Hannah, the Chocolate Princess

Hannah and her Chocolate Corner

THIS pretty, God-fearing, graceful young lady is following in the footsteps of her mother Raquel Toquero Choa, Cebu’s Chocolate Queen.

Hannah’s debut last April 18, a glittering event dubbed “Pasalamat,” fittingly introduced her to society as the “Chocolate Princess.”

Truly her mother’s daughter, Hannah shows great promise as she embarks into the blazing chocolate trail her mother has established in bringing the Philippine cacao to the fore and elevating the once lowly “tablea” —often referred to as “dirty “chocolate—into artisanal sophisticated chocolate products of Ralfe Gourmet.

Raquel takes pride in creating “tablea” or chocolates the old-fashioned “mano-mano” way—an art she learned from her grandmother while living in the hills of Balamban as a little girl, and which she is passing on to her own children.

Chocolate Queen Raquel T. Choa and Chocolate Princess Hannah T. Choa

Hannah, the fifth of Raquel’s and Albert’s eight children, recalls that at the age of 13, she was already helping her mother run The Chocolate Chamber and Casa de Cacao, preparing and serving the “sikwate” in the traditional way.

She and her siblings are called “chamber keepers” with distinct responsibilities.

As “keepers,” they were trained to treat their guests like ”royalty.”

Like her mother, Hannah treasures the Filipino culture, tradition and the respect for the cacao and its propagation.

She is learning to “master”
the preparation of “tablea” from roasting to winnowing to grinding and molding into rounds or blocks. And she can skillfully “pull” the sikwate drink after beating using the “batirol” in a chocolatera to add to the viscosity of the drink.

Hannah feels she is missing out on the carefree life a teenager enjoys but she considers herself privileged.

Her trips abroad with her mother are opening her eyes to a promising future for the Philippine Cacao and its products.

Hannah’s Chocolate Corner was launched this week at The Chocolate Chamber Counter at the Robinsons Galleria.

The products she proudly created are now available.

Hannah’s signature Mini Cacao Nib Cookies

Her signature Mini Cacao Nib Cookies are uniquely her own with just the right amount of sweetness and the crunchy cacao nibs.

The Spanish Cupcakes, made with Spanish Tsokolate sweetened with condensed milk come in different frostings: rustic pink, white and dark chocolate.

All her baked items are done by hand.

Her chocolate creations are every girl’s cravings: White Ganache Pralines—a chocolate blend of tablea, ganache covered with white chocolate and cacao nibs; Pink and Dark Chocolate Bonbons—mixture of cacao liquor filled with tablea ganache, Cacao Dulce—roasted whole cacao nibs cooked with tablea caramel and covered with pink or white chocolate.

A 12th grader, Hannah hopes to be a nutritionist/dietician.

At 18, it’s the perfect time to dream big, take giant leaps and reach for the stars!

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