• The Sacred Fruit

    It goes without saying that the Cacao Bean is a sacred fruit. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia, growing mostly in South&Central America, Africa, and Asia. The earliest known documentation of using cacao seeds is from around 1100 BC during the Mayan period in ancient Mexico. 

    Credit: History on the Net

    The Mayans sought after it for many purposes like cure, meditation, and a getaway for inner spirit and wisdom, praising it as “the food of the gods.” By roasting and grounding the cocoa seeds, the Mayans mixed them with water, chilies, and cornmeal to commence their rituals.  

    Fast forward to today, the list of ingredients on most chocolate products has expanded far past simply cacao. Chocolate is often seen in many products and is much used in the making of desserts and other confectioneries, making it a beloved ingredient for its flavor and versatility. 

    Credit: Frey Abdi

    The cacao tree seeds have a very intense, bitter taste; they must ferment to develop the flavor. Once fermented, the bean is dried to remove the moisture caused by the fermentation. So it’s roasted at high temperatures. After roasting, the shell is removed to bring out the cacao nibs. The cacao nibs are grounded, and pure cocoa powder is formed, ready for use. 

    Quick tip: “Cacao” refers to the raw beans from the cacao tree, and “cocoa” is what you get after roasting and grinding the beans. Keep that in mind!

    Chocolate making undergoes many stages of modifications and transformations, like tempering, melting, freezing, and more. At BRIX, we use chocolate in different forms, whether liquid or solid and in different saturations and ratios, for example, 70% chocolate and 30% dairy. 

    To celebrate World Chocolate Day, Chef Carmen shares her recipe to make the perfect chocolate ganache, which is a glaze, sauce, or filling that combines melted chocolate and cream. This velvety chocolatey creation is ideal for covering or drizzling over desserts like cakes or trifles and filling pastries and truffles. If you want to watch how chocolate ganache is being made, click here. 

    How to Make a Chocolate Ganache?


    210 g Espresso

    10 g Trimoline

    450 g Jivara chocolate


    1. Place the Jivara milk chocolate in a jar.

    2. Put the Trimoline and coffee in a pan and boil.

    3. Pour over the chocolate and blend very well.

    4. Once slightly cooled down, pipe into the chocolate molds or drizzle on any dessert of your choice.  

    If you’re in the mood for something chocolatey, visit brixdesserts.com to book one of our BRIXjourney experiences and try Indonesia’s Cacao Bean or Autumn’s dessert. You can also enjoy our chocolate-inspired Cacao Novelle as an a la carte item or order a box of decadent chocolate truffles from your home.

  • What is BRIX?

    In the mid-1800s, a German mathematician by the name of Adolf Brix developed a scale system to measure the amount of sugar in liquid. No specific reason for coming up with this measurement was mentioned, however, this discovery has helped many chefs since in calculating sugar contents, quality, ratio, and other nutritional values in the food that we consume to help improve the food industry over the years. It was then referred to as BRIX, named after the very same German scientist who discovered the measurement.

    Adolf Brix (1798 – 1870), Germany

    He developed a device to measure these sugary solids called the refractometer, which calculates the sugary index in liquid solutions. 

    The scale is equal to the percent of dissolved solids in a solution. Therefore, a 100 g sample of a solution that measures 50° Brix has 50 g of sugar and other dissolved solids and 50 g of water. The °Brix scale first used a reference temperature of 15.5°C and now commonly uses a temperature of 20°C (68°F).

    Cathy Seamans, Research Biologist

    A variety of natural sugars are used at BRIX to sweeten up their unique desserts, like palm sugar, honey, and more. Chef Carmen Rueda Hernandez and her team also find other ways to bring out the authentic sweetness in every dessert produced by amping the sugars in the dish’s main ingredient. 


    An example of this is the Napoleon. A dessert served at 3Fils that is inspired by its traditional namesake. Though is not made of the same ingredients or the exact sugar measurements as the original recipe has – it’s been ‘BRIXified’. The team set out to create something out of the norm and at the same time, naturally sweet whilst enhancing its sugars. As the dessert includes bananas, there is a focus on the fruit by caramelizing, whipping, and creaming it while increasing its sweetness and earthy flavors with coffee honey, and lime gel.

    If you haven’t tried the Napoleon or any other dessert yet, head to ME Hotel, 3Fils, or book one of our BRIXjourney experiences to try BRIX’s distinctive and rich desserts.  

  • Date with the Moon

    As the night sets by the harbor, and while the crescent moon ascends, you bite into your first date for the day to break your fast. A scene replayed throughout the nights of Ramadan is how Chef Carmen Rueda Hernandez, Head Pastry Chef, and her team at BRIX picture their newest dessert, Date with the Moon. A mouthwatering reflection of their understanding of the sweet flavors of the Holy Month.
    A merging of 3 elements, “Date with the Moon” complements a palate of sweetness, crunchiness, saltiness, and depth of flavor. An experience of sweet conversation between pudding, sauce, and popcorn ice cream and fine mastery of dessert making.
    You begin with the base of dense pudding made out of locally-grown dates, the star fruit of the holy month of Ramadan. Chef Carmen and her team have utilized this beloved ingredient and brought out its true flavor, harnessing its sweetness and texture into a soft and decadent pudding. 

    To enhance its subtle sweetness, a generous serving of salted caramel sauce is added where you’ll be able to taste a hint of salt and burnt sugars, acting as a buffer between the pudding and ice cream.
    The third and final addition, a rich, homemade vanilla ice cream and fresh caramelized popcorn add a crunch to the dessert, one that is truly admired. 
    All in all, this dessert is sought to be an excellent treat for your Ramadan nights, a gastronomic rendezvous with the Moon. Seize the opportunity to try the “Date with the Moon” at 3Fils.
    Available every day throughout the month of Ramadan for only 30AED.

  • From The Roots

    Chef Carmen Rueda brings expertise and creativity into her work of culinary art as the Head Pastry Chef at Brix Dessert, where she innovates and leads a sensorial experience through dessert-making and story-telling. Rueda specializes in chocolate-making and pastry after working with a few of the best-known pastry chefs from around the world. 

    Chef Rueda started her culinary passion at Turims Institute in Madrid, Spain, where she majored in Culinary Science and acquired an in-depth knowledge of traditional pastry techniques, theory, and food philosophy. After which, Carmen earned the opportunity to work alongside Oriol Balaguer, a legendary Spanish pastry chef, and chocolatier residing in Barcelona, who had provided Carmen with the knowledge to the profession of pastry-making.  She then moved to Perpignan to work with world-renowned champion pastry chef, Olivier Bajard, to further expand her knowledge of traditional pastry methods. Years later, Carmen was then selected to partake in a whole new world of innovative techniques, flavors, and creativity when she landed an opportunity as a pastry chef at one of the most experimental restaurants in gastronomy in the world, El Bulli restaurant, at the Roses Catalonia in 2011. 

    She continued to move around Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East soaking in different culinary methods and innovations to master her artistry in pastry-making. From working alongside Heston Blumenthal, owner of 3-Michelin star restaurant, The Fat Duck, in the UK where she was Head Pastry of the Experimental kitchen developing desserts and other sweet creations for Heston’s team. She also worked with Janice Wong of 2AM Dessert Bar in Singapore, where she embraced art and design in food-making.  During her time in South Africa, Chef Carmen supported opening a dessert bar and tapas in CapeTown where she added new and fresh ideas to this unique concept. 

    Chef Rueda won prestigious awards throughout her years. She won 3rd place at the World Chocolate Masters competition in 2013, and again in 2017 where she achieved 3rd place. 

    Chef Carmen now works as the Head Pastry chef at Brix Desserts, the sister restaurant to the MENA award-winning 3Fils, specializing in desserts and experiential culinary journeys.