Everyone likes an excuse to indulge in something sweet right? With Easter just around the corner, I decided to do a little research, just to help you out a bit.
There is a plethora of local candy makers in the Ottawa area. I picked up samples of just four at one of my favourite go-to stores, The Red Apron, but they are available in numerous locations around the city (just check the candy makers websites).
I first discovered Morsel Artisan Caramels around Christmas time. OMG they are melt in your mouth pure buttery goodness! My favourite is the sea salt caramel, there is just something about that sweet/salty combination that I love, but they also come in Pistachio Cardamon, Espresso Orange, Matcha Black Sesame and Vegan Coconut.
Next up is ChocoSol , a learning community/social enterprise that focuses on making the ‘food of the gods’ – commonly known as cacao – into fresh, whole food, stone ground chocolate on an artisanal scale. It is Toronto based, but I love their 5 Chili Bullet bar so much, plus the philosophy behind their business, that I had to include them. Ingredients in the bar consist of cacao, raw sugar, cacao butter, 5 kinds of chilies, allspice, achiote, and sea salt. Pure goodness, and one little dark square is all I need to satisfy any chocolate craving. It packs a punch!
Hummingbird produces chocolate in much the same way as Chocosol, slowly and directly from cacao beans grown by farmers they have a partnership with in Bolivia. Bo-nib-ia is a dark and crunchy, deep, savoury chocolate bar. It has single malt to molasses notes, and is sprinkled with cacao nibs. Kinda sounds like describing a wine, doesn’t it? Because it is 70% cacao, a little goes a long way. Diet friendly, I say!
Last, but not least, is a new one I discovered, by Baroness Chocolates, called Dob Dobs. It is described as “chocolate that lingers on your taste buds like a loving embrace and then slaps you in the face.” Chocolate, caramel and pecans combine to delight the senses! Since it is a mix of dark and milk chocolate, it is a little lighter than the other bars, but every bit as delicious.
Now, in case you are worried about indulging, research has shown that cacao isn’t candy, it’s food. According to Chocosol, “It’s high in zinc, iron, magnesium and antioxidants. It improves blood flow, relaxes the muscles, raises our spirits and energizes. Cacao beans also suppress appetite.” I feel much less guilty now. Happy Easter!