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Get ready to indulge your sweet tooth at chocolate-y extravaganza
Chocolate lovers unite! Vancouver’s fourth annual Hot Chocolate Festival returns January 18 to February 14, offering over 60 original flavours of hot chocolate from Vancouver’s most popular chocolatiers and cafés. All festival sales go towards the PHS Community Services Society that provides training and employment to Downtown Eastside women. A printable walking map is available to guide your sweet tooth in the right direction. Here are 10 stops that shouldn’t be missed.
This year, Soirette Macarons and Tea festival creations celebrate Vancouver’s local attractions. Flavours such as the “Granville Island Grocery List” are inspired by local ingredients and combine a blend of beet and saffron hot chocolate. The four Vancouver-inspired festival flavours can be enjoyed at Soirette’s Coal Harbour location.
Made with 100 per cent cocoa butter, Leonidas Chocolates practices a tried-and-true Belgian tradition when it comes to making chocolate. This same practice is used to create unique hot chocolate creations. Stop by and enjoy a cup of peppermint and turmeric, or coconut- and pineapple-flavoured hot chocolate while taking in a gorgeous view of the Vancouver seaside at their waterfront cafe.
UVA Wine Bar plans to break all the rules with their “cold” version of hot chocolate, like a chilled mocha rooibos tea. Their alcoholic options provide the perfect night cap if you’re feeling adventurous – we suggest a hot chocolate inspired tequila cocktail infused with cacao beans and coffee. With the help of Bittered Sling extracts, these concoctions are truly original.
French Made Baking returns to the festival offering a mix of classic hot chocolate flavours with modern vegan and non-dairy options. Favourite selections, such as a strong dark chocolate mix wtih pear or almond milk are back by popular demand. The native French owners continue their mission to bring the genuine taste of France to Vancouver, and will serve up their hot chocolate creations every day of the festival.
Koko Monk, a festival newcomer, is looking to make a name for itself with its creative blend of hot chocolate infused with curry spices. “The Brunette Bangle” combines signature chocolate with the exotic taste of curry. Visitors of Koko Monk can also take part in a blind taste test of two of their homemade chocolates flavours. Prepare to indulge!
Sales from Vancouver’s Hot Chocolate Festvial will support East Van Roasters and their partnership with PHS Community Services Society. Through the services of PHS, female residents of downtown East Vancouver’s Rainier Hotel are able to take part in valuable training and work experience at East Van Roasters. Stop by to taste the delicious results of their labour and contribute to a good cause.
Sure, it’s technically not “real” chocolate, but that doesn’t make white chocolate any less delicious. Schokolade uses local dairy ingredients as the base of their “Snow White” steamed milk hot chocolate. Their handmade products allow for a variety of combinations and genuine flavours.
Thierry has some of the purest hot chocolate the festival has to offer. Their “Ampamakia” is 68 per cent chocolate and made from a special plantation-grown cocoa exclusive to their store. Need more of a fix? Try their “Trio of Chocolate”, also 68 per cent chocolate and served with a side that includes a white chocolate disk and white chocolate ice cream.
Award-winning Gem Chocolates pride themselves on using traditional artisan methods to create a diverse array of chocolates. In addition, each chocolate is made from mostly organic ingredients and fair trade products. Some notable flavours to watch out for at this year’s festival include licorice, orange, cherry and fig.
Yes!! Bella Gelateria, will use their signature “gBars” (frozen gelato on a stick) to flavour hot chocolate. Six festival gelato flavours will be available to stir in to your choice of milk, dark or white hot chocolate. Taste. Explosion.
Each serving will be paired with Vancouverr’s own To Die For Banana Bread.