The Hot Chocolate Festival in Vancouver is on again and it is the time of year where you really crave something hot, sweet and comforting to make you forget the cold and rainy outside and just want to snuggle up inside.
I think more and more cafe`s join every year, so during the four weeks of the festival you got to plan carefully so you get around to as many of them as possible. The idea is that each cafe serves one or more speciality flavoured hot chocolates that you can only get during these few weeks of the year.
This weekend Bob and I went all out, we went to three different cafe`s and enjoyed their hot chocolates, of course accompanied with some sort of delicious treat to go along with the chocolate.
I also went with a few friends the week before, so in total I think I had 6 hot chocolates in a very short amount of time. I love chocolate, so I am not complaining, but now I could use a short break from chocolate (never thought I would say that!!).
I’ll share with you a few of the places we went to and how their hot chocolates tasted.
First up we have the new cafe` that just opened before Christmas, Beaucoup!
They have amazing pastries, so we go there from time to time and enjoy their cozy atmosphere and yummy products.
Their featured hot chocolate was a Dark Chocolate with Smoked Spices. Wow, it was intense and good. Came in a very little cup, so from the looks of it, it appeared small, but once we started sipping the drops it filled us up pretty quickly. To accompany the spicy chocolate we shared a Kouign Amann and a Pain Au Chocolat. Definitely something to come back for 🙂
Here it is.
Next we took a long, long walk to burn off some of the calories and to get some appetite for the next hot chocolate.
We landed at Thomas Haas where it is always packed with people and getting a table there is a challenge, but none the less we always seem to get one 🙂
At this point we felt like eating something more lunch like, so we each had a sandwich. Bob had a pulled pork sandwich and I had a mushroom, red pepper, spinach, cheese sandwich with walnut bread. They were both so delicious that we will definitely make something similar at home very soon.
Then of course comes the hot chocolate, and I will not be ashamed to say that I had 2 cups! One of each flavour.
First I had the Bourbon barrel-aged maple syrup hot chocolate, served with a Douglas fir-infused chantilly (whipped cream). Delish!!! and just so smooth that it covers all of your taste buds to give you a heavenly experience.
Maybe that was the reason for having a second cup 😀
The second hot chocolate was the Barley malt-infused hot chocolate. A little lighter but also great flavoured and it feels so great to drink it. While drinking the hot chocolate and eating the almond covered croissant I managed to completely shut out all other disturbances and just focus on the enjoyment of this treat. Wonderful!
It was impossible to eat anything more that day, so we had to wait with the last cafe that we had planned to go to, till the day after.
We went to Bella Gelateria for our last hot chocolate of the weekend. As the name indicates, it is in fact a gelateria. They are known for their amazing gelato (ice cream) and very special flavours too.
Bob went straight for the gelato and I opted for the Italian Honey Moon hot chocolate with nougat and hazelnuts. It came with a piece of the banana bread, that apparently is to die for. It was definitely good, but not sure if I really wanted to die for it. Maybe it is just an expression 😉
The gelato Bob had was great, black sesame seeds and amaretto, both very creamy and delicious.
My hot chocolate was a bit of a surprise. I took the first sip and ended up with a chunk of something in my mouth. Aha, it was the hazelnuts, chopped, a bit unexpected but once I got used to it, it was really good too.
I can definitely understand why they have won so many awards for their gelato, it is really that good. However I wish they would have done a little bit more with the interior design and the presentation of the hot chocolate and the banana bread. It could have been better in my opinion.
Regardless of the presentation, Bob looks happy 🙂
So we really enjoyed our outing into the hot chocolate festival this year. We are full but happy, and we will definitely come back for more next year.