Friday, September 17, 2010

Chocolate anyone

It was recently brought to my attention that there are people who don't know about the Chocolate Brunch at the Langham hotel. Well, you're in for a treat. The chocolate brunch happens every Saturday from Fall to Spring at the Langham and it is always a little bit different. Imagine a huge room filled with every chocolate delight you can think of. Now imagine that there is also a crepe stand and cotton candy. And you might be coming close to the Langham's chocolate brunch experience. This year I was invited to a preview event we got to sample some of the experimental goodies planned to roll out at this years brunch. This event was eclipsed only by my visit to the brunch itself when I went with family about a month ago. We went for my cousin's birthday. It was amazing. The preview allowed me to know just what chocolate delights to head for. Sometimes all of that chocolaty goodness can be overwhelming. I mean that's a lot of chocolate. And the waiters will give you strategies on what beverages to drink to get the most out of your experience (I usually go with sparking water and tea). This year they changed it up a bit, adding different textures and tastes to the normal array of cakes, tarts and crepes. There was ice cream, cotton candy and even some options that included a savory element.
My favorites were the banana chocolate bacon tartlett. Not flavors I expected to go together but man were they delightful, the salt in the bacon kept the banana from being too sweet and veered the whole thing into a totally different taste direction. The crepe station was as always amazing and the people working it were deligtful as people asked for different combinations of crepe batter and fillings. Mine was chocolate crepe batter with mixed berries and grand manier, which they lit on fire! I love some fire with my Saturday morning chocolate. Another favorite was the chocolate and passion fruit mousse cup. The tart intensity of the passion fruit mingled perfectly with the smooth creaminess of the chocolate and the tiny crunchies on the top added the perfect texture addition. Another favorite was the raspberry mousse creamy and tart it added a palate cleansing interluded between bites of bitter, rich and creamy chocolate treats. New this year, there was also a truffle bar. These are lovely, the flavors are inventive and the chocolate is such a high qualtiy that it just melts in your mouth leaving residual flavors that will have you craving them again in a week. (Well, I was anyway.) And of course, anyone who gives me fresh cotton candy in the middle of the city is a winner in my book. So, my assessment is GO to the Langham Hotel Cafe Fleuri's Chocolate Bar. Bring your girlfriends, your parents, your boyfriend. Just go. You won't be disappointed.


A few weeks ago I somehow snagged an invitation to a Starbucks coffee tasting. I tasted the Galapagos blend. To be honest much of what was going on was a little over my head. The coffee we drank was brewed on the Starbucks Clover machine. Which I have ignored up until now because I feel like if I ordered a Clover coffee and asked them to put chocolate in it they might give me a sarcastic look. However, as a woman who normally likes her coffee light and sweet I can say that this Galapagos stuff is really good. After sampling it straight without sugar at Starbucks (believe me this alone is a shocking development) I brought a bag home and brewed it in my tiny one cup french press. It was really good! The coffee itself is rich without being overpowering more of a medium roast than a bold and intense roast. It has chocolate undertones and the aroma is intoxicating. It was great alone or with a touch of sugar and just a splash of milk. Or it became a rich delightful treat with a spoonful of Starbucks mocha powder and a little more milk. I have to say as someone whose never gone in for gourmet coffee before I may have been converted by this rich and chocolaty Starbucks blend. Thank you cavecibum for getting me invited and thank you Bjorn for such a delightful experience. I recommend this coffee blend to anyone who likes their coffee with a hint of chocolate