My boyfriend is madly trying to come up with something special for our Valentine’s Day dinner, and I’m hoping that somehow chocolate figures into the plans. Would I choose chocolate over him? Hmm… let’s not answer that question just in case he finds out.
Being a food writer is tough but chocolate research is probably the most difficult task of all. I mean, who wants to try the most sinful chocolate-y desserts that Richmond, BC, has to offer until you’re in a happy swoon? “Not me,” I say, with a spoonful of dense chocolate cake in my mouth.
If you need a chocolate fix this February 14, I’ve scouted out five items that will most definitely remind you why you love chocolate so very much. And don’t forget, calories don’t count on Valentine’s Day!
PHOTO CREDIT: TARA LEE
1. Dark and White Chocolate Mousse Cake at Diplomat Bakery
Grab a fork as quick as you can and dig into the satisfyingly rich Dark and White Chocolate Mousse Cake ($3.95 per slice, $35 for 7”, $45 for a 9” cake) at Diplomat Bakery. This heavenly creation involves layers of silky white and dark chocolate mousse, as well as fluffy white and dark chocolate sponge cake. Friendly staff at this longstanding Richmond bakery can also help suggest other popular chocolate treats, like cappuccino cake, espresso chocolate fudge cake, red velvet cake, chocolate cupcakes and chocolate-y rum balls. The list goes on and on…
Location: 6111 London Road
SOURCED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE WILD SWEETS’ WEBSITE
2. pRaliNe & caRaMel “Heart” Collection No12 at Wild Sweets
Dominique and Cindy Duby of Wild Sweets are mad scientists of chocolate, constantly innovating with novel techniques, flavours and ingredients. The results are unforgettable. For Valentine’s Day, they’ve created a pRaliNe & caRaMel “Heart” Collection No12 ($21.10), which comes with two different kinds of chocolates. The first features a vanilla and raspberry caramel ganache, coated in dark chocolate and finished with an elegant pattern transfer. The other is heart-shaped and filled with hazelnut butter, milk chocolate cream and crispy “crêpes” cookies. They’re almost too beautiful to eat (but you will). Their Atelier Micro-Store will be open for retail business this Saturday (February 13) from 10am to 4pm. Otherwise, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them at 604-765-9507 for special pick-up arrangements.
Location: 2245-12191 Hammersmith Way
PHOTO CREDIT: TARA LEE
3. Chocolate Pot de Crème at The Sweet Spot Bakery
The charming Sweet Spot Bakery in the heart of Steveston is a destination for expertly crafted desserts. The attention to aesthetic detail is impressive, as is the use of high quality ingredients. The Chocolate Pot de Crème ($4.75) uses 64% Cacao Barry chocolate, and also contains hints of amaretto and coffee. Fresh raspberry, whipped cream, and white chocolate pearls finish off this lovely dessert. Other selections that you won’t be able to refuse include a dark chocolate mousse dome with blackout cake and salted caramel, a Valrhona milk chocolate truffle tart with crispy praline, and a dark chocolate sandwich cookie with salted caramel buttercream. Honestly, all of the concoctions here are divine.
Location: 12000 1 Avenue
SOURCED WITH PERMISSION FROM THE CAPSTONE FACEBOOK PAGE
4. Chocolate Fondue at Capstone Tea & Fondue
For a more interactive chocolate experience, visit Capstone Tea & Fondue for their Chocolate Fondue ($24.95), which gets you two seasonal fruit platters, marshmallows, graham crackers, pretzels (salty/sweet combos are the best) and banana bread. For $4 extra, you can substitute the banana bread for decadent cheesecake squares. The fondue itself is made of 56% semi-sweet melted Belgian dark chocolate, which basically means you’re dipping your items in liquid indulgence.
Location: 165-9020 Capstan Way
PHOTO CREDIT: TARA LEE
5. Chocolate Lollipops at Sinfully the Best Chocolates, Fine Foods & Gifts
For the mother lode of gourmet Valentine’s Day chocolates, make sure to drop by Sinfully the Best in Steveston. This charming shop, which sells their own handmade chocolates, has a bounty of romance-themed selections to choose from. The Lollipops ($1.95) come in dark, milk, and white chocolate and would be an affordable and delicious way to say “I love you.” Bags of foil wrapped chocolate hearts and heart-decorated chocolate bars are also available, as well as a chocolate basket filled with chocolate roses.
Location: 13-3993 Chatham Street
Here’s to celebrating love and chocolate this Valentine’s Day!