Monday, April 1, 2013

Hot Chocolate Month at City Bakery Recap

So it's no secret that Leila and I (David) love City Bakery hot chocolate. It's no secret that we were excited by their Hot Chocolate Month. So it should not surprise you that we made multiple visits over the course of February. Here are some things that happened:

February 14: I was stuck at work all day. On Valentine's Day. The worst! Fortunately, I have the best friends. Danielle happened to be in the Union Square area and heard of my plight, and she made a special delivery of the special Love Potion hot chocolate.  It's City Bakery's regular hot chocolate with a layer of fudge on top. No joke. I think this is the only hot chocolate I've ever had that's better than the regular City Bakery hot chocolate.

February 21: Darkest Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate. Obviously I was going to go for this. I snuck out of work and delivered some to a couple of my co-workers.

It was excellent. I mean, by hot chocolate standards. But somehow it was unsatisfying as compared with their regular hot chocolate. Certainly it was less sweet, but that is not a negative in my mind. The problem was it just didn't taste as rich. I also purchased the Melted Chocolate Cookie. Now that DT Works is gone, I'd say it competes with Levain for the chocolatiest (and therefore best) cookie in the city. A true work of art.

February 28: Two of my colleagues and I made a field trip for the Festival Finale. What that means, apparently, is that they have a different flavor from the festival every hour. The flavor offered when we arrived was some fruity, terrible-sounding concoction.

So instead ducked in the Chocolate Room room and picked out some other assorted chocolate goods. I got some chocolate-covered nibs by Nunu. I told myself that I could taste the confectioner's glaze on them. Could I? Who knows. They were delicious, though, if you can tell from the empty container.

I also got some non-chocolate-covered nibs from Askinosie, and those were truly excellent. I have the Planete Chocolat beans, Theo nibs, and Askinosie nibs on my desk. While the beans go fastest, that's due to my preference for the whole bean, including husk. In terms of pure taste, Askinosie wins hands down, though it should be noted that there is a distinct coffee-like taste to them.

Finally, I got a 66% Fruition-brand bar. I had heard tons of good things about Fruition, but I was honestly disappointed. It was not rich enough for me, too fruity, and vaguely unsatisfying. (I still finished it that day.)

Okay, over to Leila for her Hot Chocolate Month report:

February 1: I was so excited for Hot Chocolate Month that I went to City Bakery on the very first day. I didn't actually want lemon-flavored hot chocolate. I just wanted to commune with City Bakery employees about how exciting it was that February had finally arrived. I tried a sample of the lemon hot chocolate, and it was surprisingly good, considering that you wouldn't expect lemon and chocolate to be complementary flavors.

February 6: Ginger hot chocolate! This was awesome. As you know, I like chocolate with a little bit of a kick, and this was just the right amount of spice.

February 13: I got confused and thought there would be cinnamon hot chocolate on the 13th. I'd been mistaken; it was actually "Happy Hot Chocolate" day. I usually avoid City Bakery when their hot chocolate flavors have names that I do understand (like "Happy" or "Moulin Rouge"), because I don't want to encounter a nasty surprise.

Indeed, that was what happened on the 13th, as Happy Hot Chocolate turned out to mean a hot vanilla-infused milk chocolate. You know I'm not a milk chocolate girl. But I had come all the way to Union Square already, so I couldn't leave empty-handed. So I got a normal hot chocolate. That may not have been necessary, Leila.

February 22: Black rum and cinnamon hot chocolate. This was really good! It didn't taste like rum. It just tasted interesting. And the chocolate still took center stage, which I always appreciate.

BOTTOM LINE: Over the course of February 2013, we hit six out of the nineteen available City Bakery Hot Chocolate Month flavors. Sometimes, we even impress ourselves.

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