My California friend, Eva Schlesinger, fellow chocoholic and entertaining blogger at http://notesfromthecupcakerescueleague.wordpress.com, inquired about my chocolate quests. Well gosh and golly–chocolate is alive and well in Greater Victoria.
My girlfriend, N and I decided to go to our favourite buffet lunch at Sechwuan City and from there, take a jaunt to Costco, a few miles away. N’s mission was to pick up some burgundy venetian blinds and mine was to check out the snack aisles. Yes, I did have a huge lunch but I was saving myself for dessert. And what better place to get samples and food demos than Costco?
En route, N told me she was not going to get any more bags of Chicago Popcorn with caramel and cheese, which sounded gross but was so delicious she had already devoured 4-bags. Popcorn was never my yen so I merely nodded and told her I would save her from any Chicago bags rushing over to grab her. N also ordered me not to even look at these large bags of Brookside Dark Chocolate Blueberries and/or Cranberry Mango as they were just too good and besides, she already had another bag of these at home. Okay–I didn’t exactly look at them, even though I love the smaller bags in my grocery store but for a few dollars more, you get the Costco size that was almost triple in size. I didn’t look but I did stop for a few free samples.
I was really looking for my large jars of Kirkland Dark Chocolate Sour Cherries and Almond Clusters but these were no longer available. I had convinced Hubby that cherries were great for gout and dark chocolate excellent for lowering the blood pressure. Those are facts. Combined together, cherries, chocolate and almonds are a deadly duo of goodness but not the food for diabetics. However, N pointed out the newbie that is very healthy–dark Fair-Trade chocolate bark with pumpkin seeds–these were thin dark chocolate mini-bars with roasted pumpkin seeds. It wasn’t my cherries and almond dark chocolate clusters, but they were good. I decided to try a bag and share with Hubby at home.
A few days later, I had to travel to Sooke, which is about 26 kilometers out of Victoria. It gave me an excuse to check out “Little Vienna Bakery.” Everything in this bakery/café is made from scratch using butters and creams. The scent of cinnamon and chocolate and buttery croissants grabs your nose as you enter and the delicious displays grabs your eyeballs. Of course, I tried their chocolate pastries which looked every bit as good as it tasted. “Chocolate Schneckes,” is a special butter croissant pastry filled with dark chocolate chips and a rich chocolate ganache. The warm croissant and the melted chocolate was like a blissful, warm hug, leaving you feeling content and happy for the long drive home. In case I got stranded, I bought a couple of “Super Fudge Brownies”–a deliciously dense fudge brownie with just the right amount of roasted walnuts and topped with a dark chocolate ganache.
The next day, I met a friend for coffee at my neighbourhood Italian bakery/café, “Ottavio’s.” My chocolate fix that morning was a shortbread pastry tart filled with a dark chocolate mocha cream, devilishly decadent. I convinced myself it was definitely low-cal because of its petite size. . .
Hubby settled for his favourite–a tin of my freshly baked “Everything-But-The-Kitchen-Sink-Chocolate-Chip” cookies. Hubby declared it the best chocolate chips/roasted pecan/roasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds/dried sour cherries/rolled oats/cinnamon cookies he has ever had. For a photo take a look at my profile pic. And on that note, this ends my chocolate quest for a brief moment. . .while I nibble my other Super Fudge Brownie.