In general, lava cakes have always been something that needed to be dined in and often at a decent restaurant or patisserie. Having been in London for quite a while, the trio has an inspiration to set up a take-away outlet for lava cakes with various flavors and this dream comes true as Smoulder this year in May.
Through their experience in baking, they felt that lava cakes provide more satisfaction for its intense flavor as it contains significantly lower amount of flour, butter and sugar when compared to traditional cakes. They also felt that the "molten-ness" at the centre of the cake amplifies the intensity of the flavor they want to bring out in each and every of their lava cake.
Inspired by the various pairing of chocolates in existing chocolate products such as matcha and mocha in frappuccino, fruity flavors in chocolate bars and liquor ice-cream, Smoulder brings about 9 flavors and instead of merely changing the ganache in the core of their lava cakes, Smoulder decides to underbake their cakes to ensure that the flavors is the same throughout the entire lava cake.
Apart from the various flavor they have come up with, we also have to give it to them to strike a balance between the ratio of molten content versus the cake content of each cake. As what one of their partners, Peida has pointed out, if the cake is too "molten", the cake is not structurally stable. On the other hand, if there is too much cake, then it will not have an oozing out effect.
However, before we start to rave about it, we cannot deny the fact that we find it pricey as we needed at least 2-3 lava cakes to satisfy our cravings and that it is a take-away outlet with no dine in (Do note that "take-away" is the concept of Smoulder). Each lava cake costs $3.90, served in a cute brown box with an option of eating it with a mini scoop of ice-cream.
But don't get us wrong. We do like Smoulder and here is their niche. Their non-chocolate flavors blown us away that we made a second trip back within the same week, buying more lava cakes back home to share with our family. Our family members gave a thumbs up to the non-chocolate flavors, in particular the White Chocolate Matcha, White Chocolate Pistachio and White Chocolate Raspberry. In general, they find the flavors novel for lava cakes and it not being overly sweet and cloying.
The distinctive 3 layers are more prominent when consumed at the shop itself. When brought home without warming up, the overall taste focus on the molten core, providing an intense, smooth texture on the palette with a thin layer of the moist cake but lacks the crisp exterior. Anyway, the boxes and their website have instructions to ensure that the quality of the lava cakes are as good as them being consumed on the spot.
Last but not least, these lava cakes are available in box of 3 pieces and 9 pieces (priced at $10.90 and $29.90 respectively) which we find it just right to be presented as gifts.
We have tried their lava cakes on 3 different occasions and as what their shop aims to achieve, all the lava cakes we had so far has an oozing lava core and we thought that it is impressive given that the cakes are already ready for take-away and not bake a-la-minute.
Although their aim is to provide lava cakes with the same intensity as chocolate bonbons, what caught our attention were in fact the white chocolate ones. With chocolate players such as Max Brenner, Laurent Bernard Chocolatier, Jewels Artisan Chocolate and even Bakerzin, all selling chocolate lava cakes, we are definitely picky when it comes to chocolate lava cakes and in this case, we find it too small to our liking and the endorphins kick is not intense. Although the Intense Dark Chocolate is described to have 70% cocao content and that Barry Callebaut Belgian chocolate is used in their chocolate lava cakes, we personally felt that the overall and aftertaste is closer to it being bitterish unlike the fruity aftertaste we often fancy from Valrhona's Manjari and Caraibe. In addition, we prefer to savor our chocolates slowly which a take-away outlet fails to provide.
For those who love green tea latte or matcha-flavoured shakes, White Chocolate Matcha will be something not to missed. The rich creamy molten core makes it akin to eating Matcha Kit Kat or Matcha ice-cream.
Although lemon and raspberries are often described to be sour, the pairing of white chocolate with these fruits gives a light tanginess, making it refreshing and light on the palette.
One of their bestsellers, the White Chocolate Pistachio, caught our attention for the intense nutty flavor and one is definitely not enough.
51 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: 6225 6422
8am to 8pm on weekdays
11am to 3pm on Saturday