Catching up on our tour of the ongoing Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival.  Today, a couple of three-way throwdowns and a few surprises.

Round #10…


The Proposition: Eggnog and Rum Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon.  Served with your choice of cookie.

Available at: Koko Monk,  1849 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver


Ah, one sip and I was instantly transported.  It was Christmas all over again.  Alas, we didn’t receive the promised cookie, but we were so full after a big dinner, we hardly missed it.


Phaun’s Fancy: Made from 64% dark chocolate with parmesan and fresh nutmeg.  Served with a side of Umami No. 5 fudge

Available: At Cocoa Nymph 3739 W. 10th Ave (at Alma), Vancouver

My first response to reading the description was: “Chocolate and parmesan?  No.” But after tasting it: “Yes!”.  It was the exact same reaction I had to one of Cocoa Nymph’s 2013 Hot Chocolate Festival entries that combined dark chocolate with basil and balsamic to create what turned out to be one of my Top 5 Fest Favorites. In this case, the scent of the parmesan wafts up off the cup but, when you sip it, it’s all chocolate up front with just a wisp of lingering sharpness at the back.  It was reminiscent of the sweet and savory marriage of bacon and caramel.  At first blush, you don’t think it will work but it does.  And it’s delicious.  Really!  Special mention should be made of the Umami No. 5 fudge that accompanied the hot chocolate.  If it was on the regular shop menu, I’d buy it by the box.


Passionista: Fresh passion fruit-infused hot chocolate with Grand Marnier chantilly. Served with passion fruit pate de fruit.

Available at: Thomas Haas, 2539 West Broadway, Vancouver.

This one was Akemi’s favorite of the six we sampled over this three-day span.   It packs a passionfruit punch without overwhelming the chocolate.  A lovely balance. And that Grand Marnier chantilly?  Killer!

Verdict: On paper, it would have been a toss-up between the two runners-up.  But in the all important taste-off, I have to go with a most unlikely winner…

Winner: Phaun’s Fancy (Cocoa Nymph)


The Brunette Bangle: Hot Chocolate with the exotic hint of curry.  Served with your choice of cookie.

Available at: Koko Monk,  1849 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver


A very nice sipping chocolate with a hint of lingering spice.  Another unique yet surprisingly good entry.


The Intimate Act: Milk Chocolate with passionfruit.  Served with a hazelnut cookie.

Available at: Beaucoup Bakery  2150 Fir Street (in Kitsilano)

A subtle drink with an excellent passionfruit flavor that shines although the chocolate is strangely muted here.


The Campfire: A classic hot chocolate, only with smoky caramel, smoked Hawaiian sea salt.  Served with vanilla marshmallows.

Available at: Thomas Haas, 2539 West Broadway, Vancouver.

One of the best combinations of sweet and savory so far.  The vanilla marshmallow, lightly studded with smoked Hawaiian sea salt, was fabulous.

Verdict: Another tough call, but if I had to choose one…

Winner: The Campfire (Thomas Haas)

27 flavors down!  35 to go!

Ready to go?!
Ready to go?!

Everyone prepared to trek off to the Pegasus Galaxy one more time?  Hope so because our Stargate: Atlantis rematch kicks off today with the episode that started it all: Rising I.  Watch it today and come armed with your insights, accolades, critiques, and questions tomorrow!  Also, be prepared for Akemi’s unique take on the show as I relay her thoughts on the episode in tomorrow’s blog entry.  Yes, it’s Rising I: The Japanese Girlfriend Review!

18 thoughts on “January 31, 2014: Hot Chocolate Festival Rounds #10 and #11! The Proposition vs. Phaun’s Fancy vs. Passionista! The Brunette Bangle vs. The Intimate Act vs. The Campfire! Kicking off the Stargate: Atlantis Rewatch!

  1. I need to drown my sorrows in The Campfire! For the second time since Wednesday afternoon, our power at home is out and the estimated repair time is 24 hours. Freezer food is long gone and the fridge food is stacked in coolers in the kitchen. I’m leaving work now to get more batteries and ice. The absolute bummer is that unless I can find a place to go and download it, I won’t be able to watch Rising 1 tonight. 🙁

  2. Food Truck Rally we were going to got cancelled due to rain (it’s been raining non-stop since we got to Tampa), so we ate some mediocre Greek food and then came home to read about all this chocolate and now I’m sad because I want the one with the Parmesan and I can’t have it. 🙂

    Off to bed super early to watch Atlantis and some Eureka, see you tomorrow!

  3. Hey Joe
    My, oh my! It sure is nice in HD! Being familiar with the story I allowed myself to be mesmerized by the details. So many little details. But all that can wait ’til tomorrow.


  4. Started Terms of Enlistment, and about to load Rising I into the player. Chocolate and parmesan? If you say so…..I really need to whip up a good cup of hot chocolate, even if it’s not as exotic as what the festival is putting out to the public. Of course, temps here are going up, but another gift from Canada will be here in a few days to give the air a proper chill….

  5. Joe…no Akemi-macarons in my Mail yet..? pooh! Tomorrow’s my B-Day. I “was” planning on spending a “Me”-day, but rumour has it that I’ll *probably* be SHOVELLING! *AGAIN*! :-[

    [#beingawinterbabysucks! #anddontgetmestartedonthatwholeagingthing!]

  6. Congratulations! on the longest blog title EVER!!! Does Guiness Book know about this? 😉

    Phaun’s Fancy looks beautiful. Love how they teased you with not filling the cup full. You automatically want more.

  7. Tomorrow’s my B-day too 😉 I’ll be attending the second day of a Career Development and Leadership Retreat. 🙂 Later, I’ll having a B-day dinner at Mimi’s Café.

  8. Hello… Just on description alone I’d go for Passionista. I’ve always loved passionfruit.

    So now my night is planned – watching Rising Pt 1 and preparing my thoughts I just have to work out what’s on for dinner. I’ve slackened off in this heat and need to refocus on Paleo.

    It’s my Mum’s birthday tomorrow. She passed away September 2012 so I think I’ll go spend some time with Dad.

    The following day I have the day off and it’s all about the Superbowl. Mum loved watching the Superbowl. Sometimes I used to have a party and she would come over and watch with me. I’m going for Denver, how about everyone else?


  9. Notice to all colleagues who have already read Terms of enlistement, the second book Lines of Departure is much better I recommend it.

    I look forward to Akemi comments. 😆

  10. Hey Joe

    @ivonbartokfans I’m good with Denver, but equally good with Seattle. Really, 2 great teams, it should be a good game.
    Everybody watched Rising, right?


  11. Reading your SG1 memory lane there were two names: Charlie Cohen (->referenced in “200”) and Hank Cohen (->the reason for naming Cassie’s planet Hanka), both you said (if I understood correctly) were MGM execs and Stargate supporters. Now is this the same person with two forenames or are that two different people with the same lastname? I’m kinda confused here 😀

  12. I accidentally watched Rising I and 2. My DVD has them together and I wasn’t sure where to stop! Is it when the city rises out of the water?

    Also, my internet cable was cut by guys working to solve my skunk problem, so I might not be able to comment tonight when my son goes out and takes his phone which is our internet hot spot. But if someone will tell me where part 1 ends I’ll type something up and post it tomorrow morning.

    I’m looking forward to Akemi’s comments.

    Mmmm. I’m not big on fruit and chocolate, but the parmesan sounds quite intriguing. And the campfire sounds like an excellent combo.

  13. My appreciation and love of Atlantis has grown considerable over the last several years. We cancelled our cable 3 years ago and watched tons of DVD’s . I think we watched the entire series of West Wing, Falling Skies and SG-1 and Atlantis numerous times. Each time I re-watched I saw new things that I missed when then were on. I look forward to reading everyone’s thoughts on Rising Pt 1.

  14. @Sparrow_hawk
    hope this helps
    Part 2 begins with the team in the village shooting at the incoming Wraith darts. And, that is when Teyla is sweeped as well as Col Sumner.

    The city rising and the beautiful music – natsukashii wow!

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