessing and official opening the morning of Nov. 15, followed by a cocktail reception Nov. 17, with chocolate dipping on site.

The new 1,800 square foot store is packed wall-to-wall with the company's signature chocolate-dipped shortbread cookies, plus a range of chocolate-covered to red velvet brownies, and other chocolate-dipped versions of island treats such as dried ika, arare, li hing mui and iso peanuts.

New products include Mika ume shiso-filled milk chocolates, toffee-coated chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, pineapple shortbread, and chocolate-filled shortbread "Manju."

Many of the goodies are packaged in gift boxes for easy holiday shopping, including a design by Sig Zane.

Prices start at a reasonable $6.50 for a package of chocolate-covered animal crackers, or $12.50 for a box of Mika chocolates.

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The gleaming new store is dressed for the holidays, with plenty of edible gift items packaged and ready to deliver to friends and family.

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Sharita Solmerin was dipping Big Island Candies signature shortbread cookies in milk chocolate during a cocktail reception that took place Nov. 17.

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biika

A little bit of chocolate with ika might turn non-seafood lovers into believers.

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Macadamia nut shortbread dipped in a creamy blend of white chocolate and matcha green tea. (more…)

Twice is nice for Kulu Kulu Cake

By
October 16th, 2013



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Kulu Kulu's chocolate cake was among the confections sampled at the grand opening of the patisserie's Eaton Square, Waikiki, location.Nadine Kam photos

After a successful first year at Shirokiya at Ala Moana Center, Kulu Kulu Honolulu has opened its second patisserie at Eaton Square in Waikiki, on Oct. 15, with a blessing and cake for breakfast, sending guests back to work with a smile.

There's no way a person could not smile when facing a refrigerator case full of eye-catching treats in candy colors, and there was also no way any of us could walk out without trying more than one of the confections.

The boutique will continue to specialize in its Japanese-style pastries, including its popular light-as-air strawberry roll cake, made daily with airy pound cake, light cream and fresh strawberries.

Standouts include the Diamond Head Puff, a cream puff ode to Hawaii; the strawberry chiffon cake; and light, creamy soft soufflé cheesecake. If you're the sort who feels remorse when eating dessert, this non-dense cheesecake may ease your guilt.

Other popular confections include cakes made of mango, Okinawan sweet potato and Hawaii's seasonal fruits and flavors.
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The newest Kulu Kulu Cake is at Eaton Square Shopping Center, 438 Hobron Lane #102. Call 808.753.0843. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.  Visit www.kulukulucakes.com

kulufaves

The soft soufflé cheesecake and strawberry chiffon cake were two opening day favorites.

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Kulu Kulu Honolulu vice president and marketing manager Shigeki Higashi, right, and manager/chief patissier Ayaka Ota. (more…)

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