The classic Oliver Twist query is what the neighbourhood children are asking Deepa tante

Among all the aromas that give me a high, two gain unparalleled precedence — chocolate and coffee.

So you can imagine my delight when I hear about this little store on 4th Cross, OMBR Layout, quite amusingly called ‘Schokolade Tante' (German for ‘Chocolate Aunty').

Named in memory of her German aunt who was instrumental in inspiring her love for chocolate, Deepa Sundaramony herself is now ‘chocolate aunty' for the kids in her neighbourhood. “When I was little, I'd eagerly look forward to my aunt's visits. Every time, she'd ask me to hold out my skirt so she could drop an assortment of my favourite cocoa delights into it,” laughs Deepa.

Several rows of chocolate are elegantly packaged and stacked on its walls like showpieces. The ambience itself is enough to forget your day's blues and give in to your chocolate cravings, especially the truffles.

The liquid grenadine, with pomegranate fruit filling, despite being one of the rarer flavours, is addictive. If you are as impatient as I am, bite into the hard chocolate exterior without waiting for it to melt. Not overwhelmingly sweet, the truffles have an ideal balance of chocolate and filling. Among the twenty-five odd varieties that they have, ‘paan', green apple, peach and choco-reo are a must-try. The festive gift packages are quite the favourite: crackers and diya-shaped ones for Deepavali, lips and hearts for Valentine's Day and even pumpkin-shaped cupcakes for Halloween. The ‘Choco-sms' package (‘scrabble bits', Deepa calls them) has tiny blocks of chocolate with letters embedded in them to create customised messages. She also conducts regular classes in baking and chocolate making at the store.

Main ingredient

Dark chocolate is the main ingredient in most of their recipes and very thoughtfully, there are sugar-free ones available too. “A lesser known fact is that regular consumption of dark chocolate is good for health. But then, a measly little piece is hardly going to suffice as your daily dose of chocolate!” she exclaims.

What better place to let go of your inhibitions this festive season? Kuch meetha ho jaaye at Schokolade Tante!

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Paper PlateJanuary 13, 2011