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Local For Cocoa: Chocolate Treats: Part One

Antioxidant-rich, a stimulant and one of the world’s best-loved aphrodisiacs—it’s no wonder chocolate is often called the food of the gods. Fortunately, we humble mortals can indulge in this heavenly treat, too. Such is our obsession with chocolate that we seek to enjoy it in as many ways as possible. Throughout this city, chocolatiers, pâtissiers, chefs and baristas are constantly creating new and diverse chocolate-based indulgences. Whether you prefer it bitter or creamy, hot and steamy, or, well, slathered all over your body, our 10 chocolate experiences are sure to satisfy your craving.

DESSERT FOR DINNER

Forsake all self-restraint at new sweet shop and restaurant MoRoCo Chocolat (99 Yorkville Ave., 416-961-2202), where an uninhibited chocolate-inspired dining experience is strongly encouraged. The all-encompassing menu offers an array of temptations in the form of beverages, dips, and decadently sweet entrees like the chocolate-mousse “patty” served with raspberry “ketchup”, $20, as well as savoury options for more disciplined chocolate fiends. Short on time? Stop by to sample the goods from the beautifully handcrafted, glass-encased truffle display.

LET THEM EAT CUPCAKES! A sensational cupcake is a little luxury in itself. Chocolate is the cake base for many variations of the petite treat at The Cupcake Shoppe. Try the After Ate—chocolate cake with mint buttercream—or banana buttercream-topped Curious George, $2.50. At Babycake Cupcakes, overload on gooey goodness with the popular Choco Funk $3.25, a triple-chocolate threat of cake, frosting and shavings. The creatively flavoured creations at The Cupcakery (1034 St. Clair Ave. W., 647-430-7409) are a sight for the eyes and a feast for the stomach. La Dolce Vita, $2.50 is a favourite, and it’s no wonder: chocolate cake with buttercream ensures that everyone’s sweet tooth is appeased.

PIPING HOT If you like your chocolate served steamy and ready for sipping, Soma Chocolatemaker is a must-visit destination. Order up a cup of spiced Mayan hot chocolate, $3.56, to go along with the shop’s hand-dipped truffles, chocolate-tumbled nuts and micro-batch bars. Elsewhere, find comfort in the house-specialty hot chocolate, $3.15, at Niche Coffee and Tea Company (626 Queen St. W., 416-203-0458), which pairs perfectly steamed milk with smooth Ghiradelli chocolate.

SCHOOL DAYS Food really does taste better when you make it yourself. At Stubbe, the Introduction to Chocolate Workshop, $80, for adults includes a lesson in tempering and truffle making, as well as the opportunity to create a chocolate box to fill with your own delicious creations. The Children’s Chocolate Workshop, $70, offers young ones a chance to explore chocolate in a hands-on environment and take home their sugary handiwork—that is, if they don’t eat it all first.

DRINK TO THIS For an experience that leaves you positively drunk on choco-lust, try the snowflake martini, $11.90, at Pravda Vodka Bar, a luxurious mix of vanilla vodka shaken with Godiva chocolate and crème de cacao poured into a dark-chocolate-rimmed glass. White Swiss chocolate shavings and dark and white chocolate-covered strawberries take this lavish drink over the top!

For more chocolate goodness, please see part two of Local for Cocoa.—Jodie Shupac

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