Each year, the Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival brings together cafes, confectionaries, and restaurants to create specialty hot chocolate beverages to fundraise for a great cause. This year, proceeds of the festival will be going towards supporting the Downtown Eastside Women’s Job Training Program of the PHS Community Services Society and East Van Roasters. Each year, I join this win-win-win situation by dropping in to every possible location, tasting delicious drinks and snacks, reviewing my stops, and supporting this superb cause.
It would be great to return at some point to sample an almond-milk or soy Lordship’s HC, as Earl Grey is one of my favourite teas and chocolate is one of my favourite things, period.
HoCho 3: Ambrosio Affogato, Earnest Ice Cream
Following my visit to Last Crumb, I went to see CC and mentioned my just-prior festival stop. Hearing of the nearby locations, CC and company decided that another stop was in order – we soon found ourselves at Earnest Ice Cream on Quebec St.
I had not previously been to this infamous Vancouver ice cream shop, but was looking forward to trying this ice cream with “molten drinking chocolate” poured over top of it. I requested a vegan cookies n’ cream to replace the Tahitian vanilla ice cream, and waited for my order in the busy little store.
Unfortunately, my order came with the only other vegan ice cream option – dark chocolate peppermint. While this would ordinarily be delicious, I’m sure, my first taste of the treat was so intensely dark chocolate that I found it a bit overwhelming. The molten chocolate had a bit of a spicy kick to it that could be balanced with cool ice cream; my comrades said that prior to the ice cream melting, the combination was delicious. However, the amount of molten chocolate proved to be a bit much, as it consumed the ice cream and became too rich for our liking.
Accompanying the ice cream was a miniature salted chocolate rye cookie, and I feel confident that if you like chocolate and/or cookies, you would enjoy this! It was so delectably chewy and moist that I could spend all day experiencing the consumption of that cookie (they have regular-size cookies in the store!).
HoCho 4: 801, Bel Café
Today’s stop was made in haste as the store was closing within 9 minutes of my arrival!
I should point out that by the time I reached 49th Parallel and Lucky’s Doughnuts, a head cold for the ages had fully set in and was almost assuredly affecting my sense of taste.
After brief contemplation, I ordered the Saturday Nut Fever option: a hot chocolate with hazelnut flavour and latte art promised in the description. I was not to be disappointed by the lovely fern-like design made of almond milk and chocolate in my mug.
For me personally, this hot chocolate would take a bit of getting used to, as the sweetness I had anticipated finding in a chocolate-hazelnut combination was not present. The nutty flavours were evident, but did not tickle my fancy as I had thought it would (perhaps because I had expected a Nutella-like experience). It would be worth trying again, though, when I am in good health.
Alongside the beverage came hazelnut amaretti and hazelnut truffle, both of which were amazing. The amaretti (this is a new word for me) was a great texture experience and had a pleasant sweetness to it, making it all the better. The truffle was unexpectedly squishy, and should be eaten with a utensil (or your hands if you like finger-licking goodness), but was certainly delicious.
I will likely not be able to get to a location tomorrow, but look forward to catching up with you all when I hit up my next spot.