Every February in Calgary is YYC Hot Chocolate Fest. Dozens of cafes and restaurants create custom hot chocolates for this month, and $1 from every purchase goes to support Meals On Wheels. Trying new delectable concoctions while helping a charitable organization, what’s not to love!
Similar to my Stampede Food review, I’ve decided to write up my thoughts on each of the hot chocolates I try over the coming month. Here goes!
Note: Many of the cafes and restaurants were packed with people doing hot chocolate tastings themselves. While great to see, this means that many of the HCs had to be To Go, so the photos won’t always look the same.
I love anything cookies and cream, and this one did not disappoint. Foamy, thick and creamy with the right amount of delicious chocolate cookie crumb topping. If you’re a fan of white chocolate, then this is highly recommended.
I don’t drink, so I had the unspirited version of this drink, but it was the best hot chocolate I’ve had in a very long time. As you can see above, it came split into several parts, which I first tried individually and then mixed together in the mug.
The hot chocolate itself was was soft and creamy, it tasted like drinking melted chocolate without it being too sweet.
The whipped cream had a gentle taste of caramel mixed into it yet was still airy and thick.
The peanut caramel sauce deliciously sweet, but even eating it directly wasn’t unpleasantly so.
The cream-filled salted chocolate eclair was delicious. Although a bit dry by itself, that was quickly rectified by dipping into the mixed hot chocolate.
When all mixed together this drink is a broad, deep, and complex sweetness, very strong and yet never overwhelming or unpleasant.
Not going to lie, I’m slightly disappointed there wasn’t a small sprig of rosemary on the cup, even if it was To Go. Still, the soft-yet-strong rosemary flavor is quite apparent in the mixture of this drink, and it made quite a delightful treat. That said, it was otherwise a fairly standard Hot Chocolate.
This chocolate…wasn’t hot. The bottom quarter of it was a bit lukewarm, but overall this had the temperature of a smoothie. But that’s kind of unavoidable when there are dozens of pieces of strawberry inside the hot chocolate itself, which was a lot of fun. There are also a few varieties you can get (white or dark chocolate, cream cheese or whipped cream). However, the cream cheese I ordered wasn’t mixed well with the hot chocolate at the bottom, and because the cup was so tall the bottom part couldn’t rise up to let me sip it. Because I couldn’t drink the chocolate till the cream cheese top was gone, it felt like I was drinking two halves of a nice drink that were missing each other.
But the strawberries were honestly still nice.
While the chocolate mixture itself is standard-but-good, the chocolate chips, sauce, whipped cream, and cookie toppings altogether bring this way above the average hot chocolate. Highly recommend.
This was a very good white hot chocolate, I was impressed with how the three different milks made a noticeable complexity to what is typically a straightforward flavor. The sponge cake was also excellent, both by itself and dipped in the drink.
(I forgot to take my own photo)
This hot chocolate was decent, I do enjoy the artificial strawberry flavor present as I always loved strawberry milk as a kid, but I can’t quite give it points for that. I didn’t notice the crushed cookies myself, and it otherwise was a standard hot chocolate, without much in novelty either.