Are you still dreaming about all those sweets you devoured over Christmas? Me too. There’s nothing quite like a good hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day. I love savouring the rich, chocolatey flavour with every sip, allowing the pillowy whipped cream to coat my tongue, getting an extra drizzle of chocolate on top and watching it slowly drip down the side of the cup… it’s a shame that Christmas is over and the time to indulge on hot chocolate has ended. Or has it?
For all you Vancouverites (or people visiting the area from January 19th to February 14th), there’s nothing to fear! The Hot Chocolate Festival is back for its ninth year and is ready to meet all your sweet tooth cravings! If you’ve never heard of the Hot Chocolate Festival, here’s how it works: various cafés, pâtisseries, and chocolatiers in the Lower Mainland create specialty hot chocolates available for customers to purchase from mid-January to February. Partial proceeds from every one of these specialty hot chocolates go to local charities such as the PHS Community Services Society—what better excuse do you need to drink more hot chocolate?
Many vendors are veterans when it comes to the Hot Chocolate Festival, so you can definitely expect some surprising and innovative flavour combinations this year. The two featured in the cover image, were made last year at world-renowned Thomas Haas and showcased unorthodox hot chocolate ingredients like matcha and kumquat (left) as well as chestnut and coconut (right).
Another fan favourite is Earnest Ice Cream, a local staple in the ice cream business. Here, you can find a combo even better than an affogato—that’s ice cream with a shot of espresso poured over top, which you can also find there. Check out this creation from 2017 made with chai-flavoured ice cream, hot chocolate, and homemade chocolate cake!
Here’s another incentive to go gallivanting across Metro Vancouver drinking hot chocolate all day: there are prizes! Post your hot chocolate pics to Instagram and Twitter—tagging and hashtagging accordingly (more information here)—and you can win one of three hot-chocolate-themed gift baskets! Often, these include gift vouchers from participating vendors such as Swiss Bakery, East Van Roasters, Thierry, and Glenburn. That’s not all! @hotchocolatefest will repost some festival-goers’ pics to their account and the one that receives the most likes will receive the People’s Choice Prize: a pass to next year’s hot chocolate festival. Do you know what that means? Unlimited free hot chocolate at all vendors. If I were a cartoon, my eyes would be hearts right now, and I can imagine all you chocolate-lovers out there reading this are the same.
Hot Chocolate Festival 2018 at Glenburn
Hot Chocolate Festival 2018 at Swiss Bakery
So go out and enjoy some hot chocolate Vancouverites! I just hope you won’t be too much competition because this girl wants to win some sweet prizes this year!
All pictures used in this article taken by the author