The Drunken Chocolatier
These are not the booze chocolates of yesteryear, shaped like bottles and filled with strange liquids that burn on the way down. Instead, the Drunken Chocolatier, Carina Chao, incorporates beer, liquor and teas into chocolate.
Chao is a baker-turned-chocolatier who earned her stripes in beloved restaurants like Chambar and Traffiq on Main Street.
“I just decided that it was too many cakes and I wanted to make something else,” said Chao.
So, she started to experiment with chocolate, which metamorphosed into chocolate and booze.
“The alcohol part is more because I love going to the Okanagan where they have so many wineries and I come back with a whole bunch of alcohol that I can’t finish, so I tried to figure out how to put it into the chocolate,” said Chao.
We got to try some of Chao’s chocolate creations including the Cassis, the Old Fashioned, the Parklife and the Honey Jasmine.
The Old Fashioned made with Crown Royal and Angostura bitters was much more subtle and the flavours were a little muted by the chocolate ganache. The whiskey and bitters came out in the end with a slight bitter finish.
The Parklife is a vegan chocolate made with a coconut caramel and Parklife passion fruit ale from Bomber Brewing. This is a lighter tasting chocolate with much more fruity notes.
Last we’ll talk about the Honey Jasmine made with jasmine tea from Westholme Tea co. and wildflower honey from Planet Bee. The combination of the floral jasmine, sweet honey and bitter chocolate is an adventurous choice and definitely one to try.
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