At first glace, La Cuchara de Madera (the wooden spoon) feels a little bit like you have just fallen down a rabbit hole with Alice and entered Wonderland. There are cakes everywhere. The ones in the display case are strangely giant, covered in white icing, dripping with chocolate and sprinkled with large marshmallows. The ones above the display case are all intriguingly small. Little cupcakes dangling on a mini ferres wheels, trays overflowing with brownies, chocolate covered fruits, nut cakes. There are cakes on top of cakes, spilling over and dripping onto more cakes. One moment they looked delicious and then, just like that, none of the desserts looked good. It may have been too much for me, but it wasn’t for the steady stream of locals coming in to satisfy their sweet tooth.
But we had come for a hot chocolate not for cake, so we ordered ours and sat at a table along the wall, far enough away from the counter overflowing with sugar to not be distracted by it. As is usually the case in the DR, it was hot outside – really hot – but luckily the air con inside was set so cold that it was the perfect temperature to enjoy a hot cocoa. Ours arrived in a white mug with a couple of marshmellows and a straw. I had never thought of drinking hot chocolate out of a straw but I tried it, and it worked fine. The hot chocolate was nice and creamy, not very sweet, with a nutty flavour.
Verdict: These little cake stores are popping up all over the city. Not sure Santo Domingo needs all that cake, but it is not a bad hot chocolate offering. La Cuchara de Madera, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic