S. Worthen (owlfish) wrote,
S. Worthen

Toronto chocolates

There is such a thing as too much chocolate; luckily, I stopped eating just in time.

chamaeleoncat suggested going out for chocolate today. I suggested a few places - and she chose all of them, plus a few extras we read up on mid-trip. In the end, we made a circuit of much of Toronto, made good use of her TTC day pass, and ate a whole lot of chocolate. Here's where we went:

The Cupcake Shop. Yes, Toronto has a shop devoted entirely to cupcakes. I'd been wondering about it for a while. Our cupcakes were quintessentially cupcakey, exactly what a cupcake ought to be. The chocolate cake tasted gently, but clearly, of chocolate. The frosting was light and creamy. Mine was banana ("Curious George"), hers was mint ("After Ate"). Many of the cupcakes were Toronto-related jokes. If you want perfect cupcakes for a party (they do custom orders) or otherwise have cupcake cravings, go. I'm not likely to go back unless I really need some high-quality cupcakes; I'm interested in more unusual and intense flavors. (Location: 2417 Yonge, north of Eglington.)

Simone Marie Belgian Chocolate. An unqualified success. The truffles were phenomenal, the saleswoman informative and friendly, and they're hosting an icewine tasting as part of the forthcoming Bloor-Yorkville Wine Festival. (Saturday, May 14, 1-5 pm.) The truffle flavors were complex, but each element was distinct. I tried the Figaro (dark chocolate with rum), Diablotin (chocolate and caramel), and one new to their line beginning with E, which was richly spiced with ginger. I erred on the side of all dark chocolate coatings. chamaeleoncat was equally content with her choices. (Location: 126A Cumberland, east of Avenue Rd.)

Stubbe Chocolates and Pastry. It was a relief to stop by somewhere with tables, chairs, and tea. chamaeleoncat loved her chocolate log, but it was too rich to finish there. I pursued my truffle theme, trying some of their more exciting flavors: apricot brandy and balsamic vinegar, plus a gewurztraminer truffle to take home. The apricot brandy truffle had a beautiful purity of flavor, the soft fruity roundness contrasted by a light alcoholic afterburn. The balsamic vinegar truffle was an exciting concept, but I thought it would have benefited from a stronger balsamic taste. But I can see how easy it would be to overdo the flavoring. The store also sells cakes and chocolate bars of country-specific origins. (Location: 253 Davenport, west of Avenue Rd.)

Soma. My second trip to Soma. We arrived just in time - the store was shutting, but we were part of a steady trickle of last-minute buyers. We each invested in two truffles to eat later (so I can't compare yet with the others). I indulged in a shot of their Mayan hot chocolate. It comes in an espresso-sized cup, and is even more intense. It's pure chocolate, dense and vibrantly spiced with cinnamon, chili, and probably other things as well. I needed that bottle of water to accompany it. Soma's a very unusual chocolate store: they roast all their own cocoa beans, make their own chocolate. They specialize in single-origin chocolates. (Location: Distillery District, 55 Mill St. Near Front and Parliament.)

J.S. Bonbons. We ended with a favorite of mine, both because it was on our initial itinerary, and because it was open until 7 pm so we could arrive before it closed. After all that rich chocolate, we needed a change. We both had the lemon and thyme hot chocolate, made with a white chocolate base. It was refreshing, given it was rich with cream, sugar, and chocolate butter, but absolutely the last chocolate product either of us were up to consuming. We didn't buy any more truffles, but did have a wonderful conversation with a fellow hot-chocolate-buyer about careers and the importance of making time for relationships. She was rediscovering the possibility of dating afte spending the previous four years travelling every single week for work. (Location: 811 Queen W, east of Niagara.)
Tags: chocolate, eating in toronto, food, sweets

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