This afternoon we attended the YYC Hot Chocolate Fest Launch at Southcentre Mall put on by Meals on Wheels. We got there around 3:00pm so that we were able to chat with each of the vendors before it was time to actually sample their hot chocolates.
If you don’t know what YYC Hot Chocolate Fest is, it takes place in February every year and participating cafes, restaurants and chocolatiers compete for the coveted titles of Best Hot Chocolate, Best Spirited Hot Chocolate and the Cup That Runneth Over. A portion of each of the hot chocolates supports Calgary Meals on Wheels and that in turn provides meals to Calgarians in need.
This year there was five vendors that you could try their hot chocolates. There was Waves with their Cherry Bomb Dark Hot Chocolate, Good Mood Brewery with their Malted Hot Chocolate, High-Vibe Health with their Chocobroth, Sauce Italian Market with their Nanaimo Bar Hot Chocolate, and Bubblemania with their Earl Grey Hot Chocolate.
All the vendors were willing to talk about their creations and were ready for people to try their newest hot chocolate for the month of February. So here is what we heard and what we thought of the samples we got to try.
Good Mood Brewery- Malted Hot Chocolate
This hot chocolate is an ode to malted barley, the simple ingredient at the heart of all our beers! Malted cocoa and hot milk – topped with toasted marshmallows and malted candy sprinkle.
It was delicious, even better than last year. The process of creating
this hot chocolate is different than last year since there is less sugars added to this hot chocolate and you could tell. It was not as sweet as it was last year. This is one of my daughters favourites just as it was last year. They had a ton of people visit last year and they will have no problem having a ton of come visit again this year.
Waves – Cherry Bomb Dark Hot Chocolate
The Cherry Bomb is a cherry explosion with a bit of heat. The drink is made from our Belgian dark chocolate chips melted down into milk and Cherry and Cayenne Pepper syrup. This delicious drink is topped with whip cream and garnished with child pepper flakes and a maraschino cherry. This drink is best with milk but is also great as a vegan friendly drink with the choice of almond, oat, soy or coconut milk.
When you hear that there is cayenne in this hot chocolate, do not be alarmed. It is a subtle heat at the end and it was not over powering or anything. You really get the cherry, then the chocolate, and then a little heat. Compared to the past hot chocolates Waves have done this was the best.
Sauce Italian Kitchen and Market – Nanaimo Bar Hot Chocolate
Chocolate Brownie, chocolate sauce, vanilla custard whipped cream, toasted coconut, topped with a little Nanaimo bar sample. A fabulous creative way to celebrate a great Canadian treat!
This was absolutely delicious, such a great way to combine a hot chocolate and a favourite Canadian treat. When sampling this hot chocolate you get all the flavours of a Nanaimo bar without needed to eat one. They do give you a small piece of Nanaimo, even though I don’t think you need the little piece because the photo chocolate tastes so good. This was another favourite of the samples.
High-Vibe Health – Chocobroth
A rich and satisfying combination of 48-hour simmered organic beef and grass-fed finished bone broth, organic almond milk, organic raw cacao, organic maple syrup, organic pure vanilla and organic stevia create the perfect combination of sweet and savoury!
This is the one we were most nervous about trying because of the bone broth aspect, we thought it would be a more savoury drink than a sweet one. To our surprise it was sweet and delicious. You taste the chocolate right away and you don’t event taste the savoury aspects of the broth. Don’t be scared to try this amazing take on a hot chocolate.
Bubblemania – Earl Grey Hot Chocolate
Our hot chocolate is made with steeped earl grey tea leaves and finished with a big pile of whipped cream on top.
This hot chocolate has a great tea flavour complimented with the chocolate. We were shocked that they used Twinnings Tea, and after talking with the lady she said they tried a bunch of different teas and Twinnings offered the most authentic Earl Grey flavouring that complimented the chocolate. It was a nice balance of the flavours. We were not surprised at their creation since they had the amazing Sesame Hot Chocolate last year.
If you would like to sample any of this year’s hot chocolates you can visit yychotchocolate.com to find all participants. Remember every purchase of a hot chocolate helps provide meals to Calgarians in need.