Christmas is always a busy time of the year but after going 5 days without a hot chocolate I needed to remedy the situation and fast, especially considering the minus 26degree Celsius weather outside. After a bit of a search online I stumbled upon Cylie Chocolates, a new chocolate shop on a rarely visited but increasingly popular spot on Dalhousie Street. They just opened in September and it seems they’ve had a steady stream of visitors since. I tweeted to make sure they would have a hot chocolate over the holidays and as soon as I got the ok we jumped in the car and went over for a visit.
Cylie Artisan Chocolates is name after the owners, Cyril and Leslie. They met at the Cordon Bleu in Ottawa where Cyril was a teacher and Leslie a student. When we visited the store was quiet and there weren’t very many chocolates left in the display case. “Christmas was really busy” Leslie told us “We are just in the process of filling it back up!” Leslie was setting up little brown boxes to house the new batch of chocolates that Cyril was in the process of creating at the back of the store. They had a small selection of chocolates available including a tray filled with very cute little chocolate robot, apparently one of their specialties.
What I loved about Cylie was their unique approach to hot chocolate. They combine beautiful dark chocolates with different flavored teas, which they also sell in store. Their ultimate holiday hot chocolate is a combination of Valrhona Grand Cru Alpaco 66 per cent Chocolate from Ecuador and Organic Orange Black Tea, both for sale in their store separately and often available warmed up with whipping cream, milk and a bit of cardamom to enjoy in store. When we visited they had two hot chocolates for us to try. The first was a matcha green tea with white chocolate, the second a beautiful dark Valrhona chocolate, both available either in a full cup size if you are in need of a serious chocolate fix or in beautiful little matt black tea cup with a white interior that showed off the rich brown colour of the chocolate.
Their hot chocolate was very good, interesting and unique. It was rich and smooth without being too bitter or too sweet. A real treat. Leslie spent the time we were in the shop telling us about what they do, in particular their range of beautiful hand painted chocolates all made in store. A lot of their chocolate is also infused with some of the 30 different teas that they also sell in store along with some beautiful tea pot and cup sets. There are pictures of the stunning chocolate showpieces that Cyril makes to order. Soon they will also carry pastries.
I have had a lot of hot chocolates around the world and continue to be surprised at how many good ones are coming out of Ottawa. Cylie helps to continue to solidify Ottawa’s position on the ultimate hot chocolate map.
Verdict: Cylie is bright and warm and makes a beautiful hot chocolate. All they need is a little counter to the side so that people can enjoy it while they watch the chocolate master at work. Cylie Artisans Chocolatiers, 204 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa, Canada