Matthew Chow is not shy to admit that he is a chocolate lover. So it comes as no surprise, that he founded Matt’s The Chocolate Shop – a two-year-old business that specialises in dark chocolate fudge cakes.
Said Matt, “My philosophy is to either eat healthy or to go all out and eat the full-blown gourmet thing, not the sugary sweet stuff that doesn’t taste so good. So our desserts are high quality stuff that appeals. For instance, my chocolate cakes contain the pure, rich chocolate flavour – it consists of delicious and fudgey chocolate at its best.”
Chocolate shop has humble beginnings
Matt’s The Chocolate Shop has humble beginnings – it started when Matt, a former banker, prepared a batch of his chocolate cakes to his colleagues. And it turned out that they liked the cakes so much that they couldn’t stop ordering it. So Matt decided to quit his banking job, took a massive leap of faith – and started Matt’s The Chocolate Shop at a small shop house in Amoy Street.
A loyal fan base of customers
Now, Matt’s humble chocolate shop has definitely grown. Today, they have a loyal fan base of customers, who return to indulge regularly in Matt’s yummy chocolate treats. And besides the Amoy Street shop at Tanjong Pagar, Matt also has another newer branch, which is a small takeaway store located at One Raffles Place – this opened about six months ago.
Matt’s next project is to eventually be able to sell his chocolate cakes and other desserts at a small shop house café in one of the neighbourhoods in Singapore. He said, “This will allow people in different parts of Singapore, not just the Central Business District, to find us. Orchard Road is highly accessible, but the rentals are very high there. So I’m thinking of one of the casual neighbourhoods, where people can hang out and relax over desserts and coffee.” However, he adds that before embarking on this, he wants to recuperate and rest a bit, first.
I was invited to a food tasting session at Matt’s Chocolate Shop. And being an ardent chocolate lover, I simply could not say resist this opportunity to taste the gourmet chocolate treats.
During my tasting session, Matt had also just introduced a couple of new items to the menu – a Christmas log cake as well as a Pretzels & Fudge combination – to cater to popular demand. So I got the chance to sample these too.
Here are the highlights of my taste testing.
Small Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake
This is Matt’s signature product – a no-frills dark chocolate cupcake, topped with a layer of decadent chocolate ganache.
The moment I took a forkful, the taste of the rich chocolate really hit me – it is full of rich, decadent chocolate that is a complete delight to the senses. At the same time, the texture is also just right – the cake is slightly crumbly but at the same time, it holds itself together quite well and does not break apart when it is cut.
According to Matt, this cake can taste great either heated up, at room temperature, or when taken straight out of the fridge. He explained, “When you warm our chocolate cakes up, it becomes like a melty cake and gets all chocolatey and gooey. But when it’s cold, it tastes like a mud pie, and is similar to biting a chocolate bar.”
At this point, Matt offered to heat up the cake in the store for me, and I agreed readily. When it was hot straight out of the oven, I found that the warm, gooey chocolate cake almost melts in the mouth. And suddenly I felt as though I was on Cloud Nine. I definitely recommend this cake to be heated up – and consumed together with some vanilla ice cream. Now that would be a perfect blend of textures and flavours.
Matt agreed with me. He said, “It goes well heated up and served with ice cream because of the warm and cold textures. But you need all sorts of machines and equipment to make ice cream, and at this stage, it’s quite troublesome.”
This Small Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake costs $4.00 each.
Christmas Log Cake
Matt’s Christmas log cake, which has just been introduced into stores this week, is quite different to many other varieties. That’s because it comprises of his signature chocolate cake, mixed together with the chocolate fudge ganache that’s used in his dark chocolate truffles.
The result is a very rich and satisfying Christmas log cake that almost melts in your mouth. The texture of the cake is quite smooth and the quality of the chocolate is instantly apparent.
However, I couldn’t really detect the differences between the chocolate cake and the ganache, though. But this had been intended, according to Matt. He explained, “Because of the truffle that we put inside, the chocolate Swiss roll is camouflaged. In the end, it looks more like truffle than cake, but that’s how you get the denseness, anyway.”
I enjoyed the sweetness of the chocolate – it is just right. At the same time, it isn’t too addictive and one slice of this will leave you feeling happy and satisfied.
The Christmas Log Cake is $7.00 for an individual portion and $60.00 for a 1kg cake.
Pretzels & Fudge
This is another new product that was introduced for the Christmas season, but Matt said that he is considering keeping it as a permanent fixture if it sells well this month.
On why he came up with this product, Matt explained, “People keep telling us that our fudge is awesome and that it’ll be good to dip something into it, like Yan Yan or Pocky. But I felt that potato chips do not work – so we decided to get pretzels and use our fudge as a nice dipping sauce.”
The pretzels went really well with Matt’s signature fudge. The crunchy and salty flavour from the pretzel complemented the slightly bittersweet dark chocolate fudge.
I’ll admit that the worst thing about this… was that I struggled to stop myself from eating more, once I had started munching on these. Well, but I can’t say that Matt hadn’t warned me that this item was addictive!
The Pretzels & Fudge are priced at $7.00 per box.
Small Strawberry Fudge Cake
This is essentially Matt’s signature chocolate fudge cake – infused with a generous layer of strawberry ganache on the top.
This tastes pretty similar to the Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake. The chocolate flavour is rich like the original version and the cake crumbles slightly in the mouth. However, the extra strawberry flavour definitely puts a new spin on the shop’s signature dessert and I thought that this was very interesting. I could immediately taste the strawberry flavour when I tried the top of the cake. But I noticed that the inner layers of this cake did not contain any strawberry though – this consisted mainly of Matt’s delicious signature chocolate cake.
However, Matt pointed out that this cake should not be heated up, unlike the original – because it would cause the strawberry ganache to melt and get overpowered by the cake’s chocolate flavour.
The Small Strawberry Fudge Cake sells for $4.50 each.
Dark Chocolate Truffles
Crafted by hand and then rolled in 100% pure cacao, these bite-sized chocolate truffles too, are a delight to eat. When I took a bite, the rich, heavenly chocolate truffles completely exploded in my mouth.
The taste of the chocolate here is very rich, satisfying and appealing. The chocolate is very moist and delicious and the amount of sweetness is just right. One or two pieces of these truffles will definitely keep your chocolate cravings satisfied.
Agreed Matt, “The truffle can be quite jialat after a while. But we made the chocolate very rich, to give people a good chocolately kick and savour these slowly. It’s nice to enjoy something once in a while, rather than finishing a whole container in one pop.”
To ensure that these truffles are rich, satisfying and appealing, Matt decided to use 60 per cent dark chocolate in the recipe. He explained, “We want to appeal to a wider audience. 60 per cent is not so niche – it is somewhere between dark and normal chocolate, and it isn’t sweet at all. If we made the chocolate stronger, a lot of people would not be able to appreciate the bitterness.”
These truffles cost $12.00 for a box of nine pieces.
Comprising of chocolate and espresso flavoured sponge, soaked with Baileys and wrapped in layers of creamy mascarpone cheese, this is a timeless Italian classic.
The moment I took a spoonful of the tiramisu, the flavours all blended together perfectly. They were distinctive, yet at the same time, I thought they tasted really great together. The moist sponge cake really melted in my mouth. Together with a generous infusion of Baileys and a scoop of mascarpone cheese with every mouthful, it is a really addictive dessert – and I really found I had to keep on fighting the urge to take yet another spoonful.
But I’m not the only one though – because apparently, even Matt himself confesses to be addicted to the tiramisu. He said, “Until now, I am still addicted to this tiramisu and when I have a chance, I grab a box and have it by myself.”
The tiramisu sells for $7.00 for a small portion and $10.00 for a large portion.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Compared to some of Matt’s other desserts, these extremely thin chocolate chip cookies, which are of odd shapes and sizes, may look simple in contrast. But do not be fooled by their outer appearance.
The moment that I bit into one, I was completely blown away. These bite-sized cookies are extremely light and very crunchy – and extremely addictive, because there is a salty aftertaste that really makes you crave for more. In fact, I think that a whole box of these could easily be eaten in a single sitting, as they are not too filling either.
These chocolate chip cookies cost $6 for a 150g box.
I really enjoyed these gourmet desserts – and definitely recommend these to dessert lovers out there, who are interested in a rich, satisfying treat after a main meal.