Hot Chocolate at Stubbe (part 2), Ottawa, Canada

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Last week we paid a visit to Stubbe Chocolates in the Byward Market in Ottawa, where I reviewed their standard hot chocolate that they offer. At the time I was told that they had another hot chocolate and I promised them that I would be back to try it.

We went back today, and I’m so glad we did.

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Heinrich often travels to Columbia, the birthplace of his life partner Pilar and also the source of a lot of their beautiful chocolate. On their regular trips they work on plantations harvesting cocoa pods, fermenting beans extracted from the pods, drying and roasting them. They also contribute to chocolate apprenticeship programs run by the Columbian government.

On one of their trips they came back with a magical substance called “nectar de cacao” or the nectar of chocolate which is the bean that is pressed so much that the cocoa butter is extracted. Cane sugar, cinnamon, cloves and powdered vanilla are mixed in at a low speed and this creates the base for the other hot chocolate that they offer, and the one I was so eager to try.

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I loved this hot chocolate, especially the presentation. It was served in a colourful Mexican expresso cup with a dash of cream on the top. Next to this was another colourful little plate with a little cookie dipped in chocolate. All of this was served on a small silver tray and presented to us at our table.  We had three choices of flavours, regular, cinnamon & clove and chili. I ordered the cinnamon & clove. I have had many hot chocolates with cinnamon but never clove, and the combination of the two together is so much more interesting than any one of the two alone. The cinnamon gave it a that beautiful aroma and the cloves a nice but subtle little kick.

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Verdict: Not only do they have beautiful chocolates, all hand made in store, but they have two very different and very nice hot chocolates. To top that all off, everyone there is so friendly. If you have ever had any questions about chocolates, or are in Ottawa and want a beautiful hot chocolate, this is the place to come and ask. Stubbe Chocolates, 375 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa, Canada

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Hot Chocolate at Holy Cacao, Austin, USA

I was intrigued when I copied down the address to Holy Cacao; South Austin Trailer Park and Eatery. A fancy chocolate shop with fantastically rich hot chocolate in a trailer park? Ah, but this is Austin where empty lots are turned into culinary hot spots. Food vans set up in these lots and here Holy Cacao has set up along side a small handful of other food vans and several picnic tables with colourful umbrellas to enjoy your food on.

Holy Cacao makes two things. First and foremost they are known for their cake balls. For those of you who have yet to discover cake balls they are, according to Holy Cacao, “chunks of rich, freshly baked cake are mixed with frosting then rolled into balls, dipped in chocolate and perched atop popsicle stick. The result is a unique, delicious truffle-like treat”. There are 6 different types of cake balls on the menu, velvet balls are made with red velvet cake, rabbit balls with carrot cake, wedding balls are white cake and so on and so forth. We order three to try, a rabbit ball, a velvet ball and a Diablo ball (chocolate with a touch of chilli).

They also have not one, not two but three different types of hot chocolate. There is their original rich hot chocolate, Mexican hot chocolate with cayenne and chilli and cinnamon, and finally a peppermint hot chocolate. We ordered an original and a Mexican.

These are some rich hot chocolates. They are kind of like a rich and gooey chocolate pudding but still liquid enough to drink. If you are a chocolate lover this is your hot chocolate. I loved the first few sips but a whole cup was just too much for me. It was good enough that I would have still paid 4$ for a small cup of this. I would have loved more chill in my Mexican chocolate too…it was very very subtle.

Verdict: If you have a sweet tooth visit Holy Cacao. The van is very cute and I loved sitting out on the picnic tables under the trees. I’ll be back… Holy Cacao, 1311 South 1st Street, Austin, Texas, USA

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