When the weather turns cold, I work from home, turn my bed into a sprawling office. Papers, laptop, pens and pencils everywhere. I don’t leave the bed for hours at a time, having everything set in place. Steaming mug of tea, telephone, plenty of moisturizer, and my black handbag. I go out for dinner and in the late evenings, the bed becomes a fine entertainment center. Magazines, books, and movies instead of emails on the laptop. The other night I propped pillows against the wall, a backrest for some evening reading. I rested my eyes, just a second, and then remembered something from my morning jaunt to midtown. Chocolate. Lazy, I swung my arm over the side of the bed and into the handbag, retrieving a single plastic package with four shiny pods.
Ah, Oriol Balaguer, you made my evening.
I had four chocolate pods. Three were the same flavors, two which I intended to share with a friend, but completely forgot. The pod in question is named Mascleta, perhaps one of the best known chocolate pods by Barcelona-based chocolatier and pastry chef, Oriol Balaguer.
You know, eating in bed is still taboo for me. I have a brilliant knack for spilling and knocking things over. Thus to eat – especially chocolate, in bed was a big no-no. But I was home alone and there was nothing to stop me.
And so I tipped my head back and popped the first one in my mouth. Literally pop. Then pop, pop, pop. It was crazy! If I closed my eyes and put hands over my ears and focused, the noise of the poppoppop in my head was almost too much to bear. But then you open your eyes and feel a silky melt of the dark chocolate shell giving way to hazelnut praline, intense…a praline studded with POP ROCKS. I should have told you earlier. The Mascleta is no ordinary ganache-filled chocolate, but one which couples pop rocks and hazelnut praline into a single confection. The pop rocks are coated in cocoa butter to prevent pre-popping before they hit your mouth. Like I said, crazy…in the most wonderful way of course.
I eyed the two remaining Mascletas in the plastic bag, now warm from resting on my stomach. Welll I’m not sure if I’m seeing Shannon tomorrow. Here goes the next one. pop. Pop. POP. Ahhh crazy, crazy! I loved it and could not help but laugh out loud. Or was that cackle? The crazy pops made me feel magical, or evil, a sorceress?! I don’t know. But then I ate the third, boldly biting right in, no patience for a luxuriously slow melt. I wanted the pop! the pop! and then the buttery praline, and finally chocolate.
And only after the Mascletas were all gone, did I calm down. I closed my eyes, ahhh yes, that was excellent. I reached for hot tea. And realized there was one more pod waiting. Just waiting.
Rose, a scent and flavor that marks an ideal end to each evening. Dark and milk chocolate blended, a faint but distinctive kiss of rose water. That’s one classy finish.