Anyone with a gourmet sweet tooth will love the new “chocolate bar” that is now open a few steps away from Pest’s bustling Oktogon intersection. Here, the white-gloved staff gives us bonbon specialties characterized by the pursuit of perfection. At CASCA, we encounter incredible flavor combinations like truffles-cherry-dark chocolate or sea salt-caramel-dark chocolate, and we can also taste coffees and hot chocolates made with the same meticulousness as the chocolates – all amid a sleek environment that is reminiscent of an upscale jewelry store.
CASCA opened for business this autumn at Jókai Square, just across Andrássy Avenue from Liszt Ferenc Square. The boutique focuses on chocolate specialties that are not available anywhere else, along with high-quality coffees (410-690 HUF) and hot chocolates to match.
The place is different from other chocolatiers in that they do not work with the usual Belgian bonbons, but use chocolate shavings made from Venezuelan cocoa beans, and the chocolate itself is produced in a small workshop in Italy. The final products in the shop are developed in a “secret lab”, where they sometimes experiment with the flavors for weeks before reaching the desired result.
CASCA uses dark chocolate with 58% cocoa. While many chocolatiers prefer to make candies with the more popular 70% cocoa ratio, CASCA’s chocolate formula allows them to create paper-thin bonbon shells – and this is important, because this way the tongue can almost immediately reach the filling with the first bite.
In addition to bonbons, CASCA also sells dragees, chocolate lollipops, chocolate cream, and our big favorite: instant hot chocolate, which we only have to blend with hot milk to prepare.
The bonbons can be purchased individually (290 HUF/apiece), in a six-piece degustation box, or an even in a larger gift box. However, the shelf life of these chocolates is only 30 days, so if you are buying them as a gift, it’s best to deliver them to the lucky recipient very soon afterwards.
In addition to its selection of sweets, the shop’s history is special, as well: this is where the city’s first independent hairdressing salon opened in the ’50s, which closed down only three years ago. The current interiordesign is the work of Hungarian graphic designer Miklós Kiss, who strove to match the design with the interior space perfectly; despite being very sleek, the result is still exciting.