Wednesday, February 01, 2017
It is, once again, that wonderful time of year- when I run around from one end of the city to t...
It is, once again, that wonderful time of year- when I run around from one end of the city to the other in search of delicious hot chocolate. It's hard to believe that I've been participating in the Hot Chocolate Festival for four years now! As always, I'm here to provide you with a nice overview of all the flavours I've enjoyed (or perhaps not found quite so...hot. ha!)
I started off the festival at Butter Baked Goods as I love their little shop and they rarely disappoint. 'The Bee's Knees' certainly met my expectations- a white hot chocolate with lavender and honey plus a lovely dollop of honey whipped cream on top, it was just the perfect amount of sweetness that left me with a huge smile on my face from the first sip. The shortbread was buttery goodness as well. For as long as I've been going, they've charged $5.25 only for their hot chocolate. Super deal!
On to Gem Chocolates. I'll admit, they've risen quite steadily on my list of favourite hot chocolate locations in the past few years. Offering a different flavour weekly, I find their menu to be quite unique and fun (without crossing into gimmicky territory like certain places that I won't name...) Their first offering is 'Flower Power', a flower blossom infused drink that I really enjoyed. The floral note wasn't overpowering at all, but quite soothing, and it went well with the smooth milk chocolate. The flower design marshmallows were also quite cute and unique- I kept thinking they were chocolates before I actually ate them. All their hot chocolates are $7!
Last year, I started off the festival at The Last Crumb- I'm glad I didn't do so this year, as I wasn't particularly excited after their 'Strawberries in the Snow'. Don't get me wrong, it's not bad, but it also wasn't amazing. The chocolate itself isn't very obvious (which I suppose isn't surprising as it's white chocolate based), but the strawberry flavour gets completely lost in translation after the first few sips. I did like the strawberry jam thumbprint cookie though. For $6.83, my general feeling is pretty much just 'ehhh'.
On the bright side, I'm super hyped for this next one: Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionary. While the location itself is quite out of the way, a nice nostalgic field trip is what all of us need once in a while. Unfortunately, 'All That and a Bag of Chips' is no longer available, but I have no doubt that their other offerings will be equally as impressive. Their milk chocolate drink was mixed with salted toffee (DROOL!), and garnished with chocolate potato chip toffee plus a mini bag of chips on the side. Gee, where do I even start? As I said on Instagram, it really was the perfect mix of sweet and salty. And of course- the toffee! I never wanted to put my cup down and stop drinking. For only $6, I'd hop on a bus and head straight to The Heights right away!
Anyway, back to the main topic! I stopped by for 'Arctic Ice', a white chocolate drink infused with mint. (You all remember how much I love mint, right?!) This reaaaaally hit the spot after a long morning at work. Again, I have to mention how much I actually enjoy white chocolate based drinks, and the refreshing mint was perfect. The contrast of their frozen mint truffle with the warm drink really made for a great combination. While not as exciting, the chocolate peppermint biscochito was an added bonus, and for $5.25, I really think it's worth heading up to UBC for this!
While I wasn't originally planning on stopping by Diva at the Met (especially knowing how pricey it is...), I somehow ended up there on Friday evening. 'Peppermint Pole Dance' certainly sounded like something I would enjoy, but in the end, the taste just didn't justify the price. Perhaps it was the addition of the peppermint schnapps that ruined it for me- I don't enjoy alcohol, least of all the aftertaste of it. The supposed infusion of pineapple wasn't at all apparent to me, but I did like the streusel topping. My favourite part of this was probably the delicious chocolate pillow cookie which was so perfectly chewy. My verdict? For $11.50, I'd give this a pass unless you're a documented fan of peppermint schnapps (and even then.....).
Of course, I'd like to end this post with something exciting, so I'm really glad that Temper Chocolate is next. Making the trek out to West Van for 'Princess and the Frog' and 'Memoirs of a Geisha' was well worth it. I couldn't decide which one I wanted more, so I grabbed Princess and the Frog for myself, but actually ended up switching after. The former certainly has an aromatic and rich pistachio flavour with a great chocolate base, but I prefer Memoirs of a Geisha- a frothy white chocolate with tart freeze-dried raspberries that help cut into the sweetness of the white chocolate. There's even a lovely hint of matcha that helps make it one of my favourites. Princess comes with a rose macaron, and the Geisha with a rich matcha cookie, and they're both $8 each. I definitely recommend Temper if you haven't been before- they also have beautiful desserts reminiscent of Faubourg or Thierry. (and apologies for the weird fluorescent green film on top of the Princess drink- they didn't seem to think of how quickly a chocolate lilypad would melt once placed over a hot drink....)
IN SUMMARY aka tl;dr
STOP, DROP, AND GO GET ONE NOW
- butter baked goods: $5.25 (plus tax)
- glenburn soda fountain: $6 (before tax)
- doughgirls comfort kitchen: $5.25 (plus tax)
- temper chocolate: $8 (before tax)
- gem chocolates: $7 (before tax)
- chocolate arts: $8.35 (plus tax)
- the last crumb: $6.83 (plus tax)
HANG ON TO YOUR WALLET
- diva at the met: $11.50
hot chocolate fest 2017: weeks 1 & 2By Rosalind Chow
Butter Baked GoodsBy Rosalind Chow
Chocolate ArtsBy Rosalind Chow
Gem ChocolatesBy Rosalind Chow
The Last CrumbBy Rosalind Chow
Glenburn Soda FountainBy Rosalind Chow
DoughgirlsBy Rosalind Chow
Diva at the MetBy Rosalind Chow
Temper Chocolate & PastryBy Rosalind Chow