Saturday, May 2, 2009

Chocolate Madness at the Cyclorama

On Wednesday April 29, this Bostonist had the honor of being a guest judge at this year’s Chocolate Madness event, hosted by NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. Judges were asked to arrive early so that they could get their duties out of the way before the main event. After being handed our categories and escorted to the appropriate tables the judges set about to chose winners in each category: Into the Aether: Heavenly Stars of Showcase and Fancy Cakes; Out of the Fire: Fresh from the Oven; Down to Earth Mother’s Contemporary Candies; Flowing Water: Spoonfuls of Puddings, Ice Creams and Sorbets; and Light as Air: Sweet Treats to Go. Judges were asked to assess items on taste and originality. But the biggest perk of being a judge was the early access to all of the goodies. Once our judging duties were completed we were allowed free reign of the chocolate floor. At first this Bostonist was reticent to disrupt the aesthetics of the displays but volunteers and chefs assured us that it was alright and from then on it was a chocolate free for all.

More than twenty tables of unique chocolate creations were present at this year’s event and each one was surprisingly different from the next. On one side of the room South End Buttery was pouring Tarragon mochas down an ice luge, very tasty with a truly spectacular presentation. This Bostonist’s favorite of the evening was the Harvard Sweet Boutique’s Vanilla Sea Salt Caramel Brownies. While it sounds like there is a lot going on in this dessert everything blended perfectly, the caramel was chewy and the brownie soft and smooth while the salt accentuated both the chocolate and the caramel bringing the intensity of the overall flavor up to unforgettable.

Other memorable discoveries included Better Batch’s Sweet Bites cookies. The Fleur De Sel Caramel sweet bite was an amazing flavor combination, the cookie was crunchy with a smooth chocolate filling and a dollop of caramel on top sprinkled with salt. This cookie truly achieved the perfect balance of salty and sweet, it was being talked about all around the room. The chocolate framboise sweet bite was a softer chocolate cookie with a rich creamy filling topped with a raspberry. The tartness of the raspberry really accented the sweet richness of the chocolate without overpowering it. Canto 6 Bakery also impressed with a yummy chocolate cookie that was both rich and chewy. The tastiest cupcake offering, in this Bostonist’s opinion, was the chocolate cupcake with butter cream icing. The icing was so light, buttery, and delicious that we were a little concerned about it melting if the room got too warm so we helped out by eating several of the moist and chocolaty cupcakes. We ended the night with popcorn, caramel, and chocolate clusters from Care’s Bakery and Catering, definitely something this Bostonist would pick up again; it was a nice balance of crunchy, salty, and sweet.

As people began to pour in at seven-thirty this Bostonist was beginning to really ride the sugar high, so we decided to call it a night after a little people-watching. There was so much chocolate that by the end of the event this Bostonist felt like she was sweating chocolate and there was a general consensus of the need for drinks, how convenient that the Beehive was next door to provide such libations.

Overall this was a great event; a lot of fun with a great staff of volunteers for a good cause. All of the volunteers were really knowledgeable and happy to help judges and guests alike. Also, at $45 a ticket, it was well worth the chocolate coma. We highly recommend this event for chocoholics and those that love them.

This Post originally appeared on the Bostonist

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